Gorsedh Padstow 2023 “Esedhvos 2023” weekend

The parade of bards at Gorsedh Kernow is a colourful highlight every year

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In Brief

Name: Gorsedh Padstow 2023 (Gorsedh Kernow 2023) and Esedhvos 2023
Date: Esedhvos 2023 is Friday 1-Sunday 3 September 2023. Gorsedh 2023 is specifically on Saturday 2 September 2023
Time: See below for full event times and details. The grand parade begins at 1.30pm on the Saturday and Gorsedh 2023 is from 2pm
Type: Traditional Cornish bards ceremony and parade, plus a weekend dedicated to Cornish culture and heritage
Suitable for: History buffs, Cornish speakers and all who love the Duchy!
Location: Various venues in Padstow. See below for full venue details…
Price: Free, mostly. See below…


Esedhvos 2023 is an important time for Gorsedh Kernow, an organisation made up of Cornish bards that dates back to 1928. This long weekend every year is a chance for the public to see the bards in parade, to learn more about the organisation and to toast Cornish culture and history from years gone by and in the present day.

The weekend changes venue across Cornwall every year. Last year, for instance, it was held in Hayle. But this year, between Friday 1 and Sunday 3 September 2023, it is in Padstow. And anyone, from any culture or background, is welcome to enjoy the festivities.

One of the highlights of the 2023 Esedhvos weekend is the Gorsedh ceremony 2023 itself, which takes place on Saturday 2 September 2023. This ceremony was previously known as the ‘Open Gorsedh’ and this is where the Cornish bards can be seen by the public. It has been held every single year since 1928.

Where can you see Gorsedh Padstow 2023? Well, you can see the Grand Procession of the Bards 2023 from 1.30pm on Saturday 2 September 2023. The procession begins from St Petroc’s Church (Padstow Church) in Church Street and goes all the way to the Bardic Circle that lies in the grounds of the Prideaux Place grade I listed Elizabethan country house off Tregirls Lane. From 2pm, the Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Ceremony 2023 takes place in the grounds of Prideaux Place. Again, anyone can enjoy this spectacle!

Gorsedh Kernow exists to ‘maintain and give expression to’ the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall. This includes ‘fostering good relations between Cornwall and other Celtic countries’ and ‘encouraging study and use of the Cornish language’. The bardic ceremonies really do reflect this devotion to Cornwall and its Celtic spirit.

Young girls dressed in green dresses dance with wreaths inside a hall at Gorsedh Kernow. They will dance at Gorsedh Padstow 2023 as part of the bard's celebrations
Traditional dances performed by youngsters in Cornwall are a highlight of this celebration every year

What is happening at Esedhvos 2023 in Padstow? Here is your rundown for the weekend:

Friday 1 September 2023:
9am-7pm at St Petroc’s Church: Exhibition of work submitted for the 2023 Gorsedh Awards programme in 2023. Anyone can go and admire all sorts of great local works.
10am-12midday at Padstow Social Club: A seminar opens the weekend entitled “How can we work together for a stronger Cornish culture and what role do we want the Gorsedh to have in the future?”
2pm at Padstow Social Club: A special free screening of the film ‘King for a Day’. This was made by Barbara Santi and people from Padstow.
4pm at Padstow Social Club: A ‘get-together for Cornish speakers, learners and would-be learners’ called ‘Koffi, Korev ha Keskows’.
7pm at St Petroc’s Church: The 2023 Gorsedh Awards programme’s Award Ceremony.

Saturday 2 September 2023:
12midday-6pm at Prideaux Place: Gorsedh 2023 Infofair. We made that name up but, basically, it’s a collection of stalls manned by Cornish culture and heritage organisations where experts can answer questions.
1pm at Prideaux Place: Cornish wrestling! There’s nothing quite like this sport. Plus, there’s a new book on the subject that is available on site as well.
From 1.30pm at St Petroc’s Church and then Prideaux Place: Gorsedh Padstow 2023. See above for all the details you need to know on this Cornish bard parade and ceremony.

Sunday 3 September 2023:
3pm at St Petroc’s Church: Gorsedh Evensong in Cornish inside the stunning 15th century church. Enjoy the work of Padstow‘s bell-ringers ahead of a colourful service that will close out Esedhvos 2023.

And that’s it for 2023. Enjoy a slice of true Cornish tradition in Padstow this year. Here’s to our Celtic roots!