Going back to the future with Welsh heritage

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

I may work in the past, but I am also in my element with new technology! New projects with Cadw, the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service, make our archaeology accessible and our castles cutting-edge…

The Cadw App

Image of smartphone showing the CADW appLast year we re-launched the Cadw App, free and available on Android and Apple devices. Traditionally, it has always shown site information, galleries and a handy map, which knows where you are by using GPS through satellites, for sites under Cadw guardianship across Wales.

Now, the app has been redeveloped to unlock special features, games and digital trails across Wales. Special hidden content is unlocked in and around selected sites by low energy Bluetooth beacons, including games, audio points and before/after reconstructions.

The use of Bluetooth means there’s no need for WiFi and no need for mobile network- an essential feature for inside many of our monuments!

Planning a trip? Check out the Digital Trails section within the Cadw app before you visit and download some of the larger bundles so you’re ready to go as soon as you arrive.

We’re currently rolling out content across Wales, including some of our unstaffed properties, to help deliver information during your visit. Cadw directly cares for over 100 sites across Wales, so it’ll certainly keep us busy for a long while yet!

On site installations

But it’s not just all about the app. Each year we work hard to bring new interactive experiences to sites across Wales. From portcullis projections and amazing audio visual shows, to touchscreen tables, curious characters and enchanting art.

image of the prince's chamber at criccieth castleThis spring we re-opened Criccieth Castle’s visitor centre, including brand new innovative interpretation focused on the Princes of Gwynedd. Enter the prince’s chamber and approach the table. By pressing on associated items, stories of three people who need to speak with the prince while he is in residence are projected down in front of you. Sit at his throne, beautifully carved by award-winning artist Simon O’Rourke- and if you find the little button, give it a press for a fun surprise!

My work may be in ruins(!) but part of my job is to bring it all back to the future using digital media. As technology continues to develop, we will keep adding new ways of telling the stories of our captivating and legendary Welsh heritage.

And I look forward to seeing you there in the future.

Post by Erin Lloyd Jones, Heritage Interpretation Manager, Cadw

Image credits courtesy of © Crown copyright (2017) Cadw, Welsh Government