Conservation works to resume for Oystermouth Castle
The next phase of works aimed at conserving the attraction will start shortly
Dark vaulted chambers and spiral staircases that haven't been explored for hundreds of years will soon be available for history fans to discover at Swansea's Oystermouth Castle, with archaeologists overseeing the excavation of staircases leading to the depths of the castle's basements.
It's hoped the bulk of the works will be finished by the time the castle re-opens to the public for the summer season.
Plans for the re-opening event in June will be centred around the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Staff at Swansea Council are busy researching sports that would have been popular during medieval and Victorian times so that a variety of sporting competitions can be re-enacted on the day. Visitors will be invited to take part in the historic sporting activities.
Swansea Council is behind the conservation of Oystermouth Castle for future generations to enjoy thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Welsh Government through Cadw and the European Regional Development Fund.
Visitors in the spring will also be able to discover the depths of the central block cellars for the very first time and enjoy interpretation that's being added to tell the castle's story that includes a visit from King Edward I in 1248.
The Friends of Oystermouth Castle are actively supporting the ongoing works and are recruiting new volunteers to take part with events and activities at the castle during the next visitor season.
Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "Over 12,000 people visited Oystermouth Castle between July and the end of September. This shows the amount of interest there is in our most historic attractions and highlights the need to conserve them while generating a visitor experience that's befitting of the 21st Century.
"But the work that will restart in the early this year means the visitor experience will be better than ever. A secret staircase that was undiscovered for centuries is among the treats history fans can look forward to exploring for themselves as our staff and partners work hard on bringing the past back to life."
Among the discoveries at Oystermouth Castle that led up its July opening earlier last year was a painting dating back to the 14th century in the chapel area.
New visitor facilities, an educational space and a 30-foot high glass viewing platform and bridge that leads to Alina's Chapel were also introduced.
Have a look at www.swansea.gov.uk/oystermouthcastle for more information.