By William Jones:
Presentation to the Cymanfa Ganu in Capel y Bwlan in 1974
Where is Bwlan? – This is a frequently asked question. It is the Calvinistic
Methodist Church in the Llandwrog district. It is not
far from the road that leads from Caernarfon to Pwllheli
and to the right of the place where the wall of Plas
y Bwlan in Llandwrog
Another question asked regularly is what does the name mean? It is supposed to
come from the small hill nearby in the shape of the
type of round basket that was used to contain corn.
The name was also applied to a leather strap used to
carry a burden on the back. This is surely the origin
of the local chapel’s name. It is not in the village
but somewhat apart, and it is said that the reason
for this was oppression by the aristocracy.
is full of ancient history and resonates with names
from the Mabinogion, Math son of Mathonwy.
Yonder, to the right of the chapel is Caer Arianrhod
and Dinas Dinlle where Lleu demonstrated to his mother
his skill and thereby was given his name by her. To
the right, across the side of the hill, are the remains
of the old Rhedynog Monastery that had, according to
tradition, a connection with Ystrad Fflur (Strata Florida).
Around there is a piece of land called 'Tir yr hen
(‘land of the old bachelors’), and Hengwrt
itself conveys the flavour of the Age of the Monasteries
It is not the ‘Land of
Nut-groves’, for the shore is not far with the sound
of waves on the beach. It
a land of flowers - "A
land of violets and posies, a land full of fruitfulness" and the bees singing their song as they gather honey in the woods and gardens
No-one knows how much
song came from the lips of the ‘Old Bachelors’, but
we know that song
and praise is
a tradition here and proof of this was heard on 8th
December 1974 when a Cymanfa Ganu (Hymn-singing Festival)
was held under the direction of Mr. Richie Thomas,
talented and mellifluous tenor from Penmachno. The
building was filled with local singers assembled
together for two hours of sweet singing by the choir
as solos by the director and the bass Mr Tal Griffith
of Llithfaen, whose health deteriorated under the
harsh conditions of the quarry.
A selection from this Cymanfa appear on this record.
I believe that the voices, the tunes and the rich
words which were sung so animatedly that night are
of hearing again as an echo of the Cymanfa in pleasant
It is a joy to present
it to you, and I count it as a privilege.