The first visit of the National Eisteddfod to Abergavenny since 1913 means that Monmouthshire County Council will place temporary restrictions on access to the town’s Castle Meadows.  The Monmouthshire & District National Eisteddfod runs from 29th to 6th August and is one of Britain’s largest cultural festivals.  Preparation for the event is likely to extend over eight weeks.

While initial work starts on Monday 6th June with the laying of a temporary stone service roadway, the Castle Meadows will be open to the public as long as it is safe to do so.  From 20th June fencing will be erected and as work intensifies the council will close the area as it takes on the status of a construction site.  The project has received planning permission and the Health & Safety Executive has been informed under the Construction Design and Management regulations.

Only one public footpath will be affected – from Byefields car park to the Usk Bridge at Llanfoist – with a temporary closure as the works progress but the popular riverside walk to Castle Street and Mill Street remains outside the Eisteddfod Maes and will be open throughout the summer.

In the approach to the opening day of the Eisteddfod, its main pavilion will be erected followed by smaller marquees, with traders arriving from 28th July.

During Eisteddfod week, visitors will benefit from a free park and ride system, with car parking in Penpergwm, Llanelen and Cwrt-y-Gollen near Crickhowell easing pressure on the town.  Shuttle buses will deliver visitors to the main entrance near Byefield Lane car park which will be closed from 29th July to 6th August.

Dismantling of the site begins on 7th August and during the remainder of the month structures will be removed and the stone roadway recovered.  Clearance of the site will include reinstatement and enhancement works and it will be handed back by the end of September.  All dates for building and dismantling will be subject to weather and ground conditions.

Councillor Phil Hobson, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for the Welsh language said: “The National Eisteddfod is one of the leading cultural festivals in Europe and we can be proud that Monmouthshire sees its return after more than a century.  Inevitably, with an event of this size there will be temporary disruptions but we have worked hard to keep these to a minimum and we have consulted widely to ensure the smooth running of the event.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused but stress that this will be temporary.  Meanwhile – Diolch yn fawr am eich amynedd/Thank you for your patience.

For more information on the National Eisteddfod itself visit: www.eisteddfod.wales.