Wales

Festival celebrates Llanrwst's harp history

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Media captionMusician and festival organiser Elin Angharad plays the triple harp

A festival celebrating the harp and its historical ties to a town in Conwy county has taken place.

Llanrwst was an early home to harp makers and the promotion of the triple harp, with its 100 strings, after it came to Britain from Italy in the 17th Century.

A concert and workshops were held at the Glasdir centre on Saturday.

Triple harps were made by one of Wales' famous harp makers, John Richard (1711-1789), who was based in Llanrwst.

And it later became known as the Welsh triple harp, thanks to the support of music lovers.

'Very important'

But its popularity faded over the years in favour of a small harp with a single row of strings.

Musician Elin Angharad, who is leading the music and history project, has been giving talks and playing the triple harp at schools across the area.

She explained how Llanrwst used to be a "very, very important centre for harp makers" from the 18th Century, thanks to Richard.

The festival included taster sessions for beginners and a display of old harps followed by a concert with harpists and artists.

Harps are still made in Wales, at Telynau Teifi Harps at Llandysul in Ceredigion.

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