Wednesday 01 March 2017
A pair of enormous Welsh Dragons have marked St David’s Day (01 March 2017) with a flying visit to Caernarfon Castle.
The colossal creatures, complete with their reptilian scales, sharp claws and piercing eyes, have been spotted in a romantic embrace — or “cwtch” in Welsh — on Caernarfon’s Town Square, with the castle walls looming in the background.
The Dragons’ arrival marks the launch of the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw)’s Live the Legends campaign, which will bring Wales’s dramatic history to life during Visit Wales’s 2017 Year of Legends.
Dragons feature in many of Wales’s great myths and folklores, and the Cadw Dragons (Dewi and Dwynwen) have been named after St David and St Dwynwen — two of Wales’s most renowned patron saints, made legendary for their selfless deeds in ancient Wales.
Dewi — the black-and-red beast — found fame after breaking the banks of Caerphilly Castle on St David’s Day 2016. And this year, he has appeared in Caernarfon with a very special friend — Dwynwen, the brand new Caernarfon Dragon, who gleams with pearlescent purple scales.
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The Welsh Dragon first appeared on Henry Tudor’s flags at the Battle of Bosworth and more than 500 years later, it is still a celebrated emblem of Wales which Cadw is proud to have brought to life.
“After popping up at Caerphilly Castle on St David’s Day last year, Dewi has enthralled more than 120,000 visitors at eight Cadw sites across Wales — a record-breaking figure which demonstrates how innovative ideas like the Cadw Dragons can help to spur a newfound interest in Welsh heritage. Cadw hopes that the 2017 Year of Legends will build on this success with the arrival of Dwynwen, who will reside at Caernarfon Castle.
“The Year of Legends is all about telling the epic histories, myths and stories of Wales on both a local and international stage, and we’re confident that the arrival of a second Cadw Dragon, alongside Cadw’s thrilling programme of events and immersive experiences, will do just that.”
Dewi and Dwynwen fell in love during the summer of 2016 and — with an hour’s fly-time between the castles of Caerphilly and Caernarfon — now enjoy a loving long-distance relationship. More information about the Cadw Dragons and their love story can be found on the Cadw website.
Visitors to Wales’s historic sites can enjoy the stories of Wales through the ages this spring, with a celebration of King Arthur at Caernarfon Castle and a Tommy Cooper themed street-magic event at Wales’s biggest castle — Caerphilly.
Plus, families can immerse themselves in Welsh history as the sights, smells and sounds of Medieval Wales return to several Cadw sites during the Easter holidays — with knightly weapon displays, falconry demonstrations and epic battle re-enactments in tow.
Dewi and Dwynwen, which were sculpted and moulded before being cast out of fibreglass, weigh a whopping two tonnes and measure two-metres and four-metres wide respectively. Both were created by a team of 16 at Cardiff-based prop design specialist, Wild Creations.
Visitors to Caernarfon Town Square will be able to meet the Cadw Dragons for free until 4pm on Wednesday, 01 March 2017. Plus, visitors to the castle itself will enjoy free entry from 10am until 4pm to celebrate St David’s Day.
Following this, Dwynwen will be available to see by normal site admission at Caernarfon Castle throughout March. Meanwhile, Dewi will reside at nearby Harlech Castle during March before making a flying visit to Wrexham’s DragonFest on 01 April 2017.
Dragon spotters at Cadw sites are being encouraged to share their legendary experiences on social media using the hashtag #LivetheLegends.
Find out more about Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign at www.cadw.gov.wales/livethelegends.