About Us

Members of the Mari Briga Seed Group sitting in Jenny's garden
Members of the Mari Briga Seed Group sitting in Jenny’s garden – Sue, Liz, Nick, Shane and Carl

Greetings and welcome to the Mandua Briga Seed Group. Mandua Briga (The Shining Mare) is a Seed Group of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) based in Darlington, County Durham in the North East of England.

Mandua Briga can variously be translated as ‘Shining Mare’, ‘High Horse’ or ‘Bolshy Pony’ – we think that reflects us quite well! The name was also chosen to acknowledge our proximity to the Stanwick Iron Age Fortifications, near where the famous Stanwick Horse was found. Stanwick was, in all probability, the stronghold of Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes.

Mandua Briga was formed in February 2022 by Jenny Uzzell, a doctoral researcher at Durham University and the Education and Youth Manager for the Pagan Federation who has been a member of OBOD since 2010, and Liz Pearce, who helped organise OBOD Camps in the early 2000s (now known as White Horse Camps) and has been a member of OBOD since 2001. Mandua Briga currently has around ten members based in and around Darlington.

Jenny, Liz and Nick have been going to the open ceremonies of the Northumbrian Gorsedd at the beautiful Dilston Physic Garden near Corbridge since 2016, and we fully intend to keep attending these gatherings as often as possible, but the sometimes up to four hour round trip from Darlington was starting to get very tiring so we thought we would organise some ceremonies a little closer to home.

While we are in the early stages of forming the group we are open only to OBOD members and our ceremonies will be members only while we get to know each other, but we are hoping to hold some open public ceremonies in the near future. We follow the guidelines laid down by OBOD for the running of OBOD Seed Groups and Groves. There is no dress code for ceremonies, some of us wear robes and some of us don’t – there are no rules, as long as you are comfortable, warm and dry!

Hail and Welcome!