The new spring season will see the opening of Conwy Castle’s visitor centre following an extensive refurbishment, which started in January 2012.
The visitor centre is the main entrance point into the World Heritage site and the new-look centre will provide a warm welcome as visitors will be able to enjoy browsing the new shop and experience improved visitor facilities.
The castle also boasts new visitor information and interpretation. Dinamo animation production company - the creators of the successful children’s BBC elevision programme, Rastamouse - have created a fun animation that will introduce visitors to the castle.
In addition, five Welsh artists have created artworks inspired by the castle and its story. These include stained-glass windows, an effigy of Edward I, a digital fireplace, and a wooden guard constructed using medieval joinery techniques. The crown of the princes of Gwynedd will rise within the Prison Tower reflecting the indomitable spirit of the people of Wales.
But castle buffs need not fear. The artworks will be complemented with a suite of information boards complete with new reconstruction drawings. And younger visitors will still be able to explore the castle using the popular Time Detectives trail.
David Penberthy, head of interpretation and lifelong learning for Cadw, said ‘We’re always looking for innovative and creative ways to hook visitors into our history, and using artists opens up a whole new way of examining our past. Being able to offer the story in a variety ways — be it through a children’s trail, information boards, or through works of art — will open up Conwy to a wider audience’.
To cap these new developments, a smartphone app is being created to help visitors discover the castle and the town walls of Conwy. Life in the thirteenth century will be brought to us using twenty-firstcentury technology, furthering Cadw’s ascent into cyberspace!