This month, more than 200 of Wales’s most iconic landmarks and historic attractions will welcome thousands of visitors as part of the Wales-wide heritage festival, Open Doors. Several medieval sites are featured, including Neath Abbey.
The Cistercian monastery, which is nearly 900 years old, is set to host two Open Doors events on Saturday, 28 and Sunday, 29 September, with visitors invited to delve into the site’s undercroft — a recently refurbished chamber which has been inaccessible for several years due to ongoing conservation.
Open Doors visitors will enjoy a first look at the newly completed chamber and will be able to view fascinating artefacts and impressive monastic remains— all with the guidance of an expert tour leader.
Designed in celebration of Wales’s 2019 Year of Discovery, this year’s Open Doors programme will allow visitors to uncover some of the finest secret gems of Wales — with some locations opening their doors to the public for the very first time and exclusive, access-all-areas guided tours on offer at heritage sites across the country.
Among the other sites being featured in Hafoty Medieval House, a 16th-century, timber-framed building with a complex structural history. On Saturday 07 and Sunday 08 September it can be visited — where guests will be given an in-depth guided tour of the house, filled with colourful history and glimpses of the site’s beautiful, original decoration.
These are just two of the twenty-nine Cadw sites taking part in Open Doors this year, with a selection of Cadw’s castles, abbeys, burial chambers and other fascinating properties opening for free and offering never-before-seen guided tours and activities during every weekend in September. The Open Doors festival is funded and organized by Cadw, the official heritage body of Wales.
“Cadw is committed to making Welsh history accessible to all and Open Doors is a fantastic, country-wide programme which does exactly that,” explains Dafydd Elis-Thomas the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport in Wales. “Through free access, unique events and special guided tours, there is plenty to encourage people to discover Welsh heritage this September. So, I hope that Open Doors 2019 will inspire local people and visitors of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about Wales’s best known sites and our hidden gems alike.
“After all, what better time to explore the best of Wales’s culture and history than during Wales’s 2019 Year of Discovery?”
— Edu Begins at Home (@edubeginsathome) September 5, 2019
Top Image: Neath Abbey. Photo by Gareth Lovering Photography / Flickr