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The pavilion plays a central role in the National Eisteddfod as the main venue for competing, and has been the focal point of the Maes for over 150 years. Over the years there have been pavilions of all kinds - tents, wooden buildings and the iconic pink pavilion.

As well as the singing, recitation, instrumental, dancing and acting competitions, the pavilion is also home to concerts, services and ceremonies. In the past, English was part of the activities, and was heard on the Eisteddfod stage, but following the constitution in 1952 the official language of the Eisteddfod was Welsh only.

Some of the main Eisteddfod prizes, which include the Gorsedd ceremony, are the Crowning of the Bard, the Prose Medal and the Chairing of the Bard. The Crown is awarded for a pryddest, a long poem or sequence of poems in free metre; the Prose Medal for a volume of prose; and the Chair for the best ode in strict metre.

Posted: 02-11-2022

Questions to discuss

  • What sort of competitions are in the Eisteddfod?
  • Why give a chair as a prize?
  • Are there symbols on the chairs?
  • Is there a meaning behind the design?
  • Why is the 1917 Eisteddfod Chair called the Black Chair?


  • Create a design for this year's Eisteddfod Chair.
  • Design a chair as a tribute to Hedd Wyn.
  • Run a poetry competition.
  • Re-create the chairing of the bard ceremony.

Learning experiences

(derived from the statements of what matters)

  • Understanding the past
  • Interpret sources and information
  • Social and cultural importance
  • Identity
  • Similarity and social differentiation
  • Changes over time
Languages, Literacy and Communication
  • Language and belonging
  • Listen and understand
  • Read words and text
  • Using imagination
Expressive Arts
  • Understand context in creative works
  • Convey ideas
  • Representing personal, social
  • Exploring purpose and meaning
  • Develop and refine designs

The National Eisteddfod's main competitions

The Chair

The prize for the best awdl (strict meter poem) under 300 lines.

The Crown

The prize for the best pryddest (long poem) or sequence of poems in free verse.

The Literature Medal

The prize for the best volume of prose (prose is found in novels, essays, articles etc).

More competitions

  • The Drama Medal
  • Llwyd o'r Bryn Memorial Award
  • Syr T.H. Parry-Williams Medal
  • W. Towyn Roberts Scolarship
  • The Musician's Trophy
  • Learner of the Year Trophy
  • David Ellis Memorial Award
  • Richard Burton Award
  • Daniel Owen Memorial Award
  • Osborne Roberts Memorial Award
  • Science and Technology Medal
  • Welsh album of the year

Digital exhibition