Region: Wales

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Cross Street, New Tredegar, Caerphilly NP24 6EG

Contact: 014 438 22666



The Winding House is the museum for Caerphilly County Borough and has an exciting, award winning Schools Programme built around the History Curriculum for Wales, Cwricwlwm Cymreig and the Literacy and Numeracy framework. Our engaging, hands-on approach aims to bring history to life in a meaningful way. Pupils will gain knowledge and understanding of a subject by carrying out an enquiry that develops their historical skills by asking and answering questions, using a variety of evidence, interpretation and communicating their findings. Our pre & post visit activities support you in linking the content of the visit to the Literacy and Numeracy framework for Wales.  

Our workshops are listed below:

‘Toys Through Time’ – Foundation Phase

Ever wonder what the best toy ever is?  A visit to the Winding House will help you answer such questions as we compare toys from 2000 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago and today.

Playing, Thinking, Learning
The toys that we explore reflect the lives of children throughout the history of Caerphilly County Borough.  With 2000 years of evidence at their fingertips your group will see a clear change in the types of toys and games.To highlight change we couple the toys of each period with typical clothing to further highlight the passing of time.

There is time given for each child to get hands on with all of our toys, allowing them to form opinions and learn at their own pace.

Learning outcomes and curriculum links:
This workshop focuses on ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ with particular attention to developing skills through the ‘Time and People’ range.

Pupils have opportunity to:
• Recognize the changes caused by time.

• Use a range of historical sources.

• Look at different representations of the past.

• Explore and experiment.

• Investigate sources.

• Make comparisions and identify similarities and differences.

• Sort and group.

• Communicate observations.

• Think creatively and imaginatively.

 ‘Roman Around’ – Key Stage 2

In A.D. 78 the Romans completed their conquest of Wales. They brought with them a new way of life, and this ‘Romanitas’ is the focus of our workshop.

Roman Around is a full day of hands-on activity that develops a greater understanding of life in Roman Wales. 

March in formation, try on armour, get washed and dressed for dinner, serve a feast to your Roman masters and much more… 

Roman Around is led for you by our two real Romans.

They will help your group to investigate military and civilian life through replica objects, costume and role play.  

The afternoon session is ‘Pots & Potions’ and takes place in one of our museum galleries.  The children take part in practical and role play activities to explore the themes of Roman pottery and medicine.  Clay pots made in the session can be taken home by the children.  

‘Age of the Princes’ – Key Stage 2  

In the late 13th century Caerphilly Castle was built by the Anglo-Normans as a show of strength, designed to dominate the landscape and the Welsh people.  

Meet a Welsh Noble and discover how people lived in the Age of the Princes.  Your group will use objects and costume to compare the lives of the rich and poor and hold a mock trail to witness medieval justice.  The session aims to improve their understanding of how the Welsh lived under Anglo-Norman rule.

Explore life for those living inside the castle by spending time in the Great Hall.  Your group will experience the medieval social divide as they help the Castle Steward to prepare a lavish feast for the owner of the castle, the Earl of Gloucester, Hugh Despenser. 

Our full day of activities is organized by the Winding House, but takes places entirely at cadw’s Caerphilly Castle.  This allows you time to explore the remainder of the site after the workshops. 

‘Victorian Valleys’ – Foundation Phase & Key Stage 2  
Throughout the valleys of Victorian Wales the rapidly growing industries of Iron, Coal and Rail brought great changes to both the landscape and the way that people lived.

A visit to our site, the former Elliot Colliery coal mine, is a fantastic place to investigate what life was like for ordinary working people in the Victorian era.

Based on the daily lives of those living in the 1890s, we use object handling, costumes, firsthand accounts and role play to interpret the experiences of men, women and children.

Your group will discover more about the working conditions in coal mines and why children were banned from working there.

They will explore Victorian childhood by taking part in a Victorian school day and trying their toys.

They will experience domestic service by taking part in a washday and butter making.

A foundation Phase group will have a shorter visit that excludes the section on coal mining

‘Life in Wartime’ – Key Stage 2  
When war broke out in 1939 very few realised the effect that the conflict would have on the people of Britain. They became caught up in their very own warzone, famously known as ‘The Home Front’ 

Our ‘Life in Wartime’ workshop is a full day of hands on activities that aims to give your group a greater understanding of the Home Front. 

We use a wide range of sources to engage the children including our genuine WW2 Anderson Shelter, genuine and replica uniforms, film and sound archive, photographs, genuine and replica handling objects, posters and role-play. 

Using these sources the group will investigate the themes of Air Raids, Rationing & Evacuation, Conscription for men and women, V.E Day and Wartime Industry. 

Using photographs, oral histories and our historic building your group will discover the world of the Bevin Boys – the conscripted mineworkers that gave so much to the war effort.  Our museum is based on the site of the former Elliot Colliery coal mine where a number of Bevin Boys carried out their national service during WW2.

Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative:

With a Learning and Outreach officer based at the museum, the Winding House is well placed to offer help and support with your WHSI projects.  Whether it’s use of our handling objects, access to our research centre, talks or displaying work in our community space, we’re happy to help with development and delivery both in our museum or at your school.

“It’s been great working with the Winding House Museum as it has enabled us to use resources we can’t get access to in school. It has really helped us in our project.”  Ty’n y Wern Primary School – 7 time WHSI award winners.

Outreach visits:

Depending on your historical topic and circumstances we may be able to make a visit into your classroom with a selection of items to help consolidate learning.  Contact our Learning and Outreach Officer to see if this form of visit is suitable for your needs.  

