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Published
04 Jul 2020

43 unstaffed castles, abbeys and other historical sites to reopen across Wales

Wales’s heritage sites have been closed since 18 March but today (4 July), Cadw has announced plans to reopen selected unstaffed, outdoor monuments.

As of Monday 6 July members of the public will be able to safely visit some of Cadw’s 105 unstaffed heritage sites across Wales — from St Lythan’s Burial Chamber in the Vale of Glamorgan to Haverfordwest Priory in Pembrokeshire and Montgomery Castle in Powys.

Other unstaffed monuments in Cadw’s care will reopen later this summer — as soon as essential site maintenance, risk assessments and new site safety measures are completed and introduced, to ensure a safe and socially distanced visitor experience.

Cadw is encouraging visitors to keep Wales safe by avoiding extensive travel to these sites where possible — with visitors able to find out which unstaffed monuments are open in their local area.

Furthermore, in line with Welsh Government guidance, visitors must adhere to social distancing at all times and are only permitted to meet up with one other household while on site. BBQs and the consumption of alcohol is also not permitted at all monuments.

Cadw will monitor the safety of each heritage site by inviting visitors to provide feedback via an online survey — available through QR codes on signage at each monument.

In line with guidance from Welsh Government, Cadw is also preparing to reopen its staffed castles, abbeys and historic houses later in the summer — which will see the introduction of new visitation guidelines and restricted visitor numbers via advance online ticketing.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:

“Cadw’s unstaffed heritage sites range from magnificent castles built by Welsh Princes to historic chapels and Neolithic tombs some over 5,500 years old.

"We’re delighted to be able to start removing public access restrictions to selected unstaffed sites — particularly for the benefit of local communities who often use these outdoor spaces for wellbeing and exercise.

“However, public health and safety is our highest priority during this time, so, in order to keep our unstaffed sites open and safe for everyone, we politely ask that those who visit, do so respectfully and responsibly.

“And please remember, although Monday 6 July marks the reopening of 43 unstaffed heritage sites in Wales, all of Cadw’s other monuments will remain closed to the public for the time-being.”

To find out which unstaffed Cadw sites have reopened in your local area, visit Cadw.gov.wales, search Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales or @CadwCymru on Twitter.