YNYS – soundscapes created by Fern Thomas Artist in Residence


YNYS - soundscapes by Artist in Residence Fern Thomas

‘…and as the relics, stones, bones and stories from both places washed out to sea, a new island was formed right in the middle. A shared place for culture, history, dreams, poetry and song from all time to live alongside each other. And from this place, a radio station appeared and began to transmit,…’

YNYS is a fictional radio station which will create a series of soundscapes that documents the Ancient Connections project and explores the two places of Pembrokeshire and Wexford through field recordings, archival sounds, prose, song, interviews and the speaking of the land.

Fern Thomas has released two of the soundscape podcasts, which you can listen to here. She will be releasing one a month until the end of the project. 


Next Round of Free Tourism & Heritage Ambassador Training Announced!


Next Round of Free Tourism & Heritage Ambassador Training Announced!


Our first lot of Ancient Connections Ambassadors for North Pembrokeshire and Co. Wexford completed their training last month, and what a wonderful bunch they are! Now, we’re launching more training to swell their numbers. Might you be interested?

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself whilst learning lots of new information and stories. It’s been a privilege to be involved.

B. Wheatley, Ancient Connections Ambassador.

Welcoming visitors to the area and supporting their needs so that the local economy can thrive is very important for our communities. Ambassadors are trained to welcome and greet visitors and pilgrims, provide a wealth of local history and heritage information, help orientate visitors and support them to decide on great places to visit, build an itinerary, develop and lead short, local tours, share practical local information, tell stories and much more. 

Training takes two days and is completely FREE. It’s designed specifically for those with time and interest in volunteering as an Ambassador, those who already welcome visitors to their premises or as part of their work and those already volunteering within the visitor and cultural sphere locally

Here are the training days coming up in NORTH PEMBROKESHIRE: Choose two of these three days:

10 June 10am – 4pm Oriel Y Parc, St David’s

14 June 10am-4pm Fishguard area (venue TBC)

21 June 9.30am – 6pm, Out and About across north Pembrokeshire.

Training places are limited, so booking is vital. To book your place, click the blue button below this message. 

The next round of Ambassador Training in County Wexford will be held in September. Keep an eye out for details.

Animating Schools – exchange trip in June


Animating Schools - exchange trip in June 2022

Animating Schools is an exchnage project involving Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi in St Davids and two schools in Ferns: St Edan’s Primary School and Scoil Naomh Maodhog.
35 pupils are taking part in the creation of a short animated film that will tell the shared story of Ferns and St David’s, from legends of the two Saints to tales of knights, kings and powerful women.  The project is led by Winding Snake, specialists in working with schools and community groups on animation projects.
So far the children have been working on script writing and story development. In June, the Ferns group will be travelling to St Davids to meet their welsh counterparts, get to know each other and take part in a joint animation workshop.
As well as working on the animation film together, the group will be visiting important heritage sites in the area such as St Nons, St Davids Cathedral, The Bishops Palace, guided by Janet Ingram, St Davids Cathedral’s Education and Pilgrimage Officer. They will also visit Castell Henllys and the dig site at Whitesands Bay and take part in an archaeology workshop. 
The film is expected to be completed in Autumn 2022.
Filmmaker Terence White is accomanpying the group from Ferns and will be making a short documentary film about the project.



Wexford & Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way – half day guided pilgrimage


Wexford & Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way – Goodwick to Llanwnda half-day guided pilgrimage.

Led by The British Pilgrimage Trust. Be the first to have a sneak peak on a 6 mile half-day pilgrimage on the new cross border pilgrimage between Wexford and Pembrokeshire.
Our small but excellent and experienced team will guide you from Goodwick to Llanwnda, the Pencaer peninsula, Carregwastad Point and the ancient land of Pebidiog at the Pembrokeshire beginning of a new pilgrimage.
You will be led by Pembrokeshire pilgrimage officer David Pepper, Iain Tweedale from Journeying and Christine Smith from Guided Pilgrimage who will share their knowledge and experience of guiding modern day pilgrimage where there will be time to reflect and take time out from our busy lives to go on both an outer journey through these beautiful landscapes, and on an inner journey to re-connect with nature and ourselves.
This will be a half-day loop route exploring the landing place of the pilgrim in Goodwick to St Gwyndaf’s Church and Holy Well at Llanwnda. We will be exploring the relationship between land & sea in pilgrimage, taking in holy wells, ancient Celtic christian settlements, neolithic burial chambers mixed with modern day transatlantic relations and last invasions.
Meet at: St Peter’s Church Hall, 3 Plasygamil Road, Goodwick, Wales, SA64 0EL
Tickets · £22.15



Opportunity Opportunity Opportunity Opportunity

Quotes Sought – Development of Pilgrimage related tourism products


Quotes Sought - Development of Pilgrimage related tourism products

Pembrokeshire County Council invites quotes from businesses, self-employed individuals and social enterprises for proposals to develop and test new pilgrimage related products that will align with a new pilgrim route being created between Ferns in Wexford, Ireland and St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The route is being managed and developed by The British Pilgrimage Trust and partners and will be launched in early 2023.

