A project to guide visitors around prehistoric Pembrokeshire has been given the go-ahead thanks to a £171,000 funding boost.
Origins will be run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and aims to improve the experience for visitors wanting to discover more about Pembrokeshire’s past.
The project will involve the creation of trails, guides and mobile phone apps which will enable visitors to enjoy the prehistoric culture of the National Park. It will also see the development of an interpretation centre at Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort, which is owned and managed by the National Park Authority.
The funding was announced by the Welsh Government’s Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis. Origins is one of nine projects across Wales to benefit from a £2.4 million pot from Cadw’s £19m Heritage Tourism Project which is backed with £8.5m from the European Regional Development Fund.
Phil Bennett, Culture and Heritage Manager for the National Park Authority, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. We’re looking forward to the project immensely and to working in partnership with Dyfed Archaeological Trust, PLANED and the National Trust to enable visitors to explore Pembrokeshire’s rich heritage.
“The Heritage Tourism Project funding was open for anyone to apply and we are lucky enough to have been chosen to run the Pembrokeshire-wide Origins project.
“Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort will be the hub for the project, so people will be able to come here and not only learn about the Iron Age – which is the very last period in prehistory – but also see interpretative displays about prehistory across the whole area. Then we’ll be able to encourage them to explore the landscape of prehistoric Pembrokeshire itself.
“Pembrokeshire has been home to humans since the Old Stone Age, many thousands of years ago. It has seen the process of people first settling down, through to the beginnings of farming in the New Stone Age around 3,500BC with iconic sites such as Pentre Ifan built in respect of their dead.
“We then have the Bronze Age, where the landscape is marked by standing stones and burial mounds, and finally the Iron Age with the many hill and cliff top fortresses to be found in Pembrokeshire.
“It was in the Roman period when people in Britain started to adopt writing, so everything that happened after that is known as ‘history’, and everything up to that point we know as prehistory.
“The project is in its early stages but it is going to be really exciting.”
Huw Lewis, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage 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 through our EU-backed Heritage Tourism programme we have been able to support this project which will help conserve our cultural heritage, boost tourism and bring wider economic benefits to Pembrokeshire.”