17/07/2010

Glyndwr to rise again

Cadw have published a plan to revive the spirit of Owain Glyndwr at key sites across Wales. The historic environment body for Wales proposes a series of major improvements to eight sites aimed at publicising Glyndwr’s life and achievements, improving the conservation of the sites and, of course, bringing money to the areas in the form of heritage tourism.

The eight places identified as best telling the story of Glyndwr’s life and uprising in the 14th century are:
* Aberystwyth Castle
* Canolfan Owain Glyndwr at Machynlleth
* Pennal near Machynlleth
* Harlech Castle
*
Bryn Glas battlefield at Pilleth near Knighton
*
Hanmer near Wrexham
* Glyndyfrdwy near Llangollen

The report’s proposals for Aberystwyth Castle, more modest than at some of the sites, include:
* A programme of re-enactments, including Welsh language performances
* Exhibitions and displays in the usually closed tower and underground room
* Interpretation panels
* Signage from the town centre and station
* Flying the Glyndwr flag from the tower all year round

The report points out that Aberystwyth Castle, despite having a, “pleasant, open and welcoming ambience” in a prominent setting a short walk from the town centre is currently downplayed and taken for granted as part of the town. The castle was the scene of a major siege involving Glyndwr towards the end of his uprising.

Canolfan Owain Glyndwr in Machynlleth is now working on a consortium, including Ceredigion Council, around the Aberystwyth/Machylleth/Pennal cluster of sites to access European and other funding based on Cadw’s proposals.

Although Glyndwr’s main image is as a warrior (as in the above statue in Corwen), he was a much more rounded figure than that with interests in higher education and internationalism. Whilst he's very well known to Welsh nationalists, Cadw’s plans will raise awareness amongst the mainstream population and visitors to Wales.

4 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 17, 2010

    Bloody hell. Progress indeed!

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  2. I think it would be great if they great if this could be used as some kind of match funding to renovate the the big shelter facing the sea just under the castle. It would be great to have that as some kind of wildlife / history centre and get a glass front for it. Start serving teas just above it like they used to.

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  3. DAFYDD GAMJuly 19, 2010

    Let’s get one thing straight to start with; had I been around in 1492 I would have been marching up Great Darkgate Street, one step behind Owain Glyndŵr.

    Nevertheless, this announcement from CADW causes me some unease. I’m not sure I like the idea of Owain Glyndŵr being turned into a tourist attraction.
    The story of Aberystwyth Castle did not begin with Owain Glyndŵr. He is just one historical figure who features in the castle’s long history. The story deserves be told in its entirety otherwise we wont understand why he attacked the Castle in the first place.

    Upper North Parade has already been re-named Glyndŵr Square. That was a daft idea, if only for the simple reason it’s not a square.

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  4. You're right that the tourism side can seem tacky, although can still be good for raising awareness, and that the Glyndwr episode was just one event in the life of Aberystwyth Castle. Some of the plans for the other sites are much more substantial - I've featured Aberystwyth because this is an Aberystwyth blog. Click on the second highlighted link at the top of the article for the full Cadw report.

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