Carreg Cennen Castle hosts medieval festival

Visitors to the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park will have a unique chance to step back in time and enjoy some good old fashioned medieval merriment at a Medieval Festival hosted by the owners of famous castle, Mr and Mrs Llewellyn, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Dyfed Archaeology and CADW, as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.

Running from 10.30am til 4.30 m throughout the weekend, visitors to the FREE Festival can expect to partake in the traditional ways of medieval life and general revelry. There are many activities to participate in, most of them especially aimed at children.  You can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow with the help of experienced bowmen, as well as participating in some medieval school activities that offer demonstrations on how to weave willow into baskets, hurdle making, spinning, wood turning and craft making.  In fact you can enjoy all the authentic historic experience of medieval life in a beautiful and vibrant Castle – but without the typical medieval aromas!  Adults can learn how their forbearers used wood as a daily resource, which is what the former castle occupants used sustainably during its medieval heyday. From firewood to building timber, plates and spoons, gaming pieces and wattle fences, bows and arrows. The weekend will be packed full of activities and events for all the family.

Visitors even have the chance to dress up in medieval costumes for the day!  Weaving together these activities there will be storytellers, musicians and other characters to fire your imagination and revive the essence of medieval life at the castle.  Wardens and Education Officers from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority will also be conducting tours and trails through the traditionally managed woodlands below Carreg Cennen.

Mr Bernard Llewellyn, owner of Carreg Cennen Castle said:  “We are delighted at being approached to be involved with this exciting event; its diversity into archaeological, architectural, environmental and social concepts makes it particularly appropriate to the site.”
Mrs Julie James, Chairman for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “I love visiting Carreg Cennen Castle any time but this event will make a visit even more fun.  Many of the skills from that time are enjoying a renewed popularity – wood turning and basket making for example. Having this opportunity to get back to the historical roots of the Castle and really get a sense of how it used to be in mediaeval times will offer a unique insight to visitors.”

The Medieval Festival at Carreg Cennen Castle is organised as part of The Festival of British Archaeology (which runs from 16th – 31st July) and is supported by the Castle owners, Bernard Llewellyn and his family, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and CADW. 

Car parking will also be free and food and refreshments will be available at the castle teashop. If you have not visited the splendid ruins of Carreg Cennen they are worth a visit in their own right – the Medieval festival makes for a guaranteed memorable day out.

Carreg Cennen Castle, located in the West of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, dates back to at least the 13th Century although there is archaeological evidence that the Romans and prehistoric peoples occupied the craggy hilltop centuries earlier. The long history of the Castle includes occupation by the Welsh Princes of Deheubarth,  Hugh le Despenser, John of Gaunt and Henry of Bolingbroke (the future King Henry IV). Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bannau Brycheiniog National Park attracting visitors from all over the world.  In fact, over 100,000 visitors flock to the Castle every year.  The castle also earns its keep by providing a wonderful backdrop for the new wedding venue that has been recently built by Mr and Mrs Llewellyn.  But while the clientele might have changed dramatically over the past few hundred years, the Castle is keeping its important historical memories alive by celebrating its first Medieval Festival this year. 

For further information about attending the festival or to become involved with the event please contact Menna Bell at the Dyfed Archaeological Trust on or 01558 823121.