The Pan-Celtic Association

A number of delegates from Celtic countries attended the National Eisteddfod at Llandudno in 1896 and two years later, at the National at Blaenau Ffestiniog, there were proposals for a Pan-Celtic Congress to bring together representatives from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany. During the 1890s, the Irish, Scots and Bretons had formed organisations who arranged annual events similar to Eisteddfodau. Three Congresses were organised (Dublin in 1901, Caernarfon in 1904 and Edinburgh in 1907) and a magazine, Celtica, was published between 1900 and 1908. Some delegates to these meetings wore special ‘national’ costumes and those at the Caernarfon congress were recorded by the local photographer, John Wickens. They included men and women in special costumes from Llanover where Lady Llanover’s daughter, Lady Augusta Herbert had retained harpists and provided them with costumes. The other Celtic countries developed ‘national’ costumes at this time, except for Brittany whose traditional costume was still in use.

The Association was revived in 1917 at the Birkenhead Eisteddfod and continues to meet.

Loffler, Marion, A Book of Mad Celts, John Wickens and the Celtic Congress of Caernarfon, 1904, (2000)