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Gorsedd of Bards ceremony takes place at National Eisteddfod

11 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Nicola Saffman at the Gorsedd of Bards ceremony.

A large crowd gathered on the Eisteddfod Maes today to watch 50 people dressed in blue and green robes be inducted as members of the Gorsedd of Bards.

Overnight rain had cleared which allowed the colourful ceremony to take place around the Gorsedd circle on the Maes at Boduan near Pwllheli.

Archdruid of Wales, Myrddin ap Dafydd carried out the ceremony which included Dwyfor Meirionnydd AS Mabon ap Gwynfor, drag artist Kristoffer Hughes, Archbishop Andrew John and many who have given a lifetime of unstinting service to their local communities.

Nicola Saffman and Kristoffer Hughes before the Gorsedd of Bards ceremony


Crown Court Judge Nicola Saffman, who is from Manchester and who had no connection the Welsh language when she moved here more than 25 years ago, quickly learned Welsh.

She was deputy coroner for 20 years and held many inquests in Welsh.

Nicola was appointed a Crown Court Judge in 2019 and understands the need to support the Welsh language in the courts.

She said: “It’s was a terrific privilege to be asked to become a member of the Gorsedd. The fact I have been asked to become a member of the Gorsedd, a girl from Manchester, shows how inclusive the Eisteddfod and the Gorsedd has become and that can only be a good thing.

“And I’m thrilled my friend Kristoffer Hughes is becoming a member of the Gorsedd at the same time. I worked with him as a coroner for many years.”


Mari Lloyd Pritchard has had a successful Eisteddfod with her choirs, Cor Ieuenctid Mon winning one choral competition and coming second in another this week.

She is honoured for the contribution she has made to the world of music and youth work in Wales at a local, regional and national level.

Unfortunately her mother was unable to attend the ceremony due to a recent illness.

“But I’ve had a video call with her and she has seen me in the bardic robes. It means a lot to me that I had the musical background from my parents and become a member of the Gorsedd means a lot to me,” she said.

Mabon ap Gwynfor is the AS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and as a principled campaigner he is well known for his anti-war beliefs and passionate advocate for peace.

He said: “Many people who I admire are already members and joining them is a huge honour.”

The Archbishop of Wales, the Right Rev Andrew John, was also inducted into the Gorsedd of Wales.


His national Food and Fuel project, where he engaged with supermarkets and the Welsh Government to support people during the cost of living crisis, remains close to his heart.

Before the ceremony he said: “The Gorsedd have recognised the importance of the project and I am delighted to become a member of the Gorsedd.”

As a member of the Bishops’ Bench he is responsible for the Welsh language and he supports the Church in Wales Welcome Course which encourages new clergy to learn Welsh.

The ceremony, and the Chairing of the Bard on Friday afternoon, were the last for Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd who hands over to Mererid Hopwood next June during the Proclamation Ceremony ahead of the 2025 Eisteddfod in Wrexham.

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