The Stone Circle of Boscawen-Un, about four miles from Penzance in the direction of Land's End, will tomorrow afternoon be the scene of a remarkable gathering.
The Gorsedd of the Bards of Britain will revisit the Circle after a lapse of at least 1,000 years…………..
The object of this visit, which will link the life of to-day with that of the time of the ancient Cornish Kings, is to inaugurate a Cornish Gorsedd which shall foster the Celtic spirit of Cornwall.
So the Western Morning News of 20 September 1928 announced the revival of the Cornish Gorsedh. (Gorsedh is the Cornish, Gorsedd is the spelling used in 1928 by the newspapers and also used in Wales while in Brittany it is Goursez).
On the 22nd September the same paper reported on the actual events which had taken place at Boscawen-Un. The ceremonies were described in some detail including the investiture of the Grand Bard, Henry Jenner who welcomed the Gorsedd of Wales to the ceremonies saying that their presence was “a marked recognition of Cornwall as a sister Celtic nation.”
The list of Bards Elect invested at Boscawen-Un makes for interesting reading:
Unable to be present for investiture were: Richard John Noall, antiquarian and founder of the St Ives Old Cornwall Society, the first society to be formed; Rev. Mark Guy Pearse, Cornish poet and writer; and Richard Hall of Durban.
The Procession to Boscawen-Un, as John Motson might have said, "the bards and initiates are wearing blue". (Morrab Library)
1928 saw Cornish fortunes at a low ebb, unemployment and poverty were rife as the mining industry continued to shrink, mines closed and nothing replaced them. Miners and their families had left in droves. As the population dwindled and the economy shrank confidence and dynamism, the characteristics which had energised the ebullient Cornwall of the previous 200 years, also faded. A void was created and the revival of the Cornish Gorsedh was one attempt to fill the void and recreate a sense of identity and purpose. It has to be admitted, it's not to everyone's taste, but through thick and thin it has survived, the Cornish language is resurgent and Cornish Minority Status – Salva Minoryta Kernewek – is now recognised under the Framework Convention of the Protection of National Minorities. But protection can only ever be a short-term solution so let's hope that by 2020, when the centenary of the Gorsedh comes around, the dynamism and confidence is back and the future holds more than King Arthur's theme park and National Trust shops.
Kernow bys Vyken!
Western Morning News 20 September 1928
Western Morning News 22 September 1928