‘Gower Unearthed’ provide an education package that targets schools but encompasses the whole community. Through walks talks, stories and adventures, we aim to bring the myths, legends, folklore and traditions of Gower to life; whilst simultaneously exploring the natural landscape.
Our mission is to rediscover and recapture Gower traditions that are fast disappearing. Our sessions aim to captivate a new generation with original stories and interpretations (rooted in oral traditions with no current written records). We document and deliver existing literature in a fresh and accessible way that incorporates marginalised areas of the community. In order to achieve this we have established links with academics and local people of all ages and are keen to preserve stories from older generations and farming communities. We have been met with fantastic enthusiasm.
Sessions follow the Celtic seasonal calendar and run over a year focusing on the seasons and significant events, for example; Beltane. We deliver curriculum Cymraeg and target school inclusion programmes. Skills on offer include story writing for GCSE, looking at literature and local landscape, exploring a ‘sense of place’. We offer poetry sessions with Helen who is a published poet. It is ultimately our aim to produce a collection of Gower stories using the literature created for each session over the first Celtic year of events. The worksheets and natural history that we combine with sessions will contribute to a resource pack for schools and educational establishments.
We fit in with:
- A wide spectrum of the community; with bookings from schools, both primary and secondary, libraries and the W.I.
We aim to create:
- A resource pack with a permanent record of sessions and information we have unearthed, i.e. old trade routes, new archaeological evidence, Gower colloquialisms and so much more!
- A collection of Gower stories presented with new original eye -witness accounts; making history immediate and exciting, this is interwoven with names of old Gower families myths and traditions. New interpretations of facts, where does the leper stone in Llanrhidian come from? Exploring ideas and theories. This is relevant to the history curriculum in school.
Session One: Pennard Castle – Myth and Reality (October half-term, 2014)
Our first session was entitled Pennard Castle, myth and reality. We had an introduction at the Gower Heritage Centre and took a field trip to Pennard castle. Focusing on the season and month of October we looked at folklore, herbal remedies, and Gower names and recipes for plants. At the castle we encouraged individuals; mainly family groups, to re-imagine the valley as it was in the past and we retold the myth of the castle, which included an eye witness account- that tied in with the story and geology of the area. After lunch we re-created the experience through poetry and story telling, smaller children made fairy and wizard mobiles out of things collected on the walk.
We received really positive feedback from all the families who joined us on the day:
Susie, mother of two wrote, ‘A wonderful way to spend half-term. It definately brought our locality to lifs, we’ve been very impressed!’,
Katie, mother of three said ‘Thoroughly recommend it- would definately be keen to participate in more half-term sessions!’.
‘It was really fun!’ (Jed, aged 8)
Gower Unearthed are: Helen Nicholas BA, MA, PGCE and Charlotte Toft BSc, PGDip, Forest School, ESDGC OCN2
Contact details: [email protected]