Tread Caerphilly — there’s a dragon on the loose!

Tuesday 01 March 2016

Wales’s much-loved mythical creature — the Welsh Dragon — has broken through the banks of Caerphilly Castle on St David’s Day (1 March 2016).

Are you brave enough to get close to the castle’s creature?

Are you brave enough to get close to the castle’s creature?

The colossal creature, measuring four metres in length and two metres wide, has reptile-like black and red scales, smoke-flaring nostrils, and an outreached claw ready to capture passers-by.    

Its arrival marks the launch of the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw)’s Historic Adventures campaign, which brings visitors never-seen-before events and experiences at Cadw sites during Visit Wales’s Year of Adventure.

From a public screening of the Wales vs England Six Nations game set in the shadows of Wales’s largest castle — Caerphilly, to a weekend celebration of real ale and craft beers at Chepstow Castle, visitors can enjoy a number of first-time experiences at Wales’s historic sites this spring.  

Families can also meet popular children’s TV character, Mike the Knight, as he invades Raglan, Harlech and Caernarfon castles over the Easter holidays, while Caerphilly Castle will welcome visitors after dark, as it hosts the first-ever ‘sleepover.’

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re always looking at new and exciting ways to bring Wales’s historic monuments to life for visitors to explore and enjoy; and we’re confident that this creative programme of events will attract a wide-range of visitors to experience Cadw sites.

“Dragons feature in many of Wales’s great myths and legends and it is stories like these that make our country’s heritage so unique. We hope that the arrival of the dragon at Caerphilly Castle will ignite people’s interest in Welsh history and inspire them to have their own Historic Adventures during the Year of Adventure.”

The dragon, which was sculpted and moulded before being built out of fibreglass, weighs a whopping one tonne and took a team of 15 six weeks to construct. It was created by Cardiff-based prop design specialists, Wild Creations.

Matt Wild, owner of Wild Creations, said: “The medieval backdrop of Caerphilly Castle is the perfect location for this mythical, reptile-like monster — it could almost be the billboard of a Hollywood blockbuster! We’re delighted with the end product and hope that it inspires people from across Wales to pay the site, and the dragon, a visit this spring.”

Visitors to Caerphilly will be able to see the dragon for free until 3pm on Sunday, 6 March 2016, or later by normal site-admission when it moves inside the castle from Monday, 7 March 2016 until the summer.

Those that take the most dramatic pictures ‘being captured’ by the dragon and use the hashtag #HistoricAdventures on Facebook or Twitter, will be in with a chance of winning one of ten Cadw Explorer Passes.

To find out more about Cadw’s Historic Adventures, visit the Historic Adventures section.