Welcome to the CPAT news section. In this section of the website, we intend to keep you up-to-date with the latest archaeological discoveries, forthcoming events, and other news from the Clwyd-Powys area. As well as the current stories carried here we also produce a regular newsletter. Just click on the link to download the latest digital copy as a PDF file.
Previous items in the news can be accessed from this link, which appears again at the bottom of this page.
Don't miss your chance to own this fascinating new book entitled Reflections on the Past, Essays in honour of Frances Lynch. It has been produced by the Cambrian Archaeological Association at a price of £20.00 + £5.00 p&p. To order your copy simply print out and fill in the PDF that you will find by following this link and return it, together with your cheque, to the Cambrian Archaeological Association Treasurer, c/o 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7RR , for further information please email Jenny Britnell at CPAT.
This collection of twenty-five essays is published in honour of Frances Lynch in recognition of the contribution she has made to our understanding and appreciation of the past, and to her long involvement with Cambrian Archaeological Association. The essays mostly relate to Wales, Ireland and the West of England, and embrace a wide range of subjects, many of which Frances has herself written about. These include Neolithic and Bronze Age
ceremonial and funerary monuments and pottery, Bronze Age goldwork and bronzes, Iron Age hillforts and decorative metalwork, burnt mounds, field systems, Roman conquest and settlement, early medieval inscribed stones, and medieval and later churches and chapels.
It was standing room only at Walton Village Hall on 7 May as over 100 people packed in to hear a talk by CPAT's Nigel Jones on recent excavation and survey work in the Walton Basin. The evening provided details of a continuing programme of work, funded by Cadw, which has so far focused on the impressive complex of large Neolithic and Bronze Age enclosures, as well as investigations around the Roman fort at Hindwell.
The talk not only highlighted the Trust's recent work in the area but also provided an opportunity to publicise the forthcoming publication of a new booklet entitled Walton Basin: Archaeology and Conservation', which has been written by Bill Britnell and should be available from June 2013.
Nigel Jones, May 2013
Prosiect Map Digidol Cynhanesyddol Dyffryn Tanat
The Tanat Valley Prehistoric Digital Map Project
Running between November 2012 and April 2013 the Tanat Valley Prehistoric Digital Map Project was designed to enable rural communities to explore the rich prehistory of the Tanat Valley of north Powys and to create an engaging and responsive bi-lingual website in order to engage with a global audience.
Left: Some of the schools' project work - including imagined prehistoric ancestors made by pupils and Sean Harris.
Local animator and artist Sean Harris and CPAT archaeologist Jeff Spencer visited Year 5 and 6 classes at schools in Penybontfawr, Llansilin and Llanrhaeadr to introduce the project and through the medium of a physical time-line, explained the main features of British prehistory from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age. The children subsequently made use of Archwilio the online historic environment service to research the prehistoric discoveries of the Tanat Valley in detail and helped Sean create sights and sounds for the website, to be launched soon.
Right: A pupil from Ysgol Pennant holds one of the Bronze Age torcs of the Bryndreiniog Hoard during a visit to Nant y Gangen-ddu cairn.
To help bring the sites to life for the children having had the chance to read about them on Archwilio, field trips to local prehistoric sites in the Tanat Valley were arranged. The Bronze Age Maes Mochnant standing stone and a burial cairn in a spectacular location overlooking the valley were the focus for Ysgol Pennant. Pupils from Ysgol Bro Cynllaith explored Wales’ largest hillfