A Monmouth poet has been crowned this year’s Bard in the 40th annual Eisteddfod at Monmouth School for Girls, the last of the festivals in the current format. As the Girls’ and Boys’ schools come together from September 2024, the tradition will be kept alive in the new co-educational format.

14-year-old Lydia Picton-Trivett from Monmouth was crowned Bard for her outstanding Welsh-themed poem in the popular competition, which involved the entire girls’ school on St David’s Day.

The Crowning of the Bard is one of the most important events in an Eisteddfod, which celebrates the Welsh culture through music, drama and verse.

17-year-old Leonore Hoeffe from Germany carried off the Blue Riband trophy for her wonderful contribution in the music competition.

The Eisteddfod was a huge success as the students and teachers enjoyed a day’s celebration of music and culture. A highlight of the day was the return of Mr Mario Conway, previous Director of Music at Monmouth School for Girls, who made a special appearance to judge the competitive choir competition, joking that he had a taxi waiting outside to whisk him away after announcing the results to the eager and fiercely competitive House teams.

In subject competitions throughout the day, points were awarded to each house team with Imbert Terry winning the overall main House prize for a second year in a row. Mather Jackson finished second, Prosser third and Bagnall Oakeley, fourth.

Headmistress, Mrs Rachel Rees, said: “Our final Eisteddfod at Monmouth School for Girls did not disappoint. It was a memorable day filled with camaraderie and friendly rivalry as the houses battled it out for the House title. The morning competitions did not disappoint with ceramic clay dragons, a Welsh feast in Food Technology, cushions to make the Heads of Houses cry in Textiles and excellent team spirit throughout departments. We look forward to continuing the Eisteddfod tradition in the new Haberdashers Monmouth School.”

Monmouth Prep and Pre Prep Schools also held their own Eisteddfod with children entering Welsh cake, photography and craft competitions, alongside singing a variety of Welsh songs. Headmaster, Mr Neil Shaw judged the competitions and presented the winners with certificates.