Quotes are expected to be in the region of €10,000-15,000 and we are aiming to work with around 4-6 small businesses, self-employed individuals or social enterprises. The scheme aims to support local businesses to recover from the economic impact of COVID and develop new tourism products that would be targeted towards potential national and international pilgrims.

The available monies must be spent on revenue costs (eg staff time, travel costs, materials, small-scale products, and intangibles such as marketing material) and not capital costs (such as structural improvements to buildings or creation of new structures). Small scale technological equipment, temporary structures and materials to improve a venue such as paint are not counted as capital.

In order to apply, you and/or your business must be based in West Wales OR you must be able to demonstrate that the product you develop will have a clear positive impact on the economy of Pembrokeshire. The areas of Goodwick, Fishguard and St Davids in North Pembrokeshire are closest to the pilgrim route, and products that would have impact for these areas are therefore particularly welcomed. These products can be specific to Pembrokeshire or could be cross-border in nature, or may involve collaborators from the Wexford area

Download the Tenderer Information form here

Download the brief here

Deadline for submissions: Thursday 14th April 2022 5 pm

Please ensure that you have included the Tenderer Information form and all other requested documents and email your application as one PDF document to ruth.jones@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Please contact ruth.jones@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for further information.


Project Outputs: 

Training, marketing and legacy network for festival of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire

Festival and Event training and marketing – Specialist Sought!


Festival and Event training and marketing - specialist sought

Wexford County Council wishes to appoint a contractor to undertake and deliver a Festival and Event Business Training, Marketing and Network Support Programme, for existing small local festivals and events in the project regions of North Wexford (Ireland) and North Pembrokeshire (Wales), as part of the Ancient Connections project.

The project intends to establish a festival and event business training, marketing and network support programme, delivered by relevant consultants and trainers, capable of providing a range of competitiveness and capacity development services, for the existing festival and events community of the project regions.

The programme will include the delivery of skills training for small festival and event organisers; shared cross-border marketing resources and materials, and the creation of a legacy communications network, for future cross-border collaboration between the participating groups of Wexford and Pembrokeshire. These activities will play a vital role in the post-COVID recovery phase for local Wexford and Pembrokeshire events and festivals, which have been disrupted over the past two years.

The tender brief can be accessed on eTenders.ie at 206295 – 5/COMM/2022 – RFT for a “Festival and Event Business Training, Marketing and Network Support Programme”, in Wexford and Pembrokeshire, as part of the Ancient Connections project 2021 – 2023

Deadline for submissions:  28th February 2022 16:00   Irish time

Please contact eoghan.greene@wexfordcoco.ie for further information.

Project Outputs: 

Training, marketing and legacy network for festival of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire

News News News News News News News News News

Applications sought to deliver FINALE participatory arts project


Applications sought to deliver FINALE participatory arts project

Wexford County Council invites submissions for an ambitious cross-border participatory arts project addressing the overarching theme of ‘Who is a pilgrim?’ that links the communities of Wexford and Pembrokeshire, as well as the international diasporas of these regions. The project is expected to be delivered through a mix of face-to-face activity and online engagement. This commission is expected to be completed by late Spring 2023 and will be the finale of the Ancient Connections arts programme.

There is a total value of €50,000 available for this commission. One lead individual or organisation must apply, but proposals must have a collaborative cross-border partner(s) who will enable delivery of the project evenly between the two regions and the delivery budget must reflect this.

Key aims of the project are to encourage international visitors to both regions and to present an ambitious, engaging and high impact finale project for the local communities of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire that further enhances and cements their shared history and connections.

Applications are welcomed from organisations and individuals who live in Pembrokeshire or Wexford as well as those outside of the project area, however the applicant must be able to demonstrate a successful delivery model that takes into account their geographical location, as well as the requirement to ensure equal impact and accessibility for participants in both Pembrokeshire and Wexford.

Closing date for applications: 28th February 2022
Applications must be submitted through the etenderie portal. You will need to register as a supplier on the portal in order to view all the tender documents.  

Project Outputs: 

 FINALE arts project Spring 2023


Way of Saints David and Aidan


Way of Saints David and Aidan

The British Pilgrimage Trust have formed a partnership with Pilgrim Paths of Ireland, Journeying and Guided Pilgrimage to manage the new pilgrim route between St Davids, Pembrokeshire and Ferns in County Wexford. The pilgrim route will be the primary legacy of the Ancient Connections project.

