WHEN the Norman lords began constructing Chepstow Castle in the 11th century, they probably wouldn’t have envisaged that nearly a thousand years later, a circle of twentysomethings would be arranged in a circle in the centre of the keep, sat on pillows and meditating.

But sights like this are set to become more common at the castle, and at some of Monmouthshire’s other historical attractions, after Wales’ heritage service CADW launched a series of new activities aimed at a younger adult audience.

The idea behind CADW’s Rediscover History campaign is to add a modern take on Welsh heritage and provide new and unusual ways for young people to experience the country’s historic sites.

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This was sparked by recent studies found that more Millennials were visiting Wales’ medieval castles, abbeys and historic houses than ever before.

The term Millennial is a fashionable one these days – it is a catch-all term for people born in the ’80s and ’90s who came of age at the start of the 21st century.

“Millennials are a demographic that actively seek out new things to see and do, so it is no surprise that more than ever are visiting Welsh heritage sites,” Millennial behavioural expert Jenny Williams explained ahead of the CADW project launch.

“They have grown up in an experience rich world, learning interactively at school, immersing their curiosity online and exploring their surroundings.

“Millennials are always looking for new ways to do this, so I have no doubt that the new activities on offer at Cadw’s heritage sites will prove appealing this summer – as a combination of interactive experiences which can be shared with friends and family, both onsite and online.”

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CADW’s project launched at Chepstow Castle last week, and at a taster session visitors tried out a new Painting and Prosecco workshop planned for the site.

Budding artists were able to sip a glass of bubbly while trying their hand at painting a landscape inspired by their Medieval surroundings.

The castle also hosted a bilingual mindfulness session, though these meditation courses will later be held in the ruins of Tintern Abbey.

Commenting on CADW’s new campaign, Lord Elis-Thomas, Wales’ minister for culture, tourism and sport, said: “This national piece of research, combined with our visitor surveys, demonstrates a growing audience of millennial visitors to Wales’s historic sites.

“We’ve responded to this trend by developing a programme of events and activities designed to capture the imaginations of new and returning visitors alike, encouraging them to explore Wales’s fascinating heritage in fresh, new ways.”

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A Painting and Prosecco workshop, suitable for all skill levels, will be held next at Chepstow Castle on Saturday June 29, 2pm-4pm.

Free 30-minute bilingual mindfulness sessions will take place at Tintern Abbey on June 15-16, starting at 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, and 12.15pm.

To see the full range of activities in the new campaign, visit CADW’s website at www.cadw.gov.wales