400-year-old Bible returns ‘home’

One of the first Bibles to be published in Welsh has been returned to the house where its translator was born.

Bishop William Morgan began translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Welsh in around 1579 on the instructions of Queen Elizabeth I.

It is credited with being the single most important act in keeping the Welsh language alive.

National Trust

Tour guide Gerwyn Edwards said: “Before we had this bible, we all spoke different dialects of Welsh. This created one Welsh language for all.”

The Bible has returned to a house near the village of Penmachno, in Snowdonia, with the assistance of the National Trust.

The charity helped to buy the Bible after it came up for sale at the library which had previously held it.

Good condition

Bishop Morgan was born in the house in the 1540s. He took nine years to translate the Old and New Testaments from their original languages.

Edwards added he was proud the Bible was “coming home”.

“Eight hundred of the original bibles were distributed to churches around Wales. To think of its age, it is in very good condition”, he said.

The 400-year-old leather-bound Bible will be kept in a glass case and be protected from strong light.


It will join numerous other Bibles in the building as visitors have brought copies in their own languages over the years.

Rhys Evans, the National Trust’s Snowdonia operations manager, said: “We’re delighted and very proud to be able to have an original copy on show at the birthplace of the man responsible for translating it.

“We believe it’s vital we commemorate this invaluable legacy.”

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