Cadw and Gwynedd Council have announced a major redevelopment of Caernarfon Castle, one of the great fortifications built in Wales by King Edward I. The £4 million project will include vital conservation work and accessibility improvements, to the introduction of new and immersive interpretation spaces to boost the overall visitor experience.
By the end of this month construction workers will begin erecting 190 tonnes of scaffolding around the castle’s King’s Gate towers. With renovations due for completion in early 2022, the historic Watergate at the base of the Eagle Tower will form a temporary main entrance — with the gatehouse ceasing to welcome visitors to the Castle for the first time in more than a century.
When the works are complete, the King’s Gate will feature a new viewing deck at the upper level of the gatehouse, and a permanent catering offer — with Cadw set to put the space to market in 2021, offering local businesses the chance to run a café within the castle grounds. Plus, the development work will see the arrival of accessible toilet facilities and a gift shop, as well as brand-new historical interpretation for visitors to enjoy. Meanwhile, important conservation work on the surrounding towers will help to protect the medieval structure for generations to come.
“I greatly welcome this announcement, which marks a positive new chapter for Caernarfon Castle and its visitors,” says Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Welsh government’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. “Making Wales’s past more accessible to people from all walks of life is vital, and through innovative technology, we can unlock unexplored areas of our historic sites while delving deeper into their histories.
“I would like to thank Cadw’s members and visitors for their continued support, which has helped us care for our precious historic buildings during this difficult time.”
Top Image: Photo by Hefin Owen / Flickr