Eisteddfod: Further Information


In English

Edwards, Hywel Teifi (ed.) (1990) The Eisteddfod. Cardiff: University of Wales Press (Writers Of Wales series), ISBN 0-7083-1073-7, £3.50 p/b.
“A short study of the history of the National Eisteddfod in Wales.”

Miles, Dillwyn (1977) The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales. Swansea: Christopher Davies, ISBN?, 172pp, illus. (B&W), £?
Out of print.

Miles, Dillwyn (ed.) (1992) The Secret Of The Bards Of The Isle Of Britain. Llandybie: Gwasg Dinefwr, ISBN 0951992600, 248pp, illus. (B&W), £15.00 h/b.
“The first account in English of the origins, annals and activities of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain during its first 200 years [of] history. Black-and-white photographs and illustrations.”

In Welsh

Edwards, Hywel Teifi (ed.) (1976) Eisteddfod. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 0-7083-1073-7, 85pp, £5.00 h/b.
“A volume to celebrate the eight-hundredth anniversary of the National Eisteddfod (1176–1976), summarising the history of the Eisteddfod over eight centuries.”

Richardson, Eric (1987) Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Cardiff: Gwasg y Dref Wen (Cynllun y Porth series), ISBN 094696212X, £3.65 h/b.


Davies, Rhian A. (2001) Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: The National Eisteddfod new! CYFRES CIP AR GYMRU / WONDER WALES: EISTEDDFOD GENEDLAETHOL, YR / NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD, THE ISBN 1843230305 Price(GBP) 1.95 Publisher Gwasg Gomer City Llandysul Pages 24 Size A5 Author Rhian A. Davies Editor General Editor Translator Illustrator Publication Date of this Edition 08/2001 Reprint N Medium Paperback Language Bilingual Category History, Welsh Life and Customs, Local History, Folk Tales (W) Sub Category Welsh Life and Customs (W) Key Stage Age Group Availability In print and in stock Content Description A bilingual, fully colour illustrated booklet comprising interesting information about the history and development of the National Eisteddfod of Wales from 1176 until today. 18 colour and 3 black-and-white illustrations. A review from, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council: The work divides into three main sections. The first part gives an introduction to the present-day festival, showing its huge relevancy to modern Welsh life, and including many interesting facts: 6,000 competitors take part every year; 160,000 people attend the festival; caravan and camping grounds stretch over 110 acres of land; bands such as Catatonia, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Super Furries have all played there. The second section is a historical overview, beginning with the first Eisteddfod, Lord Rhys’s Cardigan Eisteddfod of 1176, following on through the establishing of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain by Iolo Morganwg (a band of poets and musicians who marched in full Druidic regalia through Carmarthen town in 1810 on their first appearance in Wales), and into the twentieth century when Cynan put his own theatrical stamp on the ceremonies. The third section defines the working of the Eisteddfod and Gorsedd of today, but also mentions local eisteddfodau, as well as the Urdd National Eisteddfod and the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.


The official National Eisteddfod website can be found at, complete with webcam and webcasts. It’s one of those very glossy sites, a little more informative than it used to be, but still light on content and heavy on meaningless images that take ages to load. The site features webcasts of the main ceremonies.

A more informative set of pages can be found at It was produced for the 2002 Eisteddfod at St Davids, but contains much interesting information about the Eisteddfod in general. new!

An excellent introduction to the Eisteddfod has appeared on the Catchphrase website at The BBC also has some detailed historical background (in Welsh) in the form of a commemoration of the last 100 years of the National Eisteddfod at

There is also some interesting information at and (though it’s a bit hard on the eyes!).

There are surprisingly few pictures of the Eisteddfod to be found on the Web. Gwybodiadur has some photos from the 2001 Eisteddfod at Denbigh (Dinbych), along with a few from Llangefni 1999, and I notice that there are some pictures at (Llanelli 2000).

Pictures of the 2002 Eisteddfod (St Davids) now online. new!


The Eisteddfod gets huge media coverage, at least within Wales. But of course geography means less these days, with satellites and the internet and what have you. BBC TV, S4C, Radio Cymru and Radio Wales will give it many hours of coverage. Outside Wales, you’d hardly know that a major cultural festival was taking place in Britain. No doubt the thin coverage is not unconnected with the fact that, after all, everything in the Eisteddfod takes place in a foreign language. At least, that’s the BBC’s excuse.

I don’t have exact details of what will be broadcast when on what channels, but there should be plenty available online for those outside Wales. An eisteddfod webcam, as well as webcasts of the the main events, can be found at the Eisteddfod website ( for details of webcasts). I suggest keeping an eye on the BBC Cymru, Radio Cymru and and S4C sites, not to mention the new Eisteddfod page of the BBC online Welsh news service at Cymry’r Byd new!. Radio Cymru can be received live on

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© 2000–2002 Harry Campbell
Last updated: August 2002