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Over the past months, some of the pupils of Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy school near Harlech have been taking part in a special project to bring the history associated with some of the area’s ruins to life by means of archaeological investigations, poetry and animation.

Thanks to funding from the Welsh Government through the Harlech and Ardudwy Cultural Heritage Scheme, and direction of the creative co-ordinator, Siwan Llynor, pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy have been learning about the history associated with some of their locality’s former dwellings.

With the kind permission of landowners, pupils were given the opportunity to visit the ruins of Llam Maria and Tan Daran, which represent many of the area’s similar ruins. The history associated with these ruins tell the story of a community forced to the edge of society in the wake of the Enclosure Acts in the 17th and 18th century. By visiting Llam Maria and Tan Daran, the pupils had an opportunity to undertake an archaeological survey which enabled them to better understand the buildings, as well as learn about the challenging lives of their former occupiers through historical documentation. After spending the day exploring and sketching the ruins, back at school, the pupils took part in a poetry workshop with Buddug Roberts, and filming and animating with Gwion Aled to bring these stories to life through the medium of art.

Naomi Jones, the National Park Authority’s Head of Cultural Heritage said:

“We are extremely grateful to Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy for their cooperation with this special project, which has inspired their pupils’ appreciation for their local area.

Improving the understanding of the historic landscape of Ardudwy, which is of international standard, and the communities that once resided here, is one of the Harlech and Ardudwy Cultural Heritage Scheme’s objectives. By bringing the community together to gather, record and interpret the story of the land, we hope that it will give more individuals the opportunity to get involved in their local heritage and better understand their heritage”.

Cathryn Davey, Head of Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy said:

“This was a fantastic cross-curricular project that has brought the local environment and the area’s history to life for the pupils. Digital, geographical, linguistic and historical experts were brought in to enrich this memorable experience, which reinforced and supported the school staff in presenting the Curriculum for Wales to the children.”

Siwan Llynor, the project’s creative lead said:

“It has been a very interesting project that shone a light on the forgotten story of the families that once lived in the mountainous landscape of Ardudwy. It was a great pleasure to lead the walk and share the history with the pupils of Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy”.

This project with the local school forms one of many elements of the Harlech and Ardudwy Cultural Heritage Scheme. The objective of the wider scheme is to record and celebrate the heritage of buildings and the landscape features of Ardudwy’s forgotten farms.


A note to editors

  1. The scheme is funded through financial support by the Welsh Government and implemented through a partnership between the National Park Authority, Cadw, the Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust.
  2. The area of the scheme includes the historical landscape of Ardudwy as defined in Cadw’s Historical Landscapes Register.
  3. A short film about the project can be viewed on the Park Authority’s YouTube channel here.
  4. The poverty of the family of Llam Marie has been documented in Haf Llewenlyn’s recent novel, ‘Salem’.
  5. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Gwen Aeron Edwards, Communications Officer for Planning and Land Management on gwen.aeron@eryri.llyw.cymru or 01766 770 238 / 07887452467