Medieval Swansea – Citywitness

Castle high res image - Credit Peter Dalling

Credit Peter Dalling

Go back in time with Swansea Museum and City witness as you’re invited to walk the streets of Swansea as William Cragh, and other medieval characters.

Soak up and explore the colourful history that Swansea has to offer.

Swansea Museum’s new exhibition medieval Swansea opens on the 20 June of June. Working closely with City Witness who’re known also for their work on Anglo-norman Towns, especially ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’. Swansea Museum invites you to walk in the footsteps of medieval characters to explore its colourful history.

“In 1307, nine witnesses were interrogated about events they had seen in Swansea, around seventeen years previously. The Welshman, William Cragh, had been hanged by William de Breos, Lord of Gower, and – apparently – miraculously restored to life.

The medieval witnesses tell us where they were in Swansea when these strange events happened, and what they could see.”

“The ‘City Witness’ research project will use these medieval testimonies, as well as other documentary and archaeological evidence, to explore questions of place and perspective in medieval Swansea.”

You are invited to an exciting weekend of events, you have the opportunity to explore and unravel the mysteries of Swansea during the 1300s. Uncover what really happened during this pivotal point as experts and professors analyse and research the ways in which Swansea residents lived during this period.

This exhibition, and the events will enlighten us about how our lives are so different to that of our ancestors.

To find out more, please visit



Friday June 20, 2014, 7-9pm

‘City Witness’ Medieval Swansea Launch Event

Join the research team and other distinguised academics for the launch of this major new project on medieval Swansea and the story of the hanged man, William Cragh. This event will include mini lectures, followed by exhibition private view and refreshments.


Saturday June 21, 2014

‘City Witness’ Medieval Swansea Activities

Mapping Medieval Swansea Workshop, Swansea Museum, 11am-1pm

What can maps tell us about medieval Swansea? This interactive workshop will introduce participants to sources and research techniques for reconstructing historic landscapes.

[Booking essential – up to 20 places]

Medieval Swansea Manuscript Workshop, Swansea Museum, 12-1pm

The strange tale of William Cragh, hanged in Swansea in 1290, survives in a manuscript in the Vatican Library. This workshop explores the hidden clues and evidence in this fascinating medieval source.

[Booking essential – up to 20 places]

‘City Witness’ Medieval Swansea Tour, 2.30-4.30pm (meet at Swansea Museum)

Join the research team to explore traces of medieval Swansea in the city today, and walk in the footsteps of William Cragh and other medieval characters.

[Booking essential – up to 20 places]

21st June – 7th Sept

City Witness: Medieval Swansea

Long Gallery

In 1290, a Welshman, William Cragh, was hanged in Swansea by the Anglo-Norman Lord of Gower – but that wasn’t the end of the story… This exhibition uses the strange tale of William Cragh as the starting-point for exploring medieval Swansea, drawing on the major new research project City Witness: Place and Perspective in Medieval Swansea (, including maps, digital visualisations and artefacts from the Swansea Museum collection.

Free activities and workshops linked to the exhibition will run on Friday June 20 and Saturday June 21: please contact the Museum for more information.