Yr Ysgwrn can mean different things for different people. Previous visitors have been inspired to visit Hedd Wyn’s home for various reasons, be it to see the Bardic Chairs, learn about sustainable farming or simply to experience what life would be like at the turn of the twentieth century. We follow five main themes at Yr Ysgwrn to enhance visitor experience and understanding, choose to focus on any of them during your visit should you wish.
The life and poetic legacy of Hedd Wyn – The fact Hedd Wyn succeeded to win the National Eisteddfod chair is an achievement in itself, and a tribute to his natural talent as a poet. Even at the turn of the twentieth century, scholars usually would have been the cream of the crop and not a farmer’s son from a Meirionnydd homestead. Yr Ysgwrn is a chance to celebrate all aspects of his life; his poetic genius from a young age, his upbringing in the agricultural society and a chance to reflect on his last tragic journey to the trenches.
The First World War and its context – Yr Ysgwrn is a place to reflect on the sacrifice so many thousands gave during the Great War. To us, Hedd Wyn is a symbol of all men on all sides who lost their lives. Here you have a chance to reflect on their loss and the effect on the whole community whilst thinking about the contrast of everyday lives between the fields of home and the fields of Flanders.
The bardic tradition and the Welsh language and culture – There are some real treasures at Yr Ysgwrn that represents centuries of the bardic tradition in Wales. Hedd Wyn is just one figure in a lineage that stretches back to the first chairing, possibly in 1176! Not only do the books, poems and chairs represent the bardic tradition in Wales, but also one of the oldest language and cultures in Europe.
The social history of rural Wales at the turn of the C20 – It is important to remember that Hedd Wyn came from a large family. He had many brothers and sisters and each one has a story of their own to tell. Yr Ysgwrn is a place to reflect on the way of life at the time; should that be emigrating to find a new life abroad working in a gold mine, attending a college to learn new skills or simply staying to work on the farm. Hedd Wyn’s family has a story for everyone!
Agricultural heritage and sustainable land use – Hedd Wyn’s family farmed Yr Ysgwrn for many generations before his nephew, Mr Gerald Williams, sold the farm to the Snowdonia National Park Authority in 2012. It was hard to make a living here on the Trawsfynydd hillside so the family had to be as self-sustainable as possible. Moving forward, this is a chance for the Authority to practice sustainable land use to protect the environment whilst continuing to maintain it as a working farm through a tenancy agreement.