Rhuddlan Castle hosts re-enactment weekend

Thursday 25 April 2013

Tourists and local residents are expected to flock to Rhuddlan Castle over the late May bank holiday weekend (26 and 27) as re-enactment company Cwmwd Iâl (pronounced Coom-mud Yarl) portrays the men and women living in and around the lands of Iâl, North East Wales in the 9th and 12th centuries (AD800-1170).

Rhuddlan Castle hosts re-enactment weekend

Rhuddlan Castle hosts re-enactment weekend

Rhuddlan Castle is one of 128 historic monument cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. More than two million people visit Cadw sites every year to discover the dramatic stories behind Wales’s breathtaking castles, abbeys, industrial and prehistoric monuments.

This year sees the 950th anniversary of the death of King Gruffydd ap Llewellyn. Cwmwd Iâl will be showcasing the King’s last major military action which took place during the last week of December 1062 – the Battle of Rhuddlan. Later, on the 05 August 1063, according to Welsh chronicles King Gruffydd ap Llewellyn was killed.  

During the weekend’s event not only will visitors meet Gruffydd ap Llewellyn and his Queen, but will also encounter Earl Harold Godwinson, the ill-fated King Harold of the Battle of Hastings. 

The Cwmwd Iâl warriors specialise in re-enacting the men and their families campaigning throughout North Wales, protecting the lands of the Cymry against the Norman, Saxon and Norse Viking invaders. This Bank Holiday weekend event promises to tell their story in an exciting, and at times brutal way! 

A wander around the camps will give visitors an in-depth look at everyday life in Early Medieval Wales, where food must be prepared, clothes and armour mended, weapons repaired and troops trained. This portrays the lives of the ordinary people living in the villages, and demonstrates many different crafts from the time such as spinning, dyeing and weaving, basket weaving, candle dipping, leather work, herbal medicine and lore, blacksmithing, metal casting and brewing.

The event will take place on Sunday and Monday, 26 and 27 May between 10.00am and 5.00pm. Normal admission prices to the castle apply.

Jane Colclough, Lead Custodian at Rhuddlan Castle said 'Our history in Wales is littered with dramatic battles and amazing stories. People leaving Rhuddlan Castle this weekend will leave with a feeling of truly having stepped back in time'.

Heritage sites and experiences make a significant contribution to the £4.2 billion worth of tourism spend in Wales annually, with natural attractions, castles and historic sites the top ten attractions visited by 72 per cent of visitors staying in Wales.*

For more information on events, find Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales on Twitter.

Event programme:

10.00am:  Saxon, Welsh and Viking military encampments open to the public.

11:30am:  'SKIRMISH' - King Gruffydd's stronghold attacked by Saxon raiders.

12:45pm:  King Gruffydd's War Council (Inner Ward encampment). Meet the Welsh King,
his Queen, council and battle commanders.

1:15pm:  Raising the 'Young Warriors Army' - bring your children along to be recruited into
the Welsh/Viking Army.

2:30pm:  Mustering the two armies in preparation for the 'Battle of Rhuddlan'. Your chance
to march with the Welsh army to the field of battle. Closely followed by Earl Harold's Anglo-Saxons.

3:00pm:  The main battle of Rhuddlan!