I Went To School in Hogwarts
I've been meaning to post about this for some time, and as we approach Hallowe'en now seems like a pretty good time.
Cyfarthfa Castle - My HogwartsBack in the early 1800's, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, my home town of Merthyr Tydfil was the iron making capital of the world. In 1750 Merthyr Tydfil was a quiet village surrounded by green fields. Most of the forty or so families who lived in the village worked on the land. But this all changed when it became known that coke could be used for smelting iron. Merthyr Tydfil, with its large supplies of both iron ore and coal, was an attractive site for the ironmasters. The first ironworks was opened in 1759. Others followed and by 1784 there were four large ironworks (Penydarren, Dowlais, Plymouth, Cyfarthfa) within a two mile radius of the original village. By 1801 over 8,000 people were living in Merthyr Tydfil. By 1851 Merthyr had overtaken Swansea to become the largest town in Wales with 46,378 inhabitants. You can only imagine the social problems this brought for the town - overcrowding, lack of sanitation, poverty and starvation to name but a few.
In 1824 local ironmaster William Crawshay II built a castle, designed by architect Robert Lugar at a cost of approximately £30,000 using locally quarried stone. The Crawshays lived in the house until 1889. The castle was sold in 1908 to the local council, who were unsure what to do with it. Eventually, they decided to use part of the ground floor for a museum, which is still there.The rest of the building became a secondary school, and it was opened in 1913, operating as separate boys` and girls` schools. In 1945, they amalgamated under the name of Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School. It became a comprehensive school in 1970, under the name Cyfarthfa High School.
And so begins my school story. No magical lake, no moving staircases, Great Hall or talking portraits - but it's my Hogwarts. My dad went there, I went there, my brothers went there and my daughter is just due to complete her schooling there.
School of Witchcraft and WizardryMy school wasn't quite like Hogwarts because we had normal lessons. But I've always been drawn to the story of Harry Potter partly because of the imposing, magical setting of Hogwarts. So, because we're so close to Hallowe'en, I thought I'd make a magical lesson for my kiddos based on magic and wizardry. One of Harry's classes was Transfiguration. Run by Professor McGonagall, it involved using wands and spells to change objects into other objects. This got me thinking about how we change words into new words - compound words. So here's my little tribute to Harry:
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Have a great week Y'all! I'm looking forward to reading all your news.