THE NATIONAL TRUST in South Wales is inviting Welsh history lovers to uncover the fascinating story of the powerful Princes of Deheubarth at Dinefwr Park in Llandeilo.
The National Trust Heritage Conservation Charity, with its partners of Cadw and Carmarthenshire County Council recently benefitted from grant funding to enhance the story of the Welsh rulers via Cadw’s £19m Heritage Tourism Project.
The work has been funded through the Heritage Tourism Project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and led by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.
The story of the Welsh princes is one of battles, law making and a passion for the arts that shaped our culture and language. It began after the Roman army abandoned Britain, leaving native British leaders struggling for control.
After several centuries, three main princedoms emerged in Wales: Gwynedd, Powys and in south west Wales, Deheubarth.
T he emerging Welsh princes carved a great legacy for themselves and one of the most important, Hywel Dda, championed Welsh laws. More compassionate and forward thinking than those of England, they included rights for women.
One of the last great princes of Deheubarth was Rhys ap Gruffydd, ‘The Lord Rhys’. He was a fearless warrior, an able diplomat and a cunning politician who ruled Deheubarth between 1155 and 1197.
“The Princes of Deheubarth had their seat of power here at Dinefwr Park”, said Sophie Thomas, Marketing Officer for National Trust Carmarthenshire.
“The imposing Dinefwr Castle, owned by the South Wales Wildlife Trust and joint managed by Cadw and the National Trust, still stands on top of the hill overlooking the National Trust’s 800 acre parkland estate and the rest of the Tywi Valley. With the help of the Heritage Tourism Project we’ve been able to really showcase this story for the first time and to link the parkland with the castle.
“We’ve created a brand new audio trail allowing visitors to walk to Dinefwr Castle with characters from centuries past as their guide. You can listen to what life was like for a humble farmer or even The Lord Rhys himself. Archaeology enthusiasts could also choose to listen to our own on site archaeologist for a different view point on this incredible story and of course these tours are available in Welsh as well”.
The aim of the Princes of Deheubarth project was to explain this important medieval history and to use Dinefwr Park and the castle as a heritage tourism focal point of the story, providing connections between other places in the area linked as partners under the project. The story continues at the Hywel Dda Centre in Whitland, at Talley Abbey and then links with Lord of the Southern Marches story based around Pembroke Castle.
This Medieval history is not available today as all we see are the ruins of castle so we wanted to widen the understanding of our visitors and local to how important in Welsh history the story of the Princes of Deheubarth were. The hope is that people will be inspired to learn more and to follow the journey as the historical story unfolds across South Wales by visiting the key sites.
Under this project there are lots of different ways you can learn about this fascinating Welsh history. “We were aware that not everyone likes an App or modern media so we have tried to provide a range of interpretation tools that mean the widest access for our visitors “said Jacqui Kedward, General Manager.
The interpretation includes a free App called “Castles & Princes” that can be downloaded for all types of mobile devices. The audio tours are available at the Dinefwr Visitor Information Centre and can be listened to in both English and Welsh, with dramatization of the story in the words of the characters who would have experienced them. We have improved the interpretative signage on site so the story can be followed using a s self-led map of the walk to the castle so families can take their own time to follow the story. “I was most impressed with the waterproof paper that the self-led map is printed on” said Jacqui Kedward, “essential for the Welsh weather and a little rain has never stopped our visitors from enjoying the parkland walks”.
The start of your journey for learning the story of the Princes of Deheubarth starts at Dinefwr where Carreg Cennen Castle can be viewed from up on top of the castle walls. Also part of the Castles and Princes story are Carmarthen Castle, Swansea Castle, Pembroke Castle and Laugharne Castle which all contribute to the story of the princes of Deuheubarth as history unfolds itself across the landscape of South Wales.
Police appeal for missing woman
DYFED-Powys Police is appealing for help to find a woman who is missing in the Carmarthen area.
Christine, who is 58, left her van at an address in the Cwmduad area overnight and hasn’t been seen since.
She is described as being 5ft 8ins, with grey/blonde shoulder length hair, of very slim build and is believed to be wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
Anyone who has seen Christine, or knows of her whereabouts, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPP101Online, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: DP-20220812-040.
Discover Carmarthenshire launches 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails
TO HELP their visitors to eat and drink local and authentic produce, Discover Carmarthenshire has developed three new online guides, the 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails for them to follow. The three Larder trails can be viewed here.
With every season bringing the freshest local produce to the county’s markets, delis, farm shops and even the shoreline, as well as an increasing appetite for foodie focused travel experiences, the new trails help visitors head straight to the ‘source’ with some truly authentic experiences to be enjoyed along the way.
The ultimate aim is to help make the picnic, campsite cook up or holiday cottage kitchen supper feature as much Carmarthenshire produce as possible ensuring tourism secondary spend supports the local economy.
Discover Carmarthenshire enlisted the help of three food and travel writers who each spent time in the county researching their trails, locating the tastiest addresses to recommend. Kacie Morgan from The Rare Welshbit who lives in Cardiff covered the west, Binny’s Food and Travel from London hit the east and Carmarthenshire based travel writer Jade Braham, explored her mid county food and drink favourites.
