Letter: Old dungeons and dragons

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The Independent Online
HOW RIGHT Brian Cathcart was in his warnings on commemorations, and how they should be avoided ('You must remember this', 24 April). For they invariably backfire.

In 1983 Wales was subjected to something called the 'Year of the Castles', dreamt up by some whizz-kid at the Wales Tourist Board. We Welsh were enjoined to be enthusiastically commemorative about Caernarfon, Conwy, and all the other monuments to the castle builders' art.

What the Welsh Tourist Board overlooked was that these castles, which were begun in 1283, were built by Edward I of England as his ring of stone around recently defeated Gwynedd, which led Welsh resistance.

Our ancestors' views on these castles can be easily imagined and, even after 700 years, any Welsh person familiar with history is at least ambivalent towards them. The 'Year of the Castles' was not a great success.

Royston Jones

Tywyn, Gwynedd

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