Cauldrons & Furnaces has, at its heart, the ambition to tell extraordinary stories in extraordinary places. A visitor who makes a journey around eight iconic Cadw sites in the summer of 2012 will experience something of our small nation’s rich and diverse cultural heritage from its mythic beginnings to modern times. On route they will discover the diversity, skill and the talent of its young people and the artists who inspire them.
Our journey starts with a pilgrimage departing from Llanthony Priory on 16 June. It follows the route of medieval pilgrims, kings, saints, madmen and pauper and arrives 22 days later in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. On route the pilgrimage will pass through castles, holy wells and ancient sites including Blaenavon, Caerphilly and Laugharne where special events will be held.
During the month long Talacharn Trails and Tales Laugharne Castle will be enchanted by stories hidden within its walls and gardens. Caerphilly Castle will host a three-day festival of sculpture, film, drama, music and dance inspired by the castle’s place in Caerphilly’s past, present and future. In complete contrast the industrial landscape and the geological harvest lying underneath the surface provide the inspiration for Elemental at Blaenavon Ironworks.
In the north a different metalworking heritage is explored. Denbigh Castle’s project Mantell celebrates the Bronze Age and tells a heroic story (akin to Homer’s Odyssey) inspired by the prehistoric riches of north-east Wales and, in particular, by the Mold gold cape.
Further north still the children of Flintshire have been on their own three year journey. Their work culminates in an historic pageant at Flint Castle- a journey from mythic beginnings through to the Roman, Norman and English invasions.
At Caernarfon Castle Cipio’r Castell will awaken the spirit of Owain Glyndwr symbolised by the sleeping dragon and from the moment visitors enter the castle they will be delighted by surprise happenings and even more surprising guests!
Inspired by the Harlech Pageant of 1922 the young people of south Gwynedd will tell the story of Harlech Castle in seven historic epochs through twenty-first century eyes. The specially commissioned 2012 anthem, new arrangements of the Men of Harlech song and state of the art digital technology ensure that this will be a stunning night time finale to the Cauldrons & Furnaces programme of events.
Follow the journey online #CF12