Guy Hayward, Director of The British Pilgrimage Trust said:

“The British Pilgrimage Trust aims to facilitate grass roots activity around Britain by offering our expertise for free to all those that need it, and there is so much more of this local community activity now that they are seeing the attractive potential of pilgrimage for the home area that they know and love. We also want more people to actually walk the routes in practice, not just as a historical concept, and that is why we are so excited about this project, creating an old route as new with all the infrastructure that a modern pilgrim needs. Coming together and working with all these different partners – Pilgrim Paths Ireland, Journeying, Guided Pilgrimage, Ancient Connections – who are all passionate about forming a pilgrimage connection between Ireland and Wales, is going to lead to the kind of innovation and freshness of approach that is only possible when different cultures come into contact and share their wisdom. We are in the earliest stage of this project, but I can already tell that we are going to create something very beautiful together that bridges both sides of the Celtic Sea, and something which so many will enjoy and find meaning through for generations to come”.

Tow new Pilgrimage Officer jobs will be created. The job descriptions and application procedure can be found here: www.britishpilgrimage.org/pilgrimage-officer-job-vacancies-wexford-pembrokeshire

Working alongside the British Pilgrimage Trust and representing the Irish interest in the project is Pilgrim Paths Ireland. Chairman John G O’Dwyer said: “he was delighted to be part of the team tasked with developing a pilgrim route as part of the Ancient Connections project that will commemorate the 6th-century journey of St Aidan to study under St David in Wales.”  The project will, he believes, revive long-standing links between communities in Pembrokeshire and Wexford by drawing on a common heritage to actively share local knowledge, experience and skills. “The new pilgrim route should mean much additional spending to Wexford and Pembrokeshire and draw attention to the rich heritage both areas have to offer to visitors,” 

Also joining the team will be two West Wales based not-for-profit companies. Journeying have been taking small groups of pilgrims on guided walking tours to the more off-the-beaten-track parts of Britain and Ireland for over thirty years. Guided Pilgrimage offer Celtic pilgrimages of one day or multi day duration that create a space for people to reconnect body and spirit through the wild and beautiful Celtic landscapes.

Cardiff based destination marketing specialists Heavenly, along with graphic design company Orchard are working closely with the Ancient Connections team and their new pilgrimage partners to create a unique brand for the route that will inspire visitors from the UK, Ireland and abroad to take up the pilgrim’s mantle and have a potentially life-changing experience. Branding will feature on route way-markers, maps and leaflets as well as pilgrim passports and a pilgrim app.

Way of Saints David and Aidan is a working title for the new route. Community consultation about the name, the designated route and branding will begin early in 2022

Project Outputs: Two new FTE jobs. New pilgrim route between Ferns, Wexford and St Davids, Pembrokeshire


Job opportunities – Pilgrim officers for Pembrokeshire and Wexford


Job opportunities -The British Pilgrimage Trust and partners seek two Pilgrimage Officers

Ancient Connections is delighted to announce the appointment of a partnership of organisations who will collaborate to manage the new pilgrim route between St Davids, Pembrokeshire and Ferns in County Wexford. The partnership is led by The British Pilgrimage Trust, joined by Pilgrim Paths of Ireland, Journeying and Guided Pilgrimage.

The British Pilgrimage Trust are advertising two new Pilgrimage Officer jobs, one for Pembrokeshire and one for Wexford.

British Pilgrimage Trust Project Leader Dawn Champion said:

“To support this project, we’re excited to be able to offer full-time jobs for two Pilgrimage Officers, one in Wexford and one in Pembrokeshire. These pilgrimage officers will have a rare professional opportunity to inspire people, pilgrims, communities and businesses to access the benefits of pilgrimage. The pilgrimage route will create a lasting legacy for both of these remarkable pilgrim destinations by regenerating communities, attracting pilgrims and delivering a long-lasting modern cultural tradition.

We’re looking for two special people who know the area and its people well, to design and deliver a full and inspiring pilgrimage programme by engaging with people from all communities, and building community and volunteer-led action.”

The job descriptions and application procedure can be found here: www.britishpilgrimage.org/pilgrimage-officer-job-vacancies


image credit: Photo of Janet Ingram, Education and Pilgrimage Officer St Davids Cathedral by Journeying.

Deadline for applications Jan 3rd 2022 

Project Outputs: Two new FTE jobs


New mural at Theatr Gwaun complete!


New mural at Theatr Gwaun complete!

Ancient Connections is thrilled with the new mural at Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard! Following a competitive process, the contract was awarded to Accent London, led by Grant Radford, originally from Port Talbot, but now based in London. Over the summer, community consultations helped to refine some initial ideas and the final design was agreed. Grant and Zoe worked flat out last week to finish the mural just before the launch of the new festival ‘On Land’s Edge’ at the Theatr. Big congratulations to all involved. We think the mural looks elegant and stylish and at the same time speaks of movement and migration across the Irish Sea, which are key themes for Ancient Connections. A forthcoming leaflet will provide more information on Fishguard and Goodwicks’ local stories, folklore and heritage for curious visitors.