Birds and battles to descend upon Caerphilly

Thursday 04 February 2016

Chainmail-clad warriors, sword-wielding knights and a host of spectacular birds of prey will all be descending upon Caerphilly Castle this Monday to Friday (15th – 19th Feb), as the colossal Cadw site puts on a full programme of half-term Medieval events.

Caerphilly Castle

Birds and battles at Caerphilly

On Monday and Tuesday, The Prince’s Retinue re-enactment group will take to the Great Hall to practise traditional 12th century fighting techniques in front of an audience during one-on-one battles using Medieval weaponry.  

Experts will be on hand to teach families about early forms of protection – from heavy chainmail armour to defensive fighting stances.

Visitors will also be able try their hand at Medieval crafts as part of the takeover.

A variety of striking birds of prey – including owls, eagles & vultures – will then arrive at the castle on Wednesday for a day of family-friendly falconry.  

Children and adults alike will get the chance to meet and handle the birds throughout the day for a small £1 fee, while full falconry displays are set for 12.30pm and again at 2.30pm, during which trainers from Pembrokeshire Falconry will showcase the full flight power of these magnificent creatures.  

Come Thursday and Friday, Caerphilly Castle regulars the Free Men of Gwent will take to the site to showcase battle re-enactments from the 14th and 15th centuries – allowing returning half term visitors to see how Medieval warfare changed over the course of 300 years.

Have-a-go archery will also be on offer to visitors looking to get hands-on with Medieval weaponry.

Both re-enactments shall be all-weather events taking place within the Great Hall, while the falconry session shall proceed in dry weather only.

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “Cadw’s varied programme of events is specially designed to help locals and tourists alike discover the best of Wales during the 2016 Year of Adventure. I urge people to visit historic sites and take part in our exciting programme of events this half term to find out more about Wales’s remarkable history via fun, hands-on and truly adventurous experiences.

Whether it’s having a picnic at one of the World Heritage Site castles in north Wales or watching the summer solstice sunrise at a Neolithic burial chamber, we can be sure our historic monuments will live up to the expectations of adventure seekers heading to Wales this year.”

Event fee covered by site admission (£5.50 adult, £16.50 family & £4.10 conc.) while Cadw members, including those who join during the event, will enjoy repeat visits for free. Events to run 11am – 4pm daily. For more information visit cadw.gov.wales/events.