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Outrage at vandalism to historic Welsh castle site

20 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Damage to the new Caergwrle Castle information boards. Image – Cllr Dave Healey

Rory SheehanLocal Democracy Reporter

New information boards at one of Flintshire’s most historic sites have been vandalised and stolen in what has been described as an “attack on the community”.

Caergwrle Cllr Dave Healey, a historian and Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for the environment reported the damage at the village’s castle remains on Wednesday (July 19).

Two panels have been removed, and the whole supporting structure for one of them has been pulled out of the ground.

Much work has been undertaken in recent decades in an effort to learn more about the castle, to preserve it, to make it accessible to all, and to provide as much information as possible about the site to visitors.

One of the new Caergwrle Castle information boards. Image – Cllr Dave Healey

Plaque

It was built in 1278 by then Prince of Wales Dafydd ap Gruffudd before he launched an ill-fated rebellion against the English which ended in his execution.

And history records that Edward I and his queen Eleanor, were staying at the castle in 1283 when a terrifying fire broke out and they were lucky to escape with their lives.

In May 2018, Minister for Culture Lord Dafydd Ellis-Thomas unveiled a plaque at the foot of the castle signalling a commitment from the Welsh Government’s historic environment service Cadw to take guardianship of the site.

Damage

The new interpretation panels had only recently been installed and this damage has left Cllr Healey horrified at what he sees as an attack on village heritage and the community.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service he said: “I am outraged by this wanton attack on Caergwrle’s heritage.

“CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, took Caergwrle Castle into its guardianship in 2018 following a local campaign.

“Progress was held up by the Covid pandemic and budget issues but two excellent interpretation panels were finally erected earlier this year. The artwork on the panels was superb and, in my view, I believe that the interpretation of the site was spot on.

“There are several mysteries about the castle and the panels did a cracking job in suggesting possible answers to those mysteries. It must have cost CADW a great deal to commission both the artwork and the heritage consultant involved. What emerged was an act of genius.”

Horrified

Cllr Healey added: “I was horrified to see the damage done to this site. The panels have been completely ripped out and stolen. The supports for one of the panels have been brutally ripped up out of the ground.

“I think celebration of the local heritage is immensely important. It encourages tourism which increased footfall and dwell time in our community. This helps with local economic regeneration.

“The heritage also helps to give people a sense of place and helps with their wellbeing. This really is an attack on the community of Caergwrle itself.

“I would appeal for anyone who knows anything about this crime to come forward and report the details to the police.

“I really hope that CADW are able to replace these boards so that they are they for people to learn about this historic site.”

Anyone who knows anything about the vandalism is urged to contact North Wales Police, who have confirmed there have been no arrests in relation to the incident to date. The crime reference number is A113961.


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Frank
Frank
8 months ago

Ah, “Caergirlie” as the people around there call it. The damage was probably done by ignorant tourists who don’t really know anything about Welsh history. Having said that I don’t remember Hanes Cymru being taught here in our schools in my schooldays in the 50s and 60s. I wonder if they do so now or is it still only about the one-sided glorious history of our neighbours?

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I doubt tourists would damage it. Probably some anglicised louts from Caergyrlie who are ignorant of their own history.

George Bodley
George Bodley
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Same little englander BS being taught in our schools anything to bypass Real Welsh History.

Frank
Frank
8 months ago

Ah, “Caergirlie” as the locals call it. In my humble opinion this is an act of vandalism against Hanes Cymru. The Cymry have in the past hardly ever been taught any Welsh history in schools. In my schooldays in the 50s and 60s we were only taught the one-sided glorious history of England. I wonder if it’s the same in our schools today?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago

No respect. No brains. No parental guidance. Mindless vandalism by those hard of thinking. I truly feel sorry for them , really I do. Not much fun being a dragged up latch door key loser.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
8 months ago

If these sites of historical importance were secured and protected, this couldn’t have happened! I’m getting sick of the lame attitude of CADW! The Norman castles don’t need the level of investment they receive, the Native Welsh ones do. They ALL need to be bought up under compulsory purchase orders, secured and maintained. It’s a pity CADW are more concerned with English tourists than Welsh heritage 🙄😒😠

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