A CAERNARFON-based master craftsman has been presented with the medal he earned after being awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM).

Sean Adcock, a six-time North Wales professional champion in dry stone walling, was named in the 2024 New Year’s Honours for “services to dry stone walling”.

On April 19, he was presented with the medal by Edmund Seymour Bailey, the Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd at a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle.


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In early May, he also will be at Buckingham Palace for a royal garden party associated with that award.

Then, at the end of May, he’s off to South Korea to speak at the Jeju Peace Forum, following in the footsteps of the likes of Bill Clinton, Mikhael Gorbachev and Antonio Guetterez.

The forum is an annual event held on Jeju-Do, a volcanic island to the south of the Korean mainland, and about two-and-a-half times the size of Anglesey. 

This year’s theme of the forum is “acting together for a better world”. 

Sean has been invited to take part in a session on “building peace on stone walls”, the central theme of which is the use of stones as a medium for promoting co-operation, solidarity and peace in the international community.   

He will be looking at how similar dry stone constructions feature in cultures across the world and will discuss the role of international stone festivals and exchanges and bridge building both metaphorically and practically.

Sean said: “Earlier this year, I spoke to a group of around 50 University of the Third Age members in Porthmadog, and 15 people at Pensychnant Conservation Centre.

“This event is a bit of a step up and quite daunting, but it’s a huge honour, and a chance to promote the craft and area I love.

“Somehow, I’ll manage to shoe-horn my two favourite topics - Cloddiau (Welsh stone-faced earth banks) and the dry stone structures of the Welsh slate industry - into my talk somewhere.”

A six-time North Wales professional champion in dry stone walling, Caernarfon-based master craftsman Sean has been awarded a BEM for “services to dry stone walling”.

When Sean was told of his BEM award, he said: “It came as a complete surprise - but I suppose everyone says that!

"I'm certain there are others in the area more deserving than myself but haven't been fortunate enough to have been nominated in the first place.

"I still think I'm dreaming and waiting for someone to reveal it's all a joke!"