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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Plan for bardic founder memorial
Iolo Morganwg
Morganwg aimed to revive ancient Welsh culture
Plans have been unveiled for a monument to Iolo Morganwg, the scholar who created the Welsh order of the bards.

Morganwg, born Edward Williams, will have a monument erected on London's Primrose Hill where he held the first bardic gathering, or Gorsedd, in 1792.

He aimed to revive what he believed was the Celtic bardic tradition and the ceremony remains part of the modern-day National Eisteddfod.

Plans for the memorial were unveiled at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd, who has helped plan the memorial, said: "I am delighted that the Royal Parks have granted permission for the go ahead of this project.

"Iolo Morganwg was part of the radical romantic movement, he knew Coleridge and Blake, and of course the event has formed a key part of Welsh heritage as we know it today."

Sculptor John Meirion Morris will design the monument, which will be made out of Welsh slate with an embossed face of Morganwg.

Richard Brunstrom being made a bard
Druids are honoured at the modern-day National Eisteddfod

He said: "It is a privilege to be asked to design such a monument, and to bring a piece of Wales to the very spot that Iolo gathered the first meeting of the Welsh druids.

"Iolo was a genius and it is only right that he is to be honoured in one of the most beautiful spots in London."

Morganwg saw the Gorsedd of the bards as the ancient guardian of the language and culture of Wales.

The supposedly ancient druidic order was re-established by Morganwg in a ceremony at Primrose Hill held on the summer solstice of 1792.

Much of Morganwg's scholarship was later found to be forged.

But the ceremony he created endured and in 1819 the Gorsedd was formally linked with the eisteddfod, an act which ultimately led to the modern-day National Eisteddfod.

The Gorsedd is now an association whose members consist of poets, writers, musicians, artists and individuals who have made a contribution to Welsh language and culture.

Figures honoured as druids include Ioan Gruffudd, Bryn Terfel, England cricketer Robert Croft, ex-Welsh rugby stars Gareth Edwards and Ray Gravell and, this year, North Wales Police chief constable Richard Brunstrom.


SEE ALSO
Chief constable becomes a druid
11 Aug 06 |  North West Wales
Ioan joins the Welsh elite
04 Aug 03 |  Wales

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