The Hedd Wyn Festival


On September 9th to 10th the park was host to the Hedd Wyn Festival, a commemorative event in honor of the posthumous winner of the 1917 Welsh National Eisteddfod, which was held in Birkenhead Park. The event was host to many notable Welsh personalities, politicians and artists including, Dr Hew Edwards who gave a lecture on David Lloyd George, Professor Robert Lee who gave a lecture in English on Belgian refugees and the creator of the Black Chair, Eugeen Vanfleteren, Professor D. Ben Rees who gave a lecture in Welsh on the Birkenhead Welsh, as well as many Choirs and bands.

“Hedd Wyn (born Ellis Humphrey Evans, 13 January 1887 – 31 July 1917) was a Welsh-language poet who was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I. He was posthumously awarded the bard’s chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod. Evans, who had been awarded several chairs for his poetry, was inspired to take the bardic name Hedd Wyn (Welsh: blessed peace) from the way sunlight penetrated the mist in the Meirionnydd valleys. Born in the village of Trawsfynydd, North Wales, Evans wrote much of his poetry while working as a shepherd on his family’s hill farm. His style, which was influenced by romantic poetry, was dominated by themes of nature and religion. He also wrote several war poems following the outbreak of war on the Western Front in 1914.”

The park holds the National Eisteddfod stone (or Logan Stone) to remember the influential poet, this can be seen year round in the lower park by the cricket club.

We where very fortunate to be a part of this celebration and would like to thank all of the staff involved in making it a wonderful experience for everyone who came to pay their respects and learn more about the life of Hedd Wyn.