After 1939 the Council of the Gorsedd of Cornwall approved additional regalia, and asked Francis Cargeeg to design and execute new regalia for the Grand Bard, the Deputy Grand Bard and the Secretary, and two headpieces for the Marshal's staves. Over time, and up to 1970, additional pieces were added, including Plastrons for past Grand Bards, also produced by Francis Cargeeg.
The Gorseth Kernow has now opened up to all forms of revived Cornish language, and states its aim as "to maintain the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall". The Gorseth also encourages the study of the arts and history. It has been held annually since and has become an important institution in Cornwall's cultural and civic life. Its competitions attract many applicants and the "open Gorseth" is attended by many Cornish people. There is also extensive coverage on local media.
An important part of the open Gorseth is the awarding of bardships to individuals for meritorious work for Cornish culture. Thus the Gorseth acts in many ways as a form of "honours system". Bardships are awarded for study in the language, services to Cornish music, encouraging the arts (especially amongst children) amongst other things. Initiate Bards are given Bardic names by the Grand Bard who welcomes them into the College of Bards. These names are in Cornish and will often refer somehow to the reason for their bardship: other Bardic names refer to the Bard's personal or family name, or describe the Bards themselves,
The three major Gorseths in Britain are recorded in an ancient Welsh triad as being held at Moel Merw and Bryn Gwyddon in Wales and Boscawen-Un in Cornwall (ref: Craig Weatherhill). After domination of the Brythonic Celts by the Saxons the Bardic tradition fell into disuse and despite attempts at revival over the centuries lost all its prestige.
The Gorseth for 2008 was held in September 2008 in Looe which coincided with the Dehwelans Kernow festival. The 2009 Gorseth began on 18 April at Saltash.
The first bards of Gorsedh Kernow at Boscawen-Un
Morton Nance became the second Grand Bard in 1934. He said, "One generation has set Cornish on its feet. It is now for another to make it walk." Although the early Gorseth used the Unified form, in June 2009, members voted overwhelmingly to adopt the new Standard Written Form as their standard.