There are many stone circles in Wales often in parks or fields in fact you'll be surprised how many you'll see in towns and villages. But all is not as it seems, often these stones are modern in origin this is because we are still raise stone circles today. The photo above shows Druid Close, Ton Pentre. These stones can be found in many places in Wales, known as "Gorsedd" Stones. They are raised when the town hosts the National Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod is an annual festival of arts, competitions are held for poetry, singing and various other arts.
The Eisteddfod (pronunciation : eye steth vod with the "th" sounding like the th in "the") is the major national festival of Wales. The first recorded Eisteddfod was held in Aberteifi (Cardigan) in 1176. This was grand affair with entrants not only from Wales but from Scotland and Ireland too. These were held regularly in medieval Wales. In 1568 Queen Elizabeth I granted bards special licenses to distinguish them from your everyday vagabond. After a period of irregular meetings a more the Eisteddfod started to be held regularly after 1789 due to the efforts of a Thomas Jones of Corwen. It's biggest revival however came in 1880 when the National Eisteddfod Association came into being and it has been held regularly ever since. One of the features of the Eisteddfod is that it will not be held when the country is at war. In the opening ceremony the officiating druids ask if there is peace in the land if there is then the Eisteddfod if not then the festivities do not happen. The festival is administered and run by the Gorsedd which is a pseudo druidic order. The gorsedd goes back to the Victorian druidic revival and it's ceremonies are a Victorian creation. The circle below is an example of the activities of the revivalists. It was created by a local watchmaker Evan Evans better known by his druidic name Myfyr Morganwg. At the equinoxes the druids of Pontypridd would meet at the stone and perform their newly "re-discovered" ceremonies. The circle is known as the Rocking Stone as if you put pressure on the Eastern side of the top slab it rocks slightly.
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