St Govan’s Chapel


St Govans Chapel © David Gill

St Govan’s Chapel in Pembrokeshire is set in a fold of the sea cliffs. The present chapel probably dates to the 13th or 14 centuries, although the name suggests a possibly earlier foundation.

The chapel is accessed via the Castlemartin firing ranges.


St Govans Chapel © David Gill

Caerleon: amphitheatre


Caerleon amphitheatre © David Gill

The amphitheatre is located outside the Roman legionary fortress at Isca Silurum (Caerleon). It was probably constructed c. AD 90.  The buttresses supporting the banks can be  clearly seen around the southern entrance that provided one of the two main access points to the arena.

The amphitheatre was excavated by (Sir) Mortimer Wheeler, who also wrote the original Ministry guidebook.

The amphitheatre is in the care of Cadw.

Cadw Visitor Figures for 2015


Tretower Court © David Gill

The 2015 visitor figures for Cadw sites are now available (for 2014 see here). (2014 numbers are in brackets.)

  1. Conwy Castle: 204,172  (184,758)
  2. Caernarfon Castle: 195,352 (175,216)
  3. Caerphilly Castle: 93,421 (107,887)
  4. Harlech Castle: 89,038  (75,512)
  5. Beaumaris Castle: 82,368 (86,854)
  6. Tintern Abbey: 70,808 (67,520)
  7. Castell Coch: 69,004 (69,418)
  8. Raglan Castle: 66,058 (59,385)
  9. Caerleon Roman Baths and Amphitheatre: 60,192 (55,977)
  10. Chepstow Castle: 59,463 (56,976)
  11. Criccieth Castle: 45,715  (43,528)
  12. Kidwelly Castle: 31,686 (29,359)
  13. St David’s Bishop’s Palace: 24,308 (24,646)
  14. Blaenavon Ironworks: 29,107 (22,467)
  15. Rhuddlan Castle: 25,872 (20,701)
  16. Plas Mawr: 23,658 (24,738)
  17. Carreg Cennen Castle: 23,345  (21,776)
  18. Cilgerran Castle: 19,416  (17,894)
  19. Laugharne Castle: 12,209  (15,807)
  20. Tretower Castle and Court: 13,587  (11,537)
  21. Denbigh Castle: 10,154 (12,584)
  22. Valle Crucis Abbey: 7,355  (8,117)
  23. White Castle: 7,682 (8,603)
  24. Oxwich Castle: 6,336  (6,070)
  25. Strata Florida Abbey: 5,280 (6,391)
  26. Dolwyddelan Castle: 4,645  (5,768)
  27. Lamphey Bishop’s Palace: 3,220  (2,856)
  28. Rug Chapel: 2,674 (3,387)
  29. Weobley Castle: 2,071  (2,495)
  30. Margam Stones Museum: 139  (438)




Carreg Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber


Carreg Coetan Arthur © David Gill

The burial chamber of Carreg Coetan Arthur lies on the east side of Newport in Pembrokeshire. The monument is in the care of Cadw. It was excavated in 1979 and 1980.

A Cadw guide was prepared by J.B. Hilling (1992). This is omitted from the earlier list of Cadw guides to burial chambers in Wales.

Tiberius Claudius Paulinus at Caerwent


Caerwent © David Gill

The honorific inscription to Tiberius Claudius Paulinus, legate of the II Augustan legion, was recovered from Caerwent in south Wales (RIB 311). It is now displayed in the parish church of  St Stephen and Tathan (see guidebook). Paulinus, who had been based at the nearby legionary fortress at Caerleon, subsequently became governor of Britannia Inferior in 220 (and recorded in an inscription from the fort at High Rochester, RIB 1280).

The decree was set up as a result of a decree passed by the ordo or council of the Silures. It is particularly important as it provides details of the career of Paulinus, including governorships in two separate provinces of Gaul.

Plans to merge Cadw and National Museums Wales


Opening of National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, 17 October 2005 © David Gill

There has been speculation for some time about the possible merger of Cadw and National Museums Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru). It has been reported today that Dr David Fleming, Director of the National Museums Liverpool, has written to the Welsh Government Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee  (“‘Threat’ to National Museum Wales over merger plans“, BBC News 7 October 2016). He wrote: “I cannot stress enough the pivotal role that Wales’ national museum service plays in the demonstration of Welsh nationality and the damage that could result from any diminution of that role.”

The merger is likely to include the National Library of Wales (Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru).

One of the proposed names for the new body is apparently “Historic Wales”.

The Economy Secretary for Welsh Government, Ken Skates, stated: “This [evolution] is essential if these organisations are to continue to act as effective custodians of our outstanding historic collections and heritage and provide an outstanding visitor experience.”


Carew Cross © David Gill