Published on March 1st, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
Happy St David’s Day
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus or Happy St David’s Day. The 1st of March marks the date that the patron saint of Wales, St David died in 589.
Who Was St David?
St David, or Dewi Sant was born in Caerfai, Pembrokshire in around 500AD. He travelled extensively in Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland and Jerusalem where he was made an archbishop.
He founded around 12 monasteries where monks farmed the land and lived on a simple diet of bread, vegetables, water and milk.
In the 12th Century he became the patron saint for Wales at the height of the Welsh resistance to the Normans. St David along with St Patrick, are the only patron saints of the British Isles who actually visited the country they are patron saint for.
Celebrating St David’s Day
Today, across Wales celebrations will be held for St David’s Day.
At Caernarfon Castle, two giant dragons Dewi and Dwynwen have arrived to join in with the fun. The 4-metre-long dragons weigh two tonnes and are set to become a very popular tourist attraction. Dwynwen will remain at Caernarfon Castle for the rest of March, whilst Dewi will be at Harlech Castle before heading onto Wrexham’s DragonFest on 1st April.
The Welsh flag is also flying over Downing Street today. Prime Minister Theresa May is hosting a reception celebrating Welsh business, media, tourism, sport and charities. Produce from Wales will also be showcased, including Welsh whisky, beer, cheese and Welsh cakes.
Celebrating Welsh Engineering
As well as being a country of outstanding national beauty, Wales is also home to some incredible feats of engineering.
The Menai Suspension Bridge designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826 was the world’s first great suspension bridge. The 417-metre-long bridge links the island of Anglesey to the Welsh Mainland. Before it was built the only access to the mainland was via the perilous Menai Strait.
This bridge, now a Grade 1 listed building, established just what could be achieved using suspension bridge technology to create both high and lengthy spans. You can admire the bridge’s design along with several other stunning UK bridges in the Bridges Presentation Pack.
Also available is the Classic Locomotives of Wales Presentation Pack which showcases Wales’ steam railways and the impact steam locomotives had on Welsh history and industry.