The 2018 Brecon and Radnorshire Urdd National Eisteddfod Chair and Crown have been revealed for the very first time.

The crown was gifted to the Eisteddfod by Builth Wells High School at a special launch event at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on Wednesday evening.

The chair was gifted by the Royal Welsh Agriculture Society (RWAS), on whose site the Eisteddfod will be held on May 28 to June 2.

The two main poetry prizes up for grabs at the Urdd Eisteddfod are the chair and the crown.

Builth Wells High School pupils designed the crown and took inspiration from the area, with oak leaves and daffodils. The place names in Brecon and Radnor have been engraved with red kite wings on the back of the crown.

The Eisteddfod yr Urdd tradition may go back almost 90 years, but the winner of the Eisteddfod chair this year will be taking home not only a part of that old tradition but a part of something altogether more ancient.

The creator of the chair is Gwilym Morgan from Llanfilo near Brecon, whose company Morgans of Pontybat, produces handcrafted furniture. When he was commissioned to make the chair, he decided to use a very special piece of timber he’d had in his possession for almost 15 years.

“Around 15 years ago I acquired a piece of old yew from a mill that supplies me with wood. It’s originally from a churchyard in Welshpool,” he explains.

“I had it dated, and it’s around a thousand years old. It’s a beautiful piece of wood, but yew is quite awkward to work with – it’s full of shapes and knots and contours. You have to work with the timber and that’s what I’ve done for this design. I’ve paired it with brown Welsh oak and I think the contrast works well.”

“I worked closely with the Royal Welsh Agriculture Society (RWAS) on the design, which is based on an old throne chair from the 16th century – it’s basically a high-backed armchair design,” says Gwilym.

“It’s quite a simple and rustic design, to reflect the rural nature of Brecon and Radnor. I’ve enjoyed the process, it’s been a lot of work but a real labour of love.”

For Dan Cuthbertson, creating a crown was more than a slight departure from his usual creations. Dan is a product designer for Cerebra Innovations Centre which is a part of the charity Cerebra, where he designs and makes bespoke equipment for children with brain conditions, to enable them to live fuller lives.

The crown is presented this year by Builth Wells High School and was designed by the pupils themselves. Dan’s sister works at the school and knew that he was the man for the job even though it meant acquiring a new skillset especially for it.

“Our usual work in Cerebra involves solving everyday problems and creating products to help children – from cutlery to building a race boat. I’d never worked with some of the materials used to make the crown before and so I had to learn new skills and crafts. The crown is made out of copper, brass, silver and oak, most of them new material to me.

"It’s a beautiful design and I feel incredibly honoured to have been asked to make the crown for the Urdd Eisteddfod.”