Er Cof am Cranogwen – Commemorating Cranogwen

This article will be published in the Autumn/Winter edition of Ninnau, the North American Welsh Newspaper. English below the Welsh.

Coffáu Cranogwen

Mae Sarah Jane Rees, yn fwyaf adnabyddus wrth ei henw barddol Cranogwen, yn cael ei choffáu gan gerflun efydd yn ei phentref genedigol, Llangrannog, Ceredigion. Morwr, athrawes, bardd, newyddiadurwr, pregethwr ac ymgyrchydd oedd Cranogwen (1839-1916). Hi oedd y fenyw gyntaf i ennill y gadair yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Bydd y cerflun yn coffáu bywyd a llwyddiannau Cranogwen, gan godi ei phroffil ac ysbrydoli cenedlaethau’r dyfodol.

Mae criw o ferched lleol wedi ymuno ag ymgyrch Monumental Welsh Women i godi pum cerflun o bum Cymraes yng Nghymru yn y pum mlynedd nesaf. Mae cerflun o Betty Campbell eisoes wedi ei ddadorchuddio yng Nghaerdydd, yr un cyntaf o ddynes yn unrhyw le yng Nghymru. Mae bwriad i ddadorchuddio Cranogwen yn 2023. Cefnogir y prosiect gan grŵp llywio sy’n cynnwys Elin Jones AC, Helen Molyneux o Monumental Welsh Women a’r Athro Jane Aaron, sy’n ysgrifennu cofiant am Cranogwen.

Mae’r cerflunydd o Langrannog, Seb Boyesen, y mae ei waith yn enwog yn rhyngwladol ac yn cynnwys y cerflun o Sant Carannog yn Llangrannog, wedi’i gomisiynu i greu’r darn, ynghyd â mentorai o Goleg Sir Gâr. Mae dylunydd gerddi lleol wedi gwirfoddoli ei hamser, a bydd adeiladwyr lleol yn cael eu defnyddio i ailddatblygu gardd y pentref lle bydd Cranogwen yn sefyll. Bydd yn edrych tuag at ei bedd yn yr eglwys, a Chapel Banc y Felin, y bu iddi helpu i dalu amdano.

Mae’r prosiect bron â chodi’r targed o £70,000, ac mae’r tîm bellach yn canolbwyntio ar ddatblygu syniadau gyda’r gymuned (Sut ddylai hi edrych? Pa agweddau o’i bywyd ddylai’r cerflun eu cynrychioli? Beth ddylai fynd o’i chwmpas hi yn yr ardd?) a gwneud cais am arian grant i gefnogi’r prosiect ymhellach.

Ni ddaw’r prosiect i ben unwaith y bydd cerflun – y bwriad yw creu mwy o gyfleoedd megis llwybr hanes, digwyddiadau coffa ac addysgiadol, mwy o godi arian at achosion lleol a merched, cylchgrawn llenyddol, cysylltiadau â llong uchel gynlluniedig o’r enw Cranogwen allan o Aberaeron a bwrsari i fenyw ddysgu morwriaeth a mordwyaeth ar fwrdd y llong hon. Yn y modd hwn y gobaith yw y bydd ysbryd arloesol Cranogwen yn parhau i fyw ac yn annog eraill i weithio’n galed a chyflawni eu nodau, waeth pa mor anodd neu annhebygol y gallant ymddangos.

Os hoffech wybod mwy am y prosiect neu sut i gyfrannu, ewch i dudalen Cranogwen ar safle Pwyllgor Lles Llangrannog.

Sarah Jane Rees, best known by her bardic name of Cranogwen, is set to be commemorated by a bronze statue in her home village of Llangrannog, Ceredigion. Cranogwen (1839-1916) was a mariner, teacher, poet, journalist, preacher and campaigner. She was the first woman to win the chair at the National Eisteddfod. The statue will commemorate Cranogwen’s life and achievements, raising her profile and inspiring future generations.

A group of local women have joined the Monumental Welsh Women campaign to raise five statues of five Welsh women in Wales in the next five years. A statue of Betty Campbell has already been revealed in Cardiff, the first of a woman anywhere in Wales. Cranogwen is planned to be unveiled in 2023. The project is supported by a steering group including Elin Jones AM, Monumental Welsh Women’s Helen Molyneux and Professor Jane Aaron, who is writing a biography of Cranogwen.

Llangrannog sculptor Seb Boyesen, whose work is internationally renowned and includes the statue of St Carannog in Llangrannog, has been comissioned to create the piece, along with a female mentee from Coleg Sir Gâr. A local garden designer has volunteered her time, and local builders will be used to redevelop the village garden where Cranogwen will stand. She will look towards her grave in the church, and Banc y Felin Chapel, which she helped pay for.

The project is close to having raised the £75,000 target, and the team are now focusing on developing ideas with the community (What should she look like? What facets of her life should the statue represent? What should go around her in the garden?) and applying for grant money to further support the project.

The project will not end once there is a statue – the intention is to create more opportunities such as a history trail, commemorative and educational events, more fundraising for local and women’s causes, a literary journal, links with a planned tall ship called Cranogwen out of Aberaeron and a bursary for a female to learn seamanship and navigation aboard this ship. In this way it is hoped that Cranogwen’s pioneering spirit will live on and encourage others to work hard and achieve their goals, however difficult or unlikely they may seem.

If you would like to know more about the project or how to donate, please see the Cranogwen page on the Llangrannog Welfare Committee site.

Sarah Jane Rees – Cranogwen