Bangor University hosts Medieval Fun Day at Caernarfon Castle
Nearly 500 local school pupils and their teachers enjoyed a packed program full of history, education, creativity and fun at a Medieval Fun Day at Caernarfon Castle, organised by Bangor University recently.
Staff from the College of Arts and Humanities shared their enthusiasm and expertise in workshops on creating a medieval book (Prof. Raluca Radulescu, English literature and Arthurian studies) and history of the castle walks (Dr Euryn Roberts, School of History and Archaeology), with additional activities including creating digital castles, medieval calligraphy and a treasure hunt for the Holy Grail. The educational and fun aspects of the day were further enhanced by performances of medieval drama by undergraduate students from the Bangor English Drama Society, displays of medieval combat put on by the University’s student re-enactment group, and story-telling (of Arthurian legends) by postgraduate students from the MA and PhD programmes in Arthurian literature.
Raluca Radulescu, Professor of Medieval Literature in the School of English Literature, said: “Being able to share one's expertise and contribute to the education of the younger generation is an invaluable opportunity in one’s academic career. Our Medieval Fun Day provided this in abundance. Following the success of the King Arthur Fun Day held in June 2015 at Bangor University Library, I was sure that an event aimed to educate primary school children would work very well in Caernarfon castle, where our alumnus John Sherlock is custodian. Images from the Arthurian collections at the library, as well as medieval book bindings and parchment, provided additional excitement to the workshops I ran medieval books, and an incentive to both teachers and the pupils to visit the university and take advantage of events we are planning here”.
Shan Robinson, Special Collections Officer, Bangor University Library and Archive Service, said:
“The whole event ran like clockwork due to the hard work of a dedicated team. The proof of any successful event that involves children is how invested, and engaged they become. Their enthusiasm was evident in the pertinent questions they asked and the interest they showed by becoming thoroughly engrossed in the experience. What a wonderful way of sharing the University and its collections within the local community and teaching children about life in medieval times.”
John Sherlock, CADW’s Head Custodian of Caernarfon Castle, himself a graduate of the MA in Arthurian literature, said: “I overheard one of the pupils describe the visit to his mum and dad as ‘the best day EVER’, and I have to agree, what a fantastic Medieval Day is was.
“The organisation and the commitment to the event by Bangor University’s College of Arts and Humanities staff, students and volunteers was exceptional. The pupils created a great atmosphere in the castle, and left with lasting memories. It was a fantastic event, which we hope to be able to repeat in in the future.”
The schools in attendance were, Ysgol Bethel, Ysgol y Felinheli, Ysgol Santes Helen, Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones, Ysgol Cae Top, Ysgol y Parc, Ysgol Llanfawr, Ysgol y Ffridd, Ysgol Llangoed, Ysgol Llanfachraeth, Ysgol Cwm y Glo, Ysgol Henblas and St Mary's, Holyhead.
The event was funded by the University’s Centre for Widening Access.
Publication date: 21 July 2016