Schoolchildren and families encouraged to travel through space and time at Caerphilly Castle

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Families and schoolchildren will be encouraged to travel through space and time all this week (28 September – 4 October), as part of week-long stargazing events at Caerphilly Castle.

Picture of Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle

Pop-up planetarium sessions will be held for schoolchildren throughout the week at the iconic site. Over 700 children are expected to take part throughout the week, and the sessions will also be open to members of the public on Saturday and Sunday, 3 and 4 October.

The event has been organised in partnership with Caerphilly’s Communities First areas, as part of an innovative new Welsh Government policy initiative, Fusion: Tackling Poverty through Culture. The initiative aims to link cultural bodies more closely together with the Communities First programme, to inspire young people and adults. Pupils from schools in Communities First areas across Caerphilly County Borough Council will be taking part in the events during the week.

Participants will be shown what the night skies looked like at the time of building the castle in 1268, in 1486 when the castle passed into the hands of Jasper Tudor (Earl of Pembroke), and in 1776 when John Crichton Stuart (2nd Marquess of Bute, who developed much of Cardiff) became its owner – giving attendees and indication of how our skies have changed over the centuries.

During the planetarium sessions, fascinating facts will be shared on how astronomy has been used over the years, and what tools were available to tell the time and navigate at night during the different time periods. Participants will also have the opportunity to study medieval belief systems, astronomical events and take part in science and technology activities in the Great Hall.

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to work with local schools in Caerphilly to offer this unique opportunity for children to learn about the history of the night skies above the largest castle in Wales.

The stargazing sessions taking place this week are an example of how Fusion’s  varied and wide-reaching programme of events and learning activities aim to reach different audiences – and we hope families will be encouraged by their children to come see these displays for themselves over the weekend.”

The sessions will be held six times a day for seven days, and the weekend sessions, which are open to the public, will begin at 10.45am and take place at 45 minute intervals, with the last session starting at 2.30pm. Spaces are limited to 30 people per session – visitors should register by phoning the castle in advance on 02920 883143.