Dewi and Dwynwen welcome baby dragons at Caerphilly Castle

Friday 26 May 2017

And they’re more lifelike than ever, thanks to animatronic technology

The Cadw Dragon family

The Cadw Dragon family

The wait is finally over… 

Early this morning (May 26 2017), Dewi and Dwynwen, who have been carefully watching over their eggs in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle, welcomed two beautiful baby dragons into the world.

Visitors to Caerphilly Castle will be able to see Dewi, Dwynwen and the new arrivals by normal site admission until Sunday, 28 May 2017 with extended opening hours on Friday and Saturday (closing at 7pm, with final entries at 6.30pm). 

Dwynwen and her bundles of joy will then fly onto Chepstow Castle to greet visitors during May half-term, from Monday 29 May, before taking them on a summer adventure across Wales. 

Nestled beneath the proud parents — who have gained widespread fame as Wales’ resident Dragons — the new-born boy and girl dragons, who are yet to be named, both weighed a healthy 20kg and have already been spotted wiggling their wings and looking alert.

The new parents landed at the Castle on April 3, just weeks before a huge nest containing two giant eggs appeared alongside them.

Over the past two weeks, the public watched in anticipation as live footage of the eggs showed signs of movement. 

Finally, at around 5am this morning, the new-born dragons with shiny scales and small, pointed wings broke through the shells and opened their eyes to the world for the first time, much to the Castle custodians’ surprise.

The baby dragons’ arrival marks a new chapter in the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw)’s Live the Legends campaign, which is bringing Wales’ dramatic sites and stories to life during Visit Wales’ 2017 Year of Legends. The latest additions to the Dragon Family precedes the opening of National Museum Cardiff’s new Dinosaur Babies exhibition — part of an innovative collaboration between Cadw and Amgueddfa Cymru.  

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The Cadw Dragons have captured the imagination of a nation — inspiring more people than ever before to visit Wales’ historic sites, and I have no doubt that locals and visitors alike will flock to catch a glimpse of the new arrivals this summer.

“The ‘dragon effect’ on the public so far has been evident — this Easter bank holiday, visitor figures at Caerphilly Castle were up by an astonishing 70 per cent compared to the same time the previous year, thanks to the arrival of two giant dragon eggs.  

“During Visit Wales’ Year of Legends, it’s more important than ever to connect people to Wales’ rich heritage and culture by creating exciting and immersive events and experiences. Cadw and Amgueddfa Cymru’s collaborative Dino-Dragon partnership does just that — providing visitors to Wales with a truly unique way to explore both Wales’ geological history and legendary past through fun and engaging events.”  

The family of Cadw Dragons, along with the nest and eggs, were brought to life by a team of 16 at Cardiff-based prop design specialist, Wild Creations. Dewi and Dwynwen, who weigh a whopping two tonnes each, and the babies were sculpted and moulded before being cast and built out of fibreglass.

The dragon babies are also fitted with state-of-the-art animatronic technology and can be seen moving their wings, heads and necks.
Dragon spotters at Cadw sites are being encouraged to share their legendary experiences on social media by using the hashtag #LivetheLegends

To find out more about Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign and to discover the story behind the Cadw Dragons visit cadw.gov.wales/livethelegends