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The National Library of Wales at the Urdd Eisteddfod


Hedd Wyn will be the theme for The National Library of Wales stand at the Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, Taf ac Elái 2017 Urdd Eisteddfod, which this year will be held near Bridgend.

The stand’s content and activities will commemorate the life of the poet from Trawsfynydd and the centenary of his death on July 31st, 1917.

Visitors to the Library’s stand will have an opportunity to view:

  • Yr Arwr: a copy of Hedd Wyn’s winning ode in the 1917 National Eisteddfod;
  • The Black Chair: a full-sized 3D replica of the chair Hedd Wyn won in Birkenhead

Throughout the week the National Library of Wales Education Service will deliver activities on the stand, and provide free resources on Hedd Wyn and the First World War.

Ann McKechin Executive Officer and Trustee ScottishPower Foundation said:

“We are delighted to have worked in partnership with the National Library of Wales over the last three years, and now funding this exciting project commemorating the centenary of the tragic death at the battle of Passchendaele of Hedd Wyn, a Welsh icon. The launch at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Bridgend will be followed by a number of educational workshops held at his birthplace as well as information packs for all secondary schools in Wales so the younger generation can appreciate the power of poetry."

Rhodri Morgan, The National Library of Wales Education Service Manager said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming children and their families to our stand to see two items that are integral to an important story in modern Welsh history. The story of Hedd Wyn’s life and death has inspired authors, poets and film makers alike, and to many Welsh people it is symbolic of a talented generation that was lost during the First World War. We are garteful to Snowdonia National Park for allowing us to exhibit the replica of the Black Chair on the Library’s stand”

The ScottishPower Foundation has provided funding for the National Library of Wales to deliver a series of projects in 2017 to commermorate the death of Hedd Wyn, which includes the National Library of Wales stand at the 2017 Urdd Eisteddfod, and free educational resources that will be distributed during the week.

Further information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or


Yr Arwr facsimile / Facsimile of the Yr Arwr
The facsimile of the poem was created by The National Library to be used in workshops delivered by the Education Service. It is a copy of the manuscript, in the poet’s own hand, that won him the chair at the Birkenhead National Eisteddfod following his death in 1917. The manuscript consists of 25 pages that include corrections in pencil. This was his personal copy, and noted on the last page is the nom de plume he chose originally, ‘Y Palm Bell’. It appears that he changed his alias to ‘Fleur-de-lis’ shortly before posting the ode from the village of Fléchin in northern France in July 1917.

The Black Chair replica / Replica of the Black Chair
The chair was designed and made by the woodcarver and war refugee Eugeen Vanfleteren from Mechelen, Belgium. It is carved with Celtic ribbons that intertwine and Welsh dragons that stand strong on the arms. After the Eisteddfod it was transported on a train and by horse and cart from Birkenhead to the home of Hedd Wyn in Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd. The chair has come to represent the many empty chairs in in Welsh homes, and the generation of promising young men that were lost in The First World War. The Welsh Government has funded a partnership of Cardiff University, National Museum Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority, to use the latest 3D printing technology to create a full size replica of the Gadair Ddu.

ScottishPower Foundation
ScottishPower Foundation is a registered Scottish charity (SC043862) and a company limited by guarantee (SC445116). Registered Office: 320 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5AD.
The Foundation provides funding to registered charities and non-profit organisations for the following purposes:

  • the advancement of education
  • the advancement of environmental protection
  • the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science
  • the prevention or relief of poverty and the relief of those in need by reason of disability or other disadvantage
  • the advancement of citizenship and community development.

Decisions to award funding by the ScottishPower Foundation are made independently of ScottishPower by an experienced Board of Trustees who have a special interest in the above areas.