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Why are you a great place for educational visits?

The Winding House is the museum for Caerphilly County Borough and is a unique setting for an educational visit.  Located in the heart of the Rhymney Valley, our modern, purpose-built museum is annexed to what remains of the Elliot Colliery east pit winding house.   This allows us to convey a sense of place whilst providing all of the facilities that you would expect from a modern museum building.

Our site is safe and accessible and your group will have exclusive use of the activity room for the sessions and for lunches.  As your group is our sole focus for the day, this allows us to provide a high level of service and care.

Our buildings display a still operational, monumental Victorian winding engine along with a varied sample of the 13,000 objects that we hold in our collection.  We aim to reflect the rich and diverse past of the Caerphilly County Borough and its place within the stories of Wales and the wider world.

Recently constructed and using modern museum theory, our focus on inclusiveness ensures that a visit to the Winding House will be memorable and enjoyable and is guaranteed to spark pupils’ interest in history.

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?

The Winding House has been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge and the Sandford Award for excellence in museum heritage education.

What does a typical educational visit include?

Sessions tend to follow a similar format, but the content and activities vary as we cover a mix of historical periods – Roman, Medieval, Victorian and World War II. 

All sessions are relevant for the curriculum for History and Cwricwlwm Cymreig.  

A typical visit will begin with an introduction in our main gallery before moving into our versatile learning space. Your group will have sole use of this area, which will be themed for your topic and arranged into a number of smaller activities.  We split the group into smaller ones to allow each child more time to engage with our resources.  The groups rotate through the activities at set times, meaning that they all have equal opportunity to investigate our sources.  Sessions end with a plenary to help consolidate learning.Lunchtime and a visit to the museum gift shop follow.The afternoon usually consists of themed activities that take place in and around our museum exhibitions.

You are able to contact the Learning & Outreach Officer to tailor the visit if you are looking for something more specific, or to make various arrangements for the needs of your group.

What group sizes do you cater for?

The size of the group depends on the visit that you choose.  Generally, we have a maximum of 30 per group and cater for no more than 2 groups per day.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information? 

Teachers are supplied with a briefing pack that is specific to their chosen visit.  This describes the content of the day in detail and will be emailed to you at the time of booking.

We are working to provide pre & post visit activities for each topic.  They will be emailed to you upon booking and will be relevant to the Literacy and Numeracy framework for Wales.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?

Photos, video and audio are all permitted during the sessions, but restrictions may apply in some of the museum gallery displays due to copyright or ethical reasons.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments? 

The Learning and Outreach Officer has created a risk assessment for each workshop using the county borough council’s stringent guidelines.  You will receive a copy of the relevant assessment at the time of booking, which can be used to help you complete your own paperwork.

Does your venue have an education officer? 

Mark BatchelderLearning & Outreach OfficerWinding House / Ty WeindioCross StreetNew TredegarCaerphilly CBCNP24 6EG01443

What is the cost of the visit?

Entrance to the museum is free; therefore there is no cost to supervising adults.  The charge for the sessions is based on our maximum group size of 30.  Price per group per session varies as some visits require additional facilitators.

Current pricing:

• Toys Through Time - £75 per group

• Roman Around - £120 per group

• Age of the Princes - £75 per group

• Victorian Valleys -£120 per group

• Life in Wartime - £120 per group 

• Outreach visit to your classroom - £75 per half day

Is specific clothing required for the trip?

Groups visiting the Winding House are indoors for the duration of their visit.  We provide spaces for the group to leave their bags and coats.Our ‘Age of the Princes’ visit takes place entirely at cadw’s Caerphilly Castle. Depending on the time of year, the group will need warm clothing and possibly wellington boots. 

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

There is a first aider onsite, but we recommend that you bring a qualified first aider as well.

Please list facilities available. 

We have a gift shop that you are welcome to use during the visit.  Children will have a wide range of choices if they bring about £3.We have a coffee shop that sells beverages and snacks, but recommend that children bring their own packed lunch.  We provide a private packed lunch space at no extra cost.

What are your disabled facilities? 

The museum is fully DDA compliant.  The majority of flooring is flat and ramps are in place where needed.  We have lifts to the upper floor and have an accessible WC.  Our activity room has a hearing loop facility for those that are hearing impaired.

What are your opening days and hours?

The Winding House is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 10am – 5pm and from 11am – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Staff are on site before 10am on weekdays allowing bookings to be taken outside our opening hours.

Do you have any testimonials from previous customers who have visited you on an educational visit that we can include in your section?

The Winding House recently won a Sandford Award for museum heritage education. The awarding judge had this to say about the museum’s award winning Schools Programme:

“The Winding House is a lovely local history museum that makes good use of its collections and the stories of local people in the past, as well as housing an impressive winding engine.  The education programme for schools focuses on real stories and objects and encourages children to think and discover.  The delivery of the programme is energetic and enthusiastic and is some of the best I have witnessed in museum learning.”

“The Presenters were excellent – their knowledge and understanding developed my children’s learning.  The were able to get down to my Children’s level”  Cwmaber Junior

“Superb!  Pupils loved the workshop.  Gave an excellent flavor of the topic in such a short space of time.  Very impressed and everything was pitched at the right level.”Libanus Primary.

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?

If you would like to arrange a pre-visit to the site then please contact the Learning & Outreach Officer using the details on this page.

Keep an eye on our social media pages and website for future updates and special events.


Age of Children / Pupils: 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years

Type of Visit: Arts & Galleries Heritage Railways Historical Heritage Museums Storytelling

Curriculum Topics Covered: History

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December