Monday 03 April 2017
The colossal Cadw Dragons, that were spotted ‘cwtching’ outside Caernarfon Castle on St David’s Day, have today (03 April) been reunited at Wales’s biggest castle — Caerphilly.
The romantic reptiles — named Dewi and Dwynwen after Wales’s patron saints — will cosy-up at Caerphilly Castle during April and May 2017, before Dwynwen embarks on an epic summer tour across Wales’s historic sites.
The tour announcement comes as part of the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw)’s Live the Legends campaign, which will bring Wales’s dramatic stories to life during Visit Wales’s 2017 Year of Legends.
After spending the month of March apart — with Dewi based at Harlech Castle and Dwynwen at Caernarfon Castle — the Dragons’ Caerphilly reunion is just in time for the site’s busy Easter period, which last year saw more than 90,000 visitors during the month of March alone.
Upcoming events at the Castle include Easter eggs hunts and the Medieval Easter Weekend (16–17 April), which will offer visitors a glimpse into the site’s medieval past, with the return of civilians, knights and royalty from its heyday.
The loved-up beasts will part ways on 28 May, as Dwynwen leaves her cariad at Caerphilly Castle and invades seven Welsh castles on her return home to Caernarfon Castle.
Dwynwen — complete with her pearlescent purple scales and piercing emerald eyes — will begin her tour in south east Wales, with flying visits to Chepstow Castle and Raglan Castle in June.
Towns in mid and west Wales will also be conquered by the mythical monster, as she visits Tretower Court and Kidwelly Castle in June and July.
Plus, the beautiful beast will scale the walls of Harlech Castle and Beaumaris Castle in August before returning to her Caernarfon lair in September.
Dwynwen’s summer tour will coincide with more than 100 exciting events taking place at Wales’s historic sites this summer, from epic battle re-enactments to bustling medieval fayres and nail-biting archery competitions.
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “Our original dragon attracted a record-breaking 120,000 visitors during his tour of eight Welsh castles last year and we hope to build on this success this year.
“Wales is known for its epic stories, from the myths of the Mabinogion to the fables of the Welsh Dragon, and Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign is designed to bring them to life during the 2017 Year of Legends.
“We’re confident that the presence of the Dragons, alongside a thrilling programme of events and immersive experiences at Cadw sites, will help to spur a newfound interest in Welsh heritage and encourage local people and visitors alike to explore the monuments this summer.”
The Cadw Dragons were brought to life by a team of 16 at Cardiff-based prop design specialists, Wild Creations. The colossal creatures, which collectively weigh a whopping two tonnes, were sculpted and moulded before being built out of fibreglass.
Visitors to Caerphilly Castle will have the chance to meet Dewi and Dwynwen by normal site admission from 03 April – 28 May 2017. Visitors to Caerphilly Castle after this period will still be able to meet the ferocious Dewi through spring and summer 2017.
Following this, Dwynwen will be available to see by normal site admission at Chepstow Castle from 29 May – 11 June, Raglan Castle from 12 June – 25 June, Tretower Court from 27 June – 09 July and Kidwelly Castle from 11 July – 30 July. She will go on to visit north Wales sites, Harlech Castle and Beaumaris Castle, in August.
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 where the Dragons will next appear, visit www.cadw.gov.wales/livethelegends.