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Exhibition

In July 2017 HRH the Prince of Wales opened the new permanent bilingual exhibition in the Visitor Centre at Llancaiach Fawr Manor. The work was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Caerphilly County Borough Council and the Friends of Llancaiach Fawr.

Prince Charles visits Llancaiach Fawr Manor

The exhibition reflects the additional research and discoveries made since the Manor first opened to the public in 1991. For the first time, the objects found within the manor during its restoration in the 1980’s and recent archaeological finds, some by the Time Team excavations in 2010 and others by the in house archaeological team of staff and volunteers, are on public display. We have discovered over 4000 years of occupation on this spot from the Bronze Age to the present day.

The exhibition covers the building of the Manor the extent of the Prichard estate- they owned agricultural land and mineral rights stretching from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff and were the sixth wealthiest family in Glamorgan based on the amount of tax they paid. The life of the Prichard family and their servants, who lived at Llancaiach Fawr from the 1550’s until circa 1660, is demonstrated through the objects they left behind them.

The Civil Wars of the 1640’s are the backdrop to our live, costumed interpretation in the Manor set in 1645. The exhibition sets out clearly the arguments and issues on both sides of the conflict and the differences between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. ‘Talking Portraits’ of King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell explain the rift between them in a way that delights old and young alike.

An interactive touch table contains games for younger visitors to explore the lives of the servants and an opportunity to understand more about the family feuds and court cases than there is space for on the main interpretation panels. Images of the original documents can be seen and magnified- see if you can read 17th century handwriting! There are typed transcripts of the documents as well which make it easier to get an inside view of the lives of the Prichards and what they got up to!

For visitors fascinated by the beliefs and superstitions connected to the Manor- the objects which were secreted under the floorboards and hidden away are on show. Children’s shoes, parts of garments, iron blades and nails hammered into the underside of door thresholds were placed to protect the inhabitants of the house- whether all of them knew it or not! We have also been investigating hidden protective marks on doors, wooden panelling and beams. The layers of stories connected to Llancaiach Fawr keep on getting more and more interesting.

The free to enter exhibition is a wonderful introduction to the manor and its stories- Prince Charles found it fascinating and we hope you will too!