The Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture promotes and celebrates Cornwall’s distinctive cultural identity and Celtic heritage.
The Cornish equivalent of the Welsh Eisteddfod and Breton Gorsedd, it is held in Cornwall every year in the days surrounding the annual Gorsedh Kernow bardic ceremony.
The range of events is wide, open to the public and mostly free of charge, taking place in locations close to the current Gorsedh ceremony site.
Festival events usually include a Book Fair, a one-day conference, a ceilidh, a concert, a bi-lingual Sunday Evensong and the opportunity to try out a bit of the Cornish language for yourself.
Often there are talks, walks or demonstrations of local interest.
On Gorsedh Saturday itself, the impressive ceremony is augmented by colourful stalls on the Gorsedh Field. Here you may browse among stalls offering Cornish crafts, foods and drink, you can find information on local organisations and societies and also learn about Cornwall’s native language, Kernewek.
Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture, St Keverne
Wednesday 31st August – Sunday 4th September 2016
Wednesday 31st August
The Grand Bard’s chair will be on display in St Keverne Parish Church, The Square, St Keverne, TR12 6NE until Friday 2nd September. Free entry, but donations to the church welcome. There will also be a display of entries for the Gorsedh Young Peoples’ Awards.
Thursday 1st September
11am – 3pm Book launch & Cornish Book Fair @ St Keverne Parish Hall, Well Lane, St Keverne TR12 6LZ. Plus a series of short talks through the day. Free entry. Accessible for people with disabilities.
Gorsedh Kernow Awards
6pm Displays and video presentations @ St Keverne Parish Church, The Square, St Keverne, TR12 6NE.
7.30pm Presentation of Awards by Grand Bard Dr Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn, with performances and readings from winning entries.
Friday 2nd September, 2016
10am – 4.30pm Conference “Border At RIsk” @ St Keverne Parish Hall, Well Lane, St Keverne TR12 6LZ.
The Boundary Commission is currently reviewing Cornwall’s thousand year old border. This conference will explore the issues and make the case for keeping our border intact. Speakers include Tom Fidler, Dr John Kirkhope, Mark Owen – National Trails Officer South West Coastpath, Ian Saltern – Community Development Consultant and Dr Garry Tregidga – Institute of Cornish Studies.
Tickets £5 to include pasty lunch. All welcome. Pre-booking is advised on 01326 280 864. Free parking at Roskilly’s Field by St Keverne Band Room, TR12 6NG. Full access to St Keverne Parish Hall for people with disabilities.
7pm An Kerdh /The Walk – A Community Play by the Mullion Cornish Language Group. A lighthearted play, written by Ellen Moule, about Mary Kelynack’s walk to London for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
8pm Cornish Troyl/Ceilidh with Penzance Guizers
St Keverne Parish Hall, Well Lane, TR12 6LZ. Free. Parking at Roskilly’s Field by St Keverne Band Room, TR12 6NG.
Saturday 3rd September
Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Ceremony including installation of new bards. All welcome to attend, bring the family. Free entry.
11am Cornish stalls open @ St Keverne Playing Field, School Hill, St Keverne TR12 6NQ.
1.30pm Grand Procession of Bards from St Keverne Primary School, School Hill, St Keverne.
2pm Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Ceremony will take place @ St Keverne Playing Field, School Hill, St Keverne TR12 6NQ. Free entry. All welcome.
7pm Gala Concert @ St Keverne Parish Hall, Well Lane, St Keverne TR12 6LZ.
Tickets £5 on the door only. Parking at Roskilly’s Field by St Keverne Band Room. Full access for people with disabilities. With Maen Voes Choir, The An Gov Players, The An Gof Band and St Keverne Silver Band.
8.30pm Cornish singalong @ The White Hart Hotel, The Square, St Keverne. Led by Matthi Clarke. All welcome whether singers or not. Free. Full access for people with disabilities. Parking in The Square or at Roskilly’s Field by St Keverne Band Room.
Sunday 4th September
10.00am – 11.00am “Boden Vean prehistoric site and fogou” talk by James Gossip, Project Officer, Cornwall Council Archaeology Unit, @ Porthallow Village Hall, Porthallow, TR12 6PN followed by refreshments. Free. Full access for people with disabilities. Parking on beach outside hall.
11am – 1pm “Myttin Lowender” Cornish language taster session @ Porthallow Village Hall. Free. All welcome. Full access for people with disabilities. Carpark on beach outside.
3pm Evening Prayer in Cornish @ St Keverne Parish Church. Free with retiring collection for the church. All welcome. Entrance to St Keverne Parish Church is via the south door. Disabled access is via a path beside the Band Room which takes you into the churchyard and thence to the church.
Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos (Festival of Cornish Culture) is supported by St Keverne Parish Council, St Keverne Primary School, St Keverne Local History Society, St Keverne Parish Church, Robinson Reed Layton, Chough’s Brewery, Cornish Sea Salt Company and The White Hart.
(Please note some details of the Esedhvos programme may be subject to change. Please re-visit for the latest information)
The whole experience gives you the opportunity each year to visit one of Cornwall’s beautiful, historic but maybe lesser-known towns and to explore Cornwall’s heritage and culture in a friendly, happy atmosphere of celebration.
Do you have any queries or comments?
Would you like to take a stall on the Gorsedh Field or at the Book Fair?
Contact Pat Parkins, the Esedhvos Events Manager, either by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a text message or voicemail on our dedicated Esedhvos phoneline 077 621 69 733 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.