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Free Digital Workshops

Free Digital Workshops Free workshops with Rural Media - learn how to use iPads to make short films. 

Learn about the digital technology that will enable you to record using tablets or phones with experts in the field. 

There will be two sessions held at the Swan at Hay - 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm

Please contact us for details and to let us know if you would like to attend.

Hay Festival 2017 - Friends Event

Hay Festival 2017 - Friends Event

One of the benefits of being a Friend of Hay Castle is receiving an invite to events during the year, including during the Hay Festival at the end of May. This year the Festival event is a talk by Mark Purcell entitled “What I Found in the Library” (Event 22). For 600 years, exquisitely produced volumes stored everything we know – from Gutenberg’s bibles to Newton’s  Principia and Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Purcell tells a rollicking tale of discoveries and bibliophile treasures from some of Britain’s greatest private library collections that are now saved for the nation. Purcell was formerly Libraries Curator for the National Trust and is now Deputy Director of Research Collections at Cambridge University Library. 

The talk is at 4pm on Friday 26th May on the Good Energy Stage at the Festival site and is in association with the National Trust. As a Friend you are also invited to an exclusive reception at 2pm before the talk where you can meet Mark Purcell and other National Trust experts. If you would like to attend please email us on  Free tickets are available for current Friends only. If you would like to renew your membership then please click here.

Hay Castle Trust is also sponsoring an event at the Festival this year and are pleased to support Wales PEN Cymru with a play entitled MY MOUTH BROUGHT ME HERE which will take place on Tuesday 30 May, 8.30pm. Based on an African proverb, the play features a power-hungry ruler, a few foolish guards and a courageous hunter. In a world where telling the truth has become a game, no one knows the rules. Written by Eric Ngalle Charles who will be talking to Owen Sheers after the show.

Please note that this year there will not be any events at the Castle as we prepare for the beginning of construction works. There will however be the usual street food market in the Honesty Bookshop area beneath the terraces as well as pop up shops in the outbuildings on the cobbles.

Join the Friends of Hay Castle for a Good Cheer Singalong

Join the Friends of Hay Castle for a Good Cheer Singalong Saturday 26 November, 7pm at Hay Castle

Warm up your vocal cords for the Christmas singalong at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend. Enjoy a programme of old favourites, solo performances, seasonal readings, good company and Christmas cheer!

Drop in, no ticket required

How can I help? If you have a bottle or two of red wine or cider for the mulled drinks that would be very much appreciated. Just bring any donations to the Castle office in the next week or two - Thank you!

Bookish Christmas Decorations Workshop

Bookish Christmas Decorations Workshop

Come and join in on Saturday November 19th at Hay Castle when we will be making decorations for the Christmas Tree in the Castle. You can pop in and learn how to transform an old or damaged book into a beautiful and unique decoration.

We will have two artists showing everyone how to make a variety of brilliant designs. Kids are welcome on the funky glitter table, while adults can try out some book themed constructions with artist Becky Adams.

Saturday 19 November at Hay Castle

9.30am to 1.30pm 

This is a free event.


Talk by Sir Roy Strong, CH

Talk by Sir Roy Strong, CH  The Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, in association with Hay Castle Trust presents the Winter Lecture on Saturday 19 November at 2.30pm

Art historian, curator, writer, broadcaster and landscape designer Sir Roy Strong, CH will talk on ‘The Quest for Shakespeare’s Garden’

This illustrated talk will trace the origins of garden history and the Elizabethan garden, as well as telling the story of the Bard's own garden in Stratford-upon-Avon.

At age 32, Sir Roy Strong, CH became the youngest director of the National Portrait Gallery. He was also the youngest director of the Victoria and Albert Museum at age 38. Knighted in 1983, he went on to be awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s President’s Medal and Honorary Fellowship in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography.

Tickets for the talk cost £10 and includes refreshments. If you would like to attend please contact Hay Castle Trust on to reserve a place.

Saturday 19 November - lecture begins at 2.30pm at Hay Castle

Summer Concert - August 21st - Hay Castle

Prepare to be swept away with a beautiful programme called Fantasies, with music by Handel, Saint-Saens and Bartok. Hay Music presents this summer fundraiser featuring harpist Katherine Thomas and violinist Laurence Kempton, who have performed together to great critical acclaim as The Enigma Duo

The concert will be held at Hay Castle on Sunday 21 August at 5pm and will be followed by a reception with wine and a light supper. Tickets are £20 from Richard Booth's Bookshop, Lion Street 01497 820322 or All proceeds from this event will benefit Hay Castle Trust and will help rescue Hay Castle.


A raffle will be drawn on 21 August, and some wonderful prizes have been donated by area businesses and organisations. You could win a one-year pass to the Whitney Toll Bridge, a night at Llangoed Hall, a Golden Ticket to all events at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, a splendid Sunday brunch at the Swan at Hay, a cinema pass for a year at Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema, A gift voucher from Golesworthy's in Hay, lunch at the River Café in Glasbury, a Christmas turkey from WJ George Butchers or tickets to next year’s Hay Chamber Music Festival.

Raffle tickets will be available at the Hay Castle office Monday to Friday, and at various summer events. If you would like to help sell raffle tickets, call the office on 01497 820 079 or email


Castle Tours

Castle Tours Hay Castle tours run every Thursday at 11am 

The tours are run by Hay Tours and work on a turn up on the day basis. If you would like to join a tour they cost £5 per adult and the meeting place is at the bottom of the terrace steps in the open air honesty bookshop. A tour guide will meet you there wearing a green Hay Tours jacket. Each tour takes approximately an hour and involves uneven surfaces and stairs. Whilst the Castle is undergoing renovation we regret that these tours are not suitable for wheelchairs.

If you would like to organise a private or group tour of the Castle please contact the Castle office.

Barbara Erskine Talk at Hay Castle

Barbara Erskine Talk at Hay Castle Sleeper's Castle - Barbara Erskine Talk for Friends of Hay Castle

Tuesday 28 June at Hay Castle
Refreshments from 5.30pm, talk starts at 6pm

Two women, centuries apart. One endless nightmare tearing Wales apart - and only they can stop it.

Sunday Times bestselling author Barbara Erskine returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, Lady of Hay.

Friends are invited to an evening with author Barbara Erskine to launch her new novel, Sleeper's Castle, published by Harper Collins. You will have a chance to talk with Ms Erskine about her book and her long-standing interest in Hay Castle and the colourful figures who lived here. 

If you are a Friend of Hay Castle and would like to attend this event at the Castle on Tuesday 28 June at 6pm please email and we will add your name to the guest list. RSVP is essential.

If you are not yet a Friend or your membership has lapsed - please see our Friends page on the website

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 - War is brewing in the Welsh borders. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have lain under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper's Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales's destiny...And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer...Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper's Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who's screaming, who's reaching out...who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Photo copyright: Karolina Webb

Our Kingdom of Books - Richard Booth Exhibition

Our Kingdom of Books - Richard Booth Exhibition

Please come and see the exhibition of photographs and artefacts from Richard Booth's time in Hay-on-Wye, the establishment of Hay as a Book Town and items from the declaration of Independence of Hay

Hay Castle, Hay-on-Wye

Thursday June 16 until Thursday June 23


Admission Free

While Hay Castle is closed for renovation we are still running events around town

Hay Castle Trust is a registered charity that was formed in 2011 to preserve this historic site and provide a future of cultural enrichment, educational opportunities and community enjoyment.
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