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Statue of the Little Girl - Cerflun y Ferch Fach

"The Memory of the Kymric Dead"
W. Goscombe John

Llansannan /  Statue of the Little Girl - Cerflun y Ferch Fach   Llansannan /  Statue of the Little Girl - Cerflun y Ferch Fach


Bronze statue of seated girl with long hair wearing cloak and holding a floral garland in both hands. She is Seated on a stepped plinth in front of an inscribed obelisk listing names of five distinguished writers born in the parish.


tvdvr aled

william salesbvry

henry rees

gwilym hiraethog

iorwerth glan aled

Signed: (almost unreadable, but obviously:) w. goscombe john 1899


The statue was unveiled on 23 May 1899. The Wrexham Advertiser reports on 27 May 1899:
The Memory of the Kymric Dead
The little village of Llansannan, in the county of Denbigh, will to-morrow (said the Manchester Guardian on Monday) be the scene of a ceremony of a character that is all too rare in Wales. A monument erected in memory of five eminent Welshmen born in the neighbourhood will be unveiled, with all the circumstance which an enterprising local committee can command. It is Bad, however, to think that the one man to whom above all the idea of the Llansannan Memorial is due will not be there to grace the occasion. Although it is Mr H. E. Kearley, M.P., a resident on the slopes of Mount Hiraethog, who gave Mr Goscombe John the commission to execute the monument, it was the late Mr Thomas Ellis who originally suggested its erection. To him "the memory of the Kymric dead" to quote the title of one of his public addresses was an inspiration and a passion. He never tired of exhorting his countrymen to do all they could to perpetuate the memory of their great dead, and no one deplored more than he the poverty of Wales in public monuments. Now that he himself is of the number of those "Kymric dead" whose name and work live after them, it is to be hoped that some portion of the fund which is now being raised for a memorial of him will be devoted to the erection of a statue near his home. He himself, one may be permitted to believe and to say, would have liked it. The five worthies whose memory will be honoured at Llansannan, to-morrow, are, with one exception, men whose fame is strictly confined to Wales and Welshmen. Three of them were preachers and three were poets, but they preached and sang alike in Welsh, and in Welsh only The exception is William Salesbury, the translator of the New Testament into Welsh. …

Mr John has not attempted anything in the way of portraiture, but has chosen instead the simple figure of a little Welsh girl in Welsh costume, seated on a pedestal of stone, and engaged in making a wreath of flowers. It is supposed to be typical of Welsh rural life, and is said by those who saw it unveiled on Tuesday to make an exquisite picture.
The monument stands on a plot of grass at a point where the road forks. The ceremony was, by rare good fortune, favoured with comparatively fine weather. The draperies which veiled Mr John's work were released by Mrs Herbert Roberts, and a public meeting was then held in an adjoining field.

The writer had right on suggesting Thomas Ellis will get his own statue, it is erected in Bala in 1903. "The Memory of the Kymric Dead" is the title of Ellis's famous lecture at Bangor in 1892.

The Five Writers

  1. Tudur Aled (Llansannan c. 1465 - Carmarthen 1525) was a late medieval Welsh poet, (Wikipedia).
  2. William Salesbury also Salusbury (Llansannan c. 1520 - c. 1584), leading Welsh scholar of the Renaissance and the principal translator of the 1567 Welsh New Testament (Wikipedia).
  3. Henry Rees (Llansannan 1797 - Benarth , near Conwy 1869), the most famous minister among the Calvinistic Methodists (Welsh Biography Online).
  4. Gwilym Hiraethog, born William Rees (Llansannan 1802 - Chester 1883), minister, writer editor, and political leader (Welsh Biography Online). Henry and William Rees were brothers and are honoured by two chapels bearing their names in the village.
  5. Iorwerth Glan Aled, born Edward Roberts (Llansannan 1819 - Rhyl 1867), Baptist minister and poet. (Welsh Biography Online).

Llansannan / Statue of the Little Girl - Cerflun y Ferch Fach

The Girl

The origin of "The Girl" remains unclear with different stories recounting that she was from the village or that she was related to a wealthy local family (the Morris's of Llety'r Eos). A local historian has commented that the only controversy is the selection of names for the monument as Llansannan's litery fame is such that another dozen names could have been included. The monument is seen as a demonstration of this reputation.


Sources & Information


  • Clergyman
  • Girl (sitting)
  • Glan Aled, Iorwerth
  • Hiraethog, Gwilym
  • John, W. Goscombe
  • Rees, Henry
  • Rees, William
  • Roberts, Edward
  • Salesbury, William
  • Translator
  • Tudur Aled
  • Writer / poet
  • Location (N 53°10'43" - W 3°35'48")

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    Item Code: gbwa146; Photograph: 30 July 2012
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