The new interpretation at these sites is part of a ground-breaking project led by Cadw to introduce a pan-Wales approach to interpretation. The aim is to ensure that audiences across the country, local or visiting, are met with creative, exciting, engaging and thought-provoking experiences – that are also enjoyable!
Barclodiad y Gawres - Forming part of Sacred Places story, this impressive Neolithic burial chamber site is famous for its decorated stones. Partial reconstruction helps visitors to understand how it would have looked when it was built over 5000 years ago. Thanks to Heritage Tourism Project funding, the access to the site has been improved and new interpretation, including a family friendly comic book, has been developed. Work at this site is ongoing.
Blaenavon Ironworks – Symbolic of the huge role that Wales played in the Industrial Revolution, and boasting the best preserved blast furnace complex of its period and type in the world, the ironworks lies at the heart of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site.
Thanks to funding from the Heritage Tourism Project visitors to the site are met with exciting new interventions which help to bring the history of the monument to life. In the 18th century, Welsh ironworks were compared to ‘hell’, and the new interpretation aims to help capture that feeling, whilst also paying tribute to the artistry of the age. A mixture of bespoke art, creatively written and designed panels, a new exhibition, dressed spaces and a multi-sensory ‘furnace experience’ all help to illustrate what life must have been like for the men, women and children who worked and lived here.
Bryn Celli Ddu - Also part of the Sacred Places story, this is an impressive Neolithic chambered tomb. Under the Heritage Tourism Project, funding has been made available for improving the visitor welcome on site as well as family-orientated interpretation in the form of a comic.
Caernarfon Castle is perched on the banks of the Menai Strait and is a key site in the stunning Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I World Heritage Site. Visitors can enjoy improved facilities at this site, including engaging new interpretation. This site also forms part of the Princes of Gwynedd story. Work at this site is ongoing.
Caerphilly Castle Built by Marcher Lord Gilbert de Clare to secure his hold over his territories in south Wales, Caerphilly remains the second biggest castle in the UK. Thanks to the Heritage Tourism Project some exciting features have been installed to help tell the story of the site. These include a 270˚ animated film show; a series of sculptures and models by Welsh or Wales based inspirational artists (including a giant Marquis of Bute holding up the famous leaning tower); a digital portcullis; a touch table interactive; a digital fireplace in the Great Hall alongside an interpretative table runner; a children’s trail; panels, interpretative banners as well as new interpretative gates that greet the visitor on entry. The mix of interpretation used on site is intended to reach a wider range of visitors, irrespective of their age, background, prior knowledge or learning style. The castle forms a central hub for visitors to follow the story of the Lords of the Southern March.
Conwy Castle and Town Walls This impressive castle and accompanying town walls are a legacy of King Edward I’s castle building programme in north Wales which followed his second Welsh war in 1282. Their historical significance is recognised by their inclusion as part of the Castles and Walled towns of Edward I World Heritage Site.
The Heritage Tourism Project has improved the existing visitor facilities on site, including a new interpretation scheme. Visitors are met with a short animated film that puts the castle’s links with Edward I in to context. The rest of the site’s story unfolds using sculpture, reinstating stained glass in the chapel windows, a series of panels, an interactive children’s quest, plus digital projection and sound effects. Visitors can read more about the new features of this site on the Conwy Castle interpretation page and there is also a mobile app available for this site.
A huge World Heritage Site crest literally allows the site to act as a gateway to the World Heritage site castles whilst prompts help to refer visitors other heritage sites within Conwy and its vicinity. This site forms part of the Princes of Gwynedd story.
Denbigh Castle and Town Walls Built by Henry de Lacy, trusted friend of Edward I, this site represents one of the finest survivals of new towns in Wales. The investment has provided a new purpose-built visitor centre, improved access to the town walls and better presentation and interpretation of the monument. An exciting phone app allows visitors to explore the castle and walls as characters from the past, there’s an exciting children’s quest as well as panels which guide you through the site’s fascinating stories as well as linking to the wider historic landscape of Denbigh. Visitors can read more information about the new features at this site on the Denbigh Castle interpretation page More information about the new features on this site can be found on the Denbigh Castle interpretation page and there is also a mobile app available for this site. This site also forms part of the Princes of Gwynedd story.
Dyfi Furnace Located in a picturesque setting, this mid-eighteenth-century water-powered charcoal-fired blast furnace once echoed to the sounds of iron making. New interpretation at the site helps visitors to imagine how it would have been back in its industrial hay day. Interpretation panels with a built in children’s quest, a working model of the bellows and decorative ironwork all help to tell the furnace’s story; whilst downloadable video footage helps to tell the story of the site’s current occupants – the bats that roost in the Casthouse. Interpretation at the site also encourages visitors to follow the story of the Industrial Revolution in Ceredigion by referring them to other sites of interest.
Harlech Castle is part of the World Heritage site of the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I; but it also saw action during Owain Glyndŵr’s Welsh war of independence; The War of the Roses and the Civil War. This mighty military past will be interpreted via a ‘wall of weapons’ and an immersive audio visual experience housed in the new visitor centre. This will be complimented across the site by panels, a revamped exhibition in the gatehouse and a family trail. Access will be improved thanks to a new bridge that will also offer striking views of the stunning landscape of Snowdonia National Park. Work at this site is ongoing and regular updates of this work can be found on the Harlech Castle project page.
St Davids Bishop’s Palace One man’s dream, the palace was built in the 14th century on the orders of Bishop Henry de Gower. His extraordinary vision can be seen in the monument’s elaborate decoration with its intricate stone carvings, coloured stonework and striking architectural detail. Imaginative new interpretation helps bring the history of the palace to life. The sound of pilgrims and other characters from the past help to create atmosphere whilst light cubes located in the undercrofts literally illuminate the stories of how the palace was built, and how it functioned on a daily basis. These are complimented by panels, picnic table-top graphics and a children’s trail. Visitors can follow the Sacred Places story at St Davids. More information about the new features at this site can be found on the St Davids interpretation page and work at this site is ongoing.
Segontium Roman Fort – Considered to be the longest occupied Roman Fort in Wales, this site was in use for over 300 years. Designed to hold 1,000 Roman soldiers, it protected Rome’s access to Anglesey’s rich agricultural and mineral wealth. The Heritage Tourism Project has contributed to the redevelopment of the visitor centre which now brings the history of the site to life through exciting graphics, a handling collection, a site guide, events and children’s activities. Visitors can follow the story of the Romans in Wales at this site.
Strata Florida is an iconic site associated with Welsh nationhood and culture. It enjoyed the patronage Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth and became the restring place of many of his line. The Heritage Tourism Project has funded a complete overhaul of the visitor centre as well as extensive new interpretation aimed at helping visitors to better understand and appreciate this iconic Welsh abbey. Visitors can enjoy interacting with the new exhibition which includes displays of conserved artefacts, touchscreen displays and informative panels. Outside, an events area has been completed within the boundaries of the old garden. A giant floor map has also been created which depicts the extent of the abbey lands. Visitors are also encouraged to explore complimentary heritage sites within the surrounding landscape. Visitors can follow the Princes of Deheubarth and Sacred Places stories at this site.