National Trust Wales (the lead partner) will work with Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and Carmarthenshire County Council to deliver projects totalling £165,000 to improve the visitor experience, encourage more visitors and provide a united tourism product at Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire Country Museum, Carmarthenshire Amphitheatre, Y Pigwn and Garn Goch – two Scheduled Ancient Monument sites located in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.
Romans in Carmarthenshire is one of eight heritage schemes across Wales to benefit from a £2.4 million pot from Cadw’s £19 million Heritage Tourism Project which is backed with £8.5m from the European Regional Development Fund
The National Park Authority will be investing more than £30,000 at two key Roman sites – Y Pigwn marching camp, near Trecastle and Garn Goch, overlooking Llandeilo – both Scheduled Ancient Monuments located on National Park owned land in the west of the Park. The project will improve road signage so that visitors can find the sites easily and install panels to welcome and orientate visitors on arrival. Y Pigwn will benefit from an innovative GPS triggered multimedia app which will enable visitors to explore and learn about the Roman site with the aid of their GPS enabled smart phones. A visitor friendly map of the locality detailing the walks /attractions /facilities, in addition to a reconstruction drawing of the fort/marching camp, will also be produced.
At Garn Goch – the second largest hill fort in Wales and recently acclaimed as the ‘must see location’ in Cadw’s ‘The Origins and Prehistory of Wales’ Interpretation Plan – a downloadable visitor leaflet will tell the story of one of the most spectacular late Iron Age settlements in West Wales which dominated the strategic Tywi Valley and was a critical route for the early Roman conquest of this part of Wales. Interpretative seating, from which to take in the magnificent views, will also be installed at the site.
The project aims to tell the Roman conquest and settlement story in the western area of the National Park’s history through the Heritage Tourism Project managed by Cadw which will explore and link to other key Roman sites across Carmarthenshire including Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire Country Museum and Carmarthenshire Amphitheatre.
Mrs Suzanna Jones, Interpretation Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “We are delighted with the funding support from the Heritage Tourism Project. This investment provides an exciting opportunity to tell the Roman conquest and settlement story at Garn Goch and Y Pigwn and is a unique project in the respect that it connects these remote sites thematically to the regional story of the Roman occupation of Carmarthenshire.
“We aim to use a combination of both new technology and traditional interpretation so that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the stories of these sites and understand that they are an intrinsic part of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.”
Mrs Julie James, Chairman for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “Receiving this funding is great news for the western area of the National Park. The funding we have helped secure will enable visitors to these two ancient sites located in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park to get actively involved in discovering the rich history of the Roman occupation so that we can develop our understanding of the area’s unique heritage.”
Huw Lewis, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Lewis said: “Tourism is an extremely important contributor to the Welsh economy and Wales’ striking and diverse historic environment is the reason many visitors come to Wales. I’m pleased that we have been able to offer this substantial funding to these eight projects across Wales. This will allow us to develop facilities to tell Wales’s story and to give visitors and residents a better understanding of our history and culture from different periods.”