The Welsh Government’s decision to make 2017 the Year of Legends is good news for Caergwrle Castle. Although it stands in ruins today, Caergwrle Castle is closely associated with key events in Welsh medieval history. Its story is entwined with that of the legendary conflict between the Welsh Princes themselves and with King Edward I of England. The HLF-funded Caergwrle Sense of Place Project has provided an opportunity for the village to rise to the occasion and to promote itself. What follows is a sneak preview of what will eventually be a bilingual leaflet to promote the Castle as a gateway into key aspects of Welsh history.The Project has enabled a team of local specialists to utilise their skills for the benefit of the community. Michael Roberts, himself a legendary medievalist and illustrator, has provided the some fantastic artwork. Delwyn Ellis, noted for his stunning local photography, has agreed for his work to be used. Yours truly is providing the text and local design specialist, Bill Smuts, will be drawing everything together. The exact format of the leaflet may change but what follows are the basic ideas behind ‘The Rise and Fall of Caergwrle Castle.’
The leaflet is but one aspect of the work of the Project. The work builds on memories sessions and feedback from guided tours which took place last year. Several other community engagement initiatives were also supported by the project team. It is the intention to re-establish the guided tours of both the Castle and the village in warmer weather, produce a published guide to the heritage of the village and establish a local heritage archive in Hope Community Library.
North Wales itself has been named among the top places in the world to visit in 2017 according to Lonely Planet’s Best Travel list. The economic impact of tourism in Flintshire alone is valued at £220 million per annum. Let us hope that 2017 provides an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the delights of our heritage.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the policy of Flintshire County Council. Readers are welcome to contact the author with any news or views on the local heritage at DHealey204@aol.com or by telephoning 01978 761 523.