A Travellerspoint blog

Kidwelly Castle

An adventure into the 11th and 12th century!

Today's exciting adventure was to the Kidwelly Castle. As you walked through the main entrance you looked up and could see where the portcullis (main gate) dropped through. It was a big walk up to the main gate, the drawbridge had been removed and a permanent entry was in its place. The Castle was built on a river edge providing great difficulty to anyone wanting to attack. We were greeted by a man dressed in 11th to 12th century clothing - on your left there was 'a lookout' room/archers house, with lots of gaps and windows to fire your arrows out of. On your right was a dungeon which held prisoners in manacles and you were put into little slots in the wall90_IMG_6642.jpg90_IMG_6627.jpgIMG_6648.jpg

Further on into the castle there was an armour room which displayed basic armour, including chain mail, shields, helmets, swords and gloves. There were two more rooms to visit the kitchen on your left and another archers room on your right, there were very small staircases in each of these rooms and you would need to be skinny with all your armour on, have small feet and also be short to fit up the staircase. In the kitchen was a huge fireplace and lots of storage. Once you got through the outer guardhouse, you were in the outer courtyard which was a patch of grass separating the outside wall of the castle and the inner courtyard. The outer courtyard goes all the way around the inner of the castle to protect it from attack.

There were several displays in the castle on what the knights would have looked like, archers and their arrows, weapons to use, dress of the 12th century, cooking during this time and the weaver as wool was an important trading resource.
One lady was dressed in armour from head to toe, pieces of the armour would have been made in countries from all around the world, if you were rich you would get hand made armour otherwise you would gather your own (from other dead soldiers) or buy certain pieces when able. The armour weighed about 20 kilos, and the most expensive piece would tend to be your helmet. There were volunteers who belonged to Cadw (historical society keeping Welsh heritage alive).
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There was a real archer who showed us the different tips for arrows. One stiletto arrow head was designed to go through chain mail and pierce the skin - archers would urinate on these to poison the soldier they shot at!
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The fire head was used by the head archer, it was filled with straw or wool and lit to signal to the rest of the archers where to shoot. Archers could fire 6 arrows a minute so if you had 100 archers they would fire 600 arrows a minute - often they were used to stop or halt an advance rather than to necessarily kill anyone.

All of the volunteers were really helpful and answered all of our questions, one lady that was spinning wool showed us how to spin it and how it was made into blankets at the time, wool was very prized for export - the funniest thing was she had a New Zealand icebreaker shirt on underneath!!! She said you needed to do ten hours of spinning for every hour of weaving so a very labour intensive job.

The baker showed us the bread she made yesterday - very hard looking, women and children followed the soldiers and the woman cooked for her husband. If your husband didn't come back from war you ended up selling the food and looting dead soldiers.

We went up to the turrets where the archers would have stood many years ago, the turrets were connected with paths, along these paths there were holes in the castle wall where they poured boiling oil down the sides of the castle to burn anyone thinking of attacking. Outside of the castle there was the remains of the moat!

Lucy

Posted by Smithys 12:40 Comments (0)

Saint Davids

The Paintron Saint Of Wales

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Today we went to Saint Davids Cathedral.
Saint David is the Pantron Saint of wales so the cathedral was massive!!!
It had a whole heap of stained glass windows, which looked really nice.
There were some tombs of people that had been bishops or priests in the cathedral.
There were lots of old myths and legend about it and what was in it.
There was a tomb for one lady who wanted to be buried in a cathedral, no other cathedral would have her, but she paid 20,000 pounds to be buried at St Davids and that paid for some restoration of a chapel! Apparently she wasn't very easy to deal with and overlooked the workers who were making her tomb! She even tried it out while still alive to see if it fitted and was comfortable enough for her!
There is a really nice cafe in the top of it, at the cafe you can go upstairs and you have a view of the whole cathedral.
You could light candles and take pictures if you played 2 pounds 💷
Here are some Photos
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Lucy

Posted by Smithys 11:31 Archived in Wales Tagged #love_saint_davids_cathedral Comments (0)

What is the difference

semi-overcast 9 °C

During this week we have found a lot of things in wales different to in New Zealand.
In wales there are lots of brick walls and double stores houses 🏡.
In the last term of the year everyone has to sit national test that the welsh government have given to all the school.
Everybody in wales is so friendly and welcoming!!!!
The schoools have Headmasters or Headmistress.
You start school at the age of 3.
There are lots of olden style building and parks/replicas of what adults and children had to go through when they were at school or even working at after school at the age of 12.
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We have thought lots of people have funny accents but the all sound very similar.
What we would call hills in New Zealand everybody in Wales calls them Mountains.
Most houses are joined to another house by a wall.
Heaps of interesting fact boards around town.
Big shopping centers like Trostre Park.
You can't swim in there sea because there sandy area is mud flats or sinking sand and it not good for your health if you swim in mud flats.
Lucy.

Posted by Smithys 11:45 Archived in Wales Tagged #love_wales!! #lots_of_old_cool_heritage_spot Comments (0)

A week in school

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During the last week it has been very busy.

On Monday we started at Pwll Primary. We have got a really nice teacher Miss Webster,
On Tuesday Emily started at glan y mor and is really enjoying it .
On Wednesday At school all the year sixes including me went to this rehearsal for a choir.
On Thursday carter and I had sport/football at school with was really fun but carter fell over and grazed himself.
Today Carter and I have an inset day which means it is a teacher only day !!!!!!!!
Emily still has school though.
Dacu and mum are settling in well and we have just been to H & M , D M fitness and got some cool gear!!!!!!

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Posted by Smithys 05:03 Archived in Wales Comments (0)

Saint Fagan's

Welsh Heritage Village

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Today we went to Saint Fagan's.
We saw lots of different house's and buildings.
All of the buildings there where either made from the real brick of the olden day houses, or the had been lifted from the ground and transferred to this Heritage Site.
There where lots of fascinating things there like the Welsh Not.
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It was this block of wood which had W and N carved into it , Which has string tied around it so it looks like a necklace sort of thing.
In Wales they were trying to get people to speak only English instead of welsh as well.
So if you got caught speaking Welsh this necklace got hung around your neck and you could pass it on to someone else if you heard them speaking Welsh.
At the end of the day in school if you still had it on, you were caned.

Lucy

Posted by Smithys 11:03 Archived in Wales Tagged heritage site wales Comments (2)

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