The Bible collection at Ty Mawr Wybrnant

The frontispiece of the Ty Mawr Bible © National Trust

The frontispiece of the Ty Mawr Bible

Tucked away in a valley on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park sits the modest, but historic farm house of Ty Mawr Wybrnant (near Penmachno). It is the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan (c.1545-1604), the man who translated the Bible into Welsh.

The first edition of the Welsh Bible appeared in 1588, before the King James Bible, with a revised version published in 1620. It is this later version which continues to be used in Wales today.

The translation marked a very important moment in the history of the Welsh language and in the history of Christianity. William Morgan gave the Welsh people easy access to biblical teachings and created a standard version of written Welsh for the first time.

Today, we continue to celebrate William Morgan’s two major achievements at his birthplace. Copies of the bishop’s translation, as they were first published in 1588 and in 1620, are on display in Ty Mawr. There is also a small, but significant, collection of family Bibles and religious works in Welsh.

Many languages

But this is not all. Visitors from across the world have come to see Morgan’s birthplace and over the years have given a copy of the Bible written in their language to Ty Mawr. In some cases, this was the first time that the language of an area was actually written down. We currently have Bibles in about 200 different languages and more are added all the time.

All the books at Ty Mawr today have now been catalogued and they can be searched for on our Collections website.

Why not see if we have a copy of the Bible in your language? Then, when you come to visit Ty Mawr, you may even be able to have a read or compare the different languages.