[20/01/13 - Edited to add, there are now promising signs that Cosmeston is being returned to a true living history site. Volunteers are being sought to maintain the buildings, gardens and land, plus to populate the houses in costume. Renovations and improvements are being planned. It is looking promising...]
In a slight break from proceedings, I'd like to alert you to a petition.
Cosmeston Medieval Village, near Penarth in South Wales, is one of those rare, special, magical places that brings history alive. It is a reconstructed medieval village, built on the site of a village that was deserted after the Black Death, reconstructing rural life circa 1350. For many years now, Cosmeston has brought history alive for visitors, young and old, as well as numerous school groups. The costumed staff lead tours around the village, visiting the baker, the pig farmer (and his pigs), the geese, sheep, lambs, chickens, ducks. As one of the staff recollects here, it is a truely wonderful place and a unique glimpse at our medieval past.
Best of all were the Bank Holiday weekends, when the village would be bustling with re-enactors and with tourists, not only from the surrounding area but some from the other end of the country, or even Europe and America.
|Cosmeston Medieval Village|
(Photo (c) Brie Banks)
One would think such a unique place would be treasured.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Claiming that it runs at a deficit, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has decided to completely alter Cosmeston. They are removing the animals, cancelling the Bank Holiday events, informing the staff they are no longer needed and letting the public enter for free, no longer to be guided by the cheerful village herbalist or baker, but by an audioguide. Essentially, they are ripping the heart out of this historic gem and removing everything that made it special - and made it so entertaining, educational and memorable.
Yes, we are in a recession. Yes, there is less money around. But surely this does not mean sacrificing both our past and our future.