Each trail breaks down advice under different categories including best places for produce market shopping, morning coffee, lunch, treats, hands on tasting experiences, take homes and dinner dates.
From pop up markets to coffee roastery cafes, to cheese makers, vineyards, bottle shops, butchers and delis, visitors following the trails are led on a self guided eating, drinking journey around the county meeting the makers themselves, the farmers, foragers, baristas and gelato producers adding to their experience.
Discover hidden milkshake vending machines down winding county roads and family-run cafes and delis tucked away in market towns, as each guide suggests the best of local eats and drinks.
The Eastern Larder Trail covers the Aman Valley, Llandeilo, Llanelli, the Western Larder Trail explores Laugharne, Whitland, St Clears and Newcastle Emlyn and finally the Mid County Larder Trail focuses on Carmarthen, Kidwelly and Llansteffan. The whole county is covered including experiences such as a low intervention vineyard tour and tasting, to gin and rum distilleries, cookery classes and coastal foraging.
As well as focusing on classic Welsh produce, the trails also celebrate diversity and guide visitors to where they can enjoy Asian curries and tapas cooked up using the freshest local veg followed by a visit to the county’s most famous cheese producer or a drive to a market to search out laverbread, Carmarthenshire’s very own caviar.
The guides also include recommended places to stay (Larder Sleepovers) where the food journey continues – from a new self-catering apartment above the Caws Cenarth dairy, to Mansion House restaurant with rooms and views over Carmarthen Bay, or Cowpots campsite with its own pizzeria and ice cream parlour.
To view the three 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails go to: https://www.discovercarmarthenshire.com/explore/carmarthenshire-larder-trails/.YvOdLS8w35Y:
Carmarthenshire based company supplies kit to Wales Commonwealth Team
A LLANELLI based business, that has received financial support from Carmarthenshire County Council, has won the contract to supply the Wales Commonwealth Team’s training leggings.
Onesta has only been trading since June 2020 but is already kitting out the likes of Rosie Eccles, Anwen Butten and Alys Thomas as they represented Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The leggings were designed by University of South Wales students Beth Jones and Olivia Soady, who won a design competition set by Commonwealth Games Wales in partnership with the University. Beth and Olivia worked in partnership with Onesta to produce 360 pairs of leggings using sustainable, recycled materials.
Since it commenced trading, over two years ago, Carmarthenshire County Council has supported Onesta, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also to realise the company’s long-term ambitions. In June 2021, Onesta was awarded an Economic Resilience Fund grant of £2,500 by Carmarthenshire County Council as support to cover the business bills during the COVID-19 restrictions of May and June 2021. They were also awarded a £2000 Non-Domestic Rates Grant during the COVID-19 support schemes in February 2022.
In April 2022, Onesta was awarded a Business Growth & Recovery Grant of £10,000 to assist with the purchase of manufacturing equipment and workshop and office furniture. The grant money will fund a cutting table, overlockers, cutting machine, industrial iron, industrial sewing machine and lockstitch, which would assist in the manufacturing of the clothing for the Wales Commonwealth Team for the 2022 Games.
The company’s founder, Gabriella Diana, was nominated by the Council for the Wales Start Up Awards in 2021 in which she went on to win the Rising Star category.
Since then, Onesta has also won the Marie Claire Sustainability Award for Best Sustainable Small Brand 2021, UnLtd Social Entrepreneur Award, and was a finalist in the Cardiff Life Awards 2021 and the GBEA Awards 2021.
Onesta was highly commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition at a special awards ceremony, hosted by Intuit, at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow. More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own climate commitment. They were highly commended in the micro business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing eco-friendly materials locally, removing toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and re-purposing fabric scraps to make sustainable products for Surfers Against Sewage.
Gabriella Diana, Founder and Owner of Onesta said “I was over the moon when we found out that the Wales Commonwealth Team had chosen us to supply their leggings. The past few months have been very busy as we have been measuring the athletes and creating the garments. I’m so pleased to see them being worn on the international stage next week.
“I’m very grateful to Carmarthenshire County Council for the financial support we have received to, not only survive the COVID-19 restrictions but also to build the business and strive.”
Since launching the Business Growth & Start-Up Grant scheme in early 2022, Carmarthenshire County Council has approved 61 business grants to Carmarthenshire businesses. Of which 44 approvals were Business Growth & Recovery Grants, totalling £299,225.17 and 17 approvals were Business Start Up Grants, totalling £117,924.31.
Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism said “As a local authority, we are delighted to have been able to invest in Gabriella and her company to enable her to grow the business. We are also very proud to have provided financial support to Onesta, and other companies based in Carmarthenshire, to weather the difficult COVID-19 restrictions of the past two and a half years.
“We have all enjoyed watching Wales’ athletes compete at the recent Commonwealth Games and the fact that they are wearing a kit that is made in Carmarthenshire has been a source of much pride for Carmarthenshire County Council.”
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