Culture

Cranogwen statue hits £20,000 fundraising target

22 Nov 2021 2 minutes Read
Cranogwen. Picture by the National Library of Wales

A fundraiser launched to build a statue of the trailblazing poet and journalist Sarah Jane Rees has hit its £20,000 target.

The fundraiser for Rees – better known by her bardic name ‘Cranogwen’ as she was from Llangrannog, Ceredigion – on GoFundMe garnered over 200 donations.

The money is needed to build a life-size bronze statue of Cranogwen – referred to by Professor Deirdre Beddoe as “the most outstanding Welsh woman of the nineteenth century”.

She was at various times during the 19th century a mariner, poet, teacher, journalist, preacher and political campaigner.

Responding to hitting the target, the fundraising team organised by Anne-Marie Bollen, a resident of Llangrannog, said it was “excellent news” and sent out a “heartfelt thank you”.

“The more money we can raise the better the monument we can produce to truly reflect our formidable pioneering heroine – so please keep on giving and we’ll make sure every penny is spent on paying a fitting tribute to Cranogwen,” they said.

“It’s now agreed that the statue will be sited at the community garden, thanks to Pwyllgor Lles Llangrannog Welfare Committee, next door to Bancyfelin Chapel where she was not only a member, but she contributed towards the building costs after touring America lecturing.

“If you have any information, stories or anecdotes about Cranogwen or indeed you might be a relative, then it would be fantastic to hear from you.”

Cost

The work is supported by Monumental Welsh Women who have set out to build five statues of Welsh women in Wales.

Cranogwen was one of five Welsh women who were part of a public vote to erect a statue of a Welsh woman in Central Square, Cardiff.

The competition was ultimately won by Betty Campbell, Wales’ first black headteacher who championed her nation’s multicultural heritage throughout her life. Her statue was unvailed in September.

As well as Betty Campbell and Cranogwen, Elizabeth Andrews, Elaine Morgan and Margaret Haig Thomas (Lady Rhondda) also made the shortlist.

Monumental Welsh Women has already received £100,000 towards the cost of the statues from Welsh Government but said that each statue would probably cost £75,000 to build.

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