Kate Roberts ~ April 2005
The Society which aims to create a museum to remember one of the chief writers
of Wales has received a considerable boost in the form
of £76,000 from the National Assembly.
of Cae’r Gors are eager to develop a centre to honour
Dr Kate Roberts the home where she was raised - Cae'r
Money was released by the Assembly from a special fund to assist communities
affected and influenced by the quarries.
The organisers of the
Society are trying to persuade the Heritage Lottery
Fund to make a substantial contribution to the venture.
The sum of £75,907 which was received from the Welsh
Assembly Government is substantial contribution towards
turning of the ruin of Cae’r Gors into a museum, some
20 years after the author’s death.
Dr Kate wrote novels and
short stories which were based on the quarrying area
of Rhostryfan and Rhosgadfan near Caernarfon. 'Tê
yn y Grug', 'Traed Mewn Cyffion' and 'Lôn Wen' feature
prominently among her works.
“The aim is to restore Cae’r Gors cottage, to renovate and furnish it as it was
in Kate Robert’s time – that someone might be able
to step back some 100 years and experience the way
of life in that period.” said Sharon Owen, Development
Officer for Cae’r Gors.
“There will be an additional room, not only to interpret Kate Roberts’ literary
works, but also to interpret the historical and environmental
wealth of the surrounding area.
Image: Cae'r Gors cottage as it is today.
The Friends of Cae’r Gors hope to open next year and attract 3,000 visitors a
year to the Centre including schools, literary societies
and historical societies,” Said Sharon Owen.
“ It’s also important that local people can hire the new seminar building on
the site,” she added, “ and this is a part of the plan
to become aware of the amazing richness of the area.
During her long life, Kate Roberts succeeded, not only
to write literature of the highest grade but she noted
in her own peerless style comprehensive details of
a way of life which is now long gone a time of great
poverty but a time of neighbourliness when everyone
could depend on each other in their smallholdings and
quarry villages. Kate Roberts was also owner of the
weekly paper “Y Faner” in Denbigh, and her penetrating
observations on contemporary matters which were published
in that paper are gems, even today.”
But Cae’r Gors will not be restricted to Kate Roberts: great emphasis will be
on interpreting the life of the quarrymen and on the
works of other authors and famous people of the area
and on the environment and the natural world.
The most prominent quarryman was Griffith Davies who left the quarry at eighteen
years of age to go to London to learn English. He was
an excellent mathematician and soon he established
a school of his own. It was he who correctly calculated
the stresses for the Menai Bridge for Thomas Telford
when he had failed to do so himself. But his greatest
speciality for Rhosgadfan was the contribution he made
during the enclosure of the common land. When the local
quarrymen realised that large landowners had taken
possession of the common land, Griffith Davies was
contacted in London without delay. With the help of
his friends in the House of Lords, a measure passed
through Parliament to ensure that the smallholders
retained their rights. These continue to this day.
The Chairman of The Friends of Cae’r Gors
Dewi Jones, chairman of The Friends of Cae’r Gors is very pleased to accept this
“This is contribution
is both timely and acceptable since the application
to the Lottery will be presented at the end of the
“It’s said that £900,000
is needed and we will be seeking at least 10%, that
is to say £90,000 and there is a promise of £660,000
from the Lottery.
“We are hopeful as we
have received two grants from them already and their
staff have been here already to see the site.
“Considering that less
than half the costs will go to restoring the structure
of Cae’r Gors and the rest will go to repair and maintenance
and wages for five years, it’s very reasonable.
Although Dr. Kate lived
longest in Denbigh, her literary works are based in
the quarrying districts of Arfon.
She died in Denbigh in
April 1985 at the age of 94.
With thanks to the BBC for the story in Cymru'r Byd
on 25t April 2005 which was used to prepare these details
Cae'r Gors has now opened as a visitor centre and is well worth a visit.
Please see www.caergors.org for full details of opening times, admission
costs and more...