Archdruid's Robe and Regalia

Archdruid Brinli (1972-75); Brinley Richards.
Archdruid Brinli (1972-75); Brinley Richards.

When an new Archdruid is installed he is invested with the sceptre, crown, breastplate and ring of his office.

Clwydfardd, the first Archdruid wore a hat like a bishop's mitre with the Mystic Mark on it in Caernarfon in 1894, but the new Herald Bard, Arlunydd Pen-y-garn and the designer Professor Hubert Herkomer disapproved of this head-dress. Herkomer wrote:

'I am at work upon the entire costume for the Arch Druid; making the whole of the ornaments, Breastplate � and Tiara with oakleaves - all, with the exception of the oakleaves of pure, solid gold. W. Mansel Lewis and I present it to the Gorsedd, bearing all expense together.'

For his designs Herkomer researched early engravings of mythological 'Archdruids', among them the picture of the 'archdruid' in Henry Rowlands's Mona Antiqua Restaurata, 1723. Herkomer's new robe, crown and breastplate were ready for the Newport Proclamation Ceremony in 1896 and he took pride in his contribution:

'Fortunately the love of the picturesque has not been eradicated from man's nature. � for an arch druid to be wrongly dressed, that is too dreadful to contemplate. I am happy to think that such a calamity has been, for all times, averted. The Gorsedd with its chief must above all be distinctive in its outer appearance as well as in its inner spiritual being.'

Dyfed was the first Archdruid to wear a stola, with the eye of the sun and its rays, a rampant red dragon and a dove emblazoned on it, in 1911.

The Archdruid's sceptre, designed by Arlunydd Pen-y-garn and made by Messrs Spencer and Co., London was presented by Revd C.E.Wright, vicar of Bexley in Kent, in the Colwyn Bay Gorsedd in 1910.

Then in Wrexham, 1912, Mrs Laurence Brodrick (Gwendolen), of Abergele, donated a pendant to the Archdruid.

The ring with seal, designed by Douglas Williams, Fine Art lecturer at the Normal College, Bangor was presented by Principal H.Humphreys-Jones, Liverpool.

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