Mair Williams's blog

Welsh flag flies proudly once more at Neath Castle

Neath Castle (Castell Nedd)  is located in the town centre of Neath, Wales ( Castell-nedd, Cymru). It stands in a strategic place that guards an important river crossing. The site is that of a twelfth century Norman castle that possibly replaced an earlier fortification. The castle was persistently attacked by the Welsh and after being burnt by the great Welsh prince Llewellyn ap Iorwerth it was rebuilt in stone. It was sacked again in the fifteenth century and the gatehouse seen today was built. Sections of the curtain wall also remain.

Call to make Welsh and not English history a priority in schools in Wales

Welsh history has to be given priority in school lessons in Wales. That is the call made by Councillor Owain Williams who represents Clynnog  on Gwynedd Council. As reported in the Welsh Daily Post newspaper he is putting a motion forward at next week's council meeting in which he proposes:

“That Gwynedd Council calls for arrangements to be made for Welsh history to be given priority in history lessons in all schools in Wales.

"The current situation of basic failings in teaching our own history and identity is unacceptable.

Welsh journalist who exposed Soviet famine of 1932–33 honoured

The Soviet famine of 1932–33 killed millions of people in the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union. Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, the Volga Region, Kazakhstan, the South Urals, and West Siberia were included in the areas heavily impacted by the famine. In the Ukraine it is known as the Holodomor and it has been estimated that over 3 million died, with some suggesting the deaths could stand at over 7 milion. In Kazakhstan it is thought over 600,000 (15% of all Kazakhs) died.

Ceredigion section of Wales Coastal Path damaged by storms re-routed and open again

The Wales Coast Path (Welsh: Llwybr Arfordir Cymru) is  a 870-mile (1,400 km) walking route that follows or runs close to the coastline of Wales from Chepstow (Welsh: Cas-gwent) in the south to Queensferry in Flintshire (Sir y Fflint) in the north.  The Wales Coast Path is recognised as having national importance for its outstanding scenery, wildlife and historic features.

Painting at Welsh castle found to be lost Murillo masterpiece

A painting at Penrhyn Castle, Llandygai, Bangor, in North Wales has been found to be a lost masterpiece by Spanish artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo (December 1617 – April 3, 1682). The painting is of Spanish writer Don Ortiz de Zuniga (1636 -  September 3, 1680 ) and has hung in the Welsh castle for 150 years. It was long thought to be a copy but has been verified by Spanish art scholar Benito Navarrete as an original work after he visited north Wales earlier this year.

Archaeologists uncover hidden 12th Century castle in Ireland

Mount Stewart is a 19th-century house and garden in County Down (Irish: Contae an Dúin) in the north-east of Ireland, which is now owned by the National Trust. Archaeologists have recently discovered a hidden 12th Century motte-and-bailey castle on the estate, which is situated on the Ards Peninsula (Irish: Leithinis na hArda).  There was considerable Norman intervention in this area in the 12th century resulting in the  building of a number of castles and priories. 

Welsh poet Hedd Wyn image beamed on National Library of Wales

A video installation called Y Milwr Amharod (The Reluctant Soldier) has been beamed on to the front of the National Library of Wales (Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru). It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Welsh war poet Hedd Wynn, the Snowdonia shepherd who was killed on the opening day of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, just days after being sent to the front line.

Plaid Cymru - Party of Wales unreservedly condemns the jailing of Catalan politicians by the Spanish State

Plaid Cymru - Party of Wales has unreservedly condemned the jailing of Catalan politicians by the Spanish State. They have issued the following statement:

"These are members of a democratically elected government. Vice-President Oriol Junqueras is a longstanding friend of Plaid Cymru and colleague of ours in the European Free Alliance, and we urge the Spanish State to release him and the other political prisoners.

Campaigners call for greater efforts to secure future of Pen Dinas Iron Age Celtic hillfort

Pen Dinas is the name of a large hill by the village of Penparcau, on the coast of Ceredigion, Wales. It is the site of Pen Dinas Iron Age Celtic hillfort which overlooks the sea from a ridge between the Rivers Rheidol and Ystwyth, and stands above the town of Aberystwyth. Enclosing an area of 3.8 hectares, defined by massive rampart and ditched defences, this is one of the largest and most important hillforts in west Wales. Excavations of the site, between 1933-37, pointed to intermittent occupation during the Iron Age.

Secretary of State for Wales rises to the occasion

Alun Hugh Cairns is the Member of the UK Parliament (MP) for the Vale of Glamorgan (Welsh: Bro Morgannwg) in South Wales and is also Secretary of State for Wales. Given his level of responsibility he is expected to be accountable and as the saying goes is someone you need to 'keep on their toes'. Its always good to know that a politician takes this seriously, but maybe not quite as seriously as Alun Cairns cleary felt pressurised into doing a couple of days ago.


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