Huw Edwards Launches New Landmark Programme

Thursday 19 January 2012

The Story of Wales

Pentre Ifan

Pentre Ifan

Broadcaster Huw Edwards will be in Cardiff on Thursday 19 January to launch one of BBC Cymru Wales’s most ambitious series ever - The Story of Wales.

The Story of Wales will trace the history of the Welsh nation from 30,000 years ago to the present day.

As part of the story, St Fagans: National History Museum just outside Cardiff is throwing open its doors for a series of special workshops relating to the new series.

Everyone is welcome to come along to catch a glimpse of scenes from the six-part series - made by Green Bay Media for BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with the Open University in Wales - which will be screened on BBC One Wales in February. They can also step into The Story of Wales photo booth for a special memento.

The BBC has been working closely with The Open University in Wales, and a number of other partners, to put together a day out to remember.

As the series features many of the well known Welsh names which have passed into iconic status, such as Owain Glyndŵr and Hywel Dda, The Open University in Wales will be inviting people to nominate their own Welsh icons. You can have a chat about who you think deserves that status and write a short piece about why you think your favourite should be included in the list.

The National Museum Wales team will be based at the Hendre’r Ywydd Uchaf Farmhouse and the Celtic Village giving visitors an insight into daily life in Iron Age and Tudor Wales. Visitors can also explore how the museum experts find out about life in the past.

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, will give visitors the chance to tackle history hands on by trying their skills as an archaeologist.

Community archaeologists from the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust will be on hand with authentic tools to help you excavate a mystery site and show how to record your findings. There’s also an opportunity to see how master masons worked, building the great medieval castles and abbeys of Wales which have survived for centuries.

The People’s Collection Wales - a website where anyone in Wales can share their own fascinating photographs and stories - will be looking for additional materials and memories to add to the site and showing visitors how to upload them.

The activities are just one part of a drive to get everyone in Wales thinking about their history - be it national or personal - as part of The Story of Wales. St Fagans Museum will be open to visitors from 10.00am on 19 January  with The Story of Wales activities taking place between 10.30am-3pm, though several will begin at 12.30.

Besides the launch day, the partners, including the National Library of Wales, will be running other activities tied to The Story of Wales programme, while BBC Cymru Wales has additional programming on the same theme.

The Story of Wales will start with a reconstruction of the earliest known human burial in Western Europe - the "Red Lady" of Paviland, almost 30,000 years ago. Its epic story runs through Hywel Dda’s uniting Wales under one law, the Welsh at the heart of the Tudor court, through the immense pace of change in the country as coal mines and iron works flourished - with technological and educational innovations putting Wales ahead of the world in the Industrial Revolution - and right up to present day devolution.

BBC Two Wales will also be screening a series on the history of four Welsh towns and cities - Pontypridd, Newport, Bangor and Cardigan - from Monday 6 February BBC Radio Wales will broadcast a six-week series of Histories of Wales, which looks at themes such as radicalism, migration, the family and war, with presenters including former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, from Sunday 19 February BBC Radio Cymru will have a series Hanes yn y Fantol which follows a chronological history of the Welsh nation.

Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage said, 'The Welsh Government is committed to raising Wales’s profile and placing Wales firmly on the map in terms of culture, heritage and tourism. I hope that the Story of Wales will stimulate interest in, and engagement with, our rich culture and heritage and I’m sure that the series will encourage people to visit some of the locations featured and explore the fascinating culture and history of these places.'

The Story of Wales starts Monday 27 Februar BBC One Wales, 9pm

St Fagans: National History Museum - Timetable of events 19 January





Find out how to contribute your own stories about the history of Wales to the People’s Collection Wales website

Outside Oriel 1 gallery - main building


Have your photo taken in a scene from The Story of Wales

Run by BBC Cymru Wales

Oriel 1 gallery - main building


Be among the first to see a glimpse of the forthcoming The Story of Wales

Kennixton Farmhouse

30 minute sessions at 12.30pm;1.30pm; 2.30pm

Who deserves the status 'Icon of Wales' ?Who are your Welsh heroes?

Run by the Open University in Wales

Oriel 1 - gallery - main building


Daily life in Tudor Wales

Run by Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales

Hendre’r Ywydd Uchaf Farmhouse


Daily life in Iron Age Wales

Run by Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales

Celtic Village


Hands on archaeology at our mystery excavation

Stonemasons ancient and modern

Run by Cadw

Kennixton Farmhouse