Welsh history comes alive

Up to 5,000 schoolchildren across the country are due to attend a new festival which takes the form of lively, interactive one-man and one-woman shows held at heritage sites across Wales, throughout September – including the National Library of Wales (the Library).

On September 18, each pupil in years 5 and 6 from Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth will visit the Library to see a show based on Bishop William Morgan.  The pupils will get the opportunity to see the 1588 original copy of the bible – [Beibl] William Morgans’ bible, under the supervision of the Library’s Education Department.

One of the main attractions amongst visitors to the Education Department, is the first translation of the bible in its entirety, to the Welsh language.  It was published in 1588, and it could be argued that this is the most influential book in the history of the Welsh language, and foundation for the Welsh language in modern times.

Bishop William Morgan translated original Hebrew and Greek texts, and his Bible was a means of presenting the Scriptures to a nation that was, in large, in Welsh only. William Morgan created a translation that was completely true to the original by adjusting the poets’ classical language in a stylish and adroit form.

Only 1,000 Bibles were published in the first edition, and National Library of Wales is fortunate to have several copies of those that survived.

Owen Llywelyn, Education Projects Manager at the Library said:

“We are looking forward to welcome pupils from Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth to the Library for the performance.  As a Library, we are honoured to be one of the allocated locations forming part of this festival and we wish the new venture well.”

The performance is part of the Children’s Festival of Welsh History and Celtic warrior queen Boudicca, Tudor king Henry VII and rebel prince Owain Glyndŵr are among the characters brought to life in a brand new festival celebrating Wales’ rich heritage.

The Children’s Festival of Welsh History is the idea of Eleri Twynog Davies, founder and director of children’s theatre company ‘Mewn Cymeriad/In Character.’  

Eleri Twynog  said:

“Welsh history is rich with dynamic, charismatic characters and this festival offers a wonderful opportunity to introduce those characters and more to children via lively shows which will feed the imagination.”

For more information about the Festival, please contact Eleri Twynog Davies on
07891 383392 or eleritwynog@btinternet.com
Or for further information about the Library’s Education Department, please contact
Owen Llywelyn, Education Projects Manager on 01970 632 528 or owen.llywelyn@llgc.org.uk

Notes for Editors

  • The full timetable for the Children’s Festival of Welsh History is available at www.historyfestival.wales
  • Gŵyl Hanes on Twitter
  • The Bishop William Morgan show, as part of the festival, has previously visited Byd Mary Jones World in Bala, and following the visit to the Library, will visit Wybrnant, birth place of Bishop William Morgan.
  • The festival is being held in association with Cadw; the National Trust; Amgueddfa Cymru - National Musuem of Wales; National Library of Wales; Owain Glyndŵr Centre; Cardigan Castle; Byd Mary Jones World; Welsh language initiative groups in Flint, Pembrokeshire and Denbigh; Tenby Museum and the Cultural Community unit at Gwynedd County Council.