Cadw launches The Heroes and Heroines of Wales story collection ahead of school holidays

Thursday 25 July 2013

Cadw launches The Heroes and Heroines of Wales story collection ahead of school holidays

Cadw launches The Heroes and Heroines of Wales story collection ahead of school holidays

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, has launched The Heroes and Heroines of Wales, a collection of seven stories revealing the drama and excitement linked to some of Cadw and Wales’s most loved historic sites.

Acclaimed children’s writer Cathy Lewis was commissioned to write about the fascinating tales in an engaging and interesting way, including the old Welsh legend of Branwen ferch Llŷr from the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, and the tale of Llywelyn the Great, the powerful prince who united much of Wales.

The seven short stories are available to download from by clicking here: In addition to learning about Wales’s rich historic past, it is hoped that people will be inspired to visit some of the 129 sites in Cadw’s care, to relive the dramatic stories behind the monuments.

Each story includes a ‘Follow the Footsteps’ guide to encourage visitors to explore sights and structures at Cadw locations referenced in the stories. For example, visitors to Criccieth Castle, built by Llywelyn the Great, can look for the murder holes above the gate passage which were designed so that soldiers could pour rocks or hot ashes onto attackers.

As well as the stories, families can access Cadw’s Legendary Summer Kit: which includes a downloadable event wall planner and checklist of 31 things to do at Cadw sites over the summer. The free resources, available on the Cadw website, have been developed to help parents keep their children entertained over the six-week school break, in a fun and cost-effective way.

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, said: ‘The school summer holidays can be a challenging time for parents looking for fun, educational and cost-effective things to do with their children. My team at Cadw has taken this challenge to heart and come up with a programme of events and activities at historic sites across Wales – which families can enjoy together and which are often free or cost very little.

‘Cadw welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors to its 129 historic sites each year and our latest campaign aims to capture the imaginations of new audiences. By encouraging more people to get involved in their local history I hope that Wales’s heritage and fascinating stories will be kept alive and passed on to future generations.’

Cathy Lewis, who has an MA Distinction in Writing for Children, added: ‘I’m delighted to be playing a part in promoting Wales’s much-loved stories to younger generations during the school summer holidays.

‘My aim was to write these stories in a simple but appealing way - finding the angles which will spark families’ imaginations. Things like princes and princesses, magic and miracles, ghosts and ghastly deeds. These are the hooks that parents can use to get their children excited about visits to heritage sites.’ 

Cadw is also calling on families to capture their summer snapshot for a chance to win a Nikon SLR camera. Entrants must take a picture that relates to the ‘31 things to do’ featured in the downloadable checklist and post on Cadw’s Facebook page or mention @CadwWales on Twitter, using the hashtag #cadwsummer, to enter. 

Click here to download Cadw’s Legendary Summer Kit: and access full photo competition entry details. ‘Like’ Cadw on Facebook, follow @CadwWales on Twitter, and download the smartphone app for iPhone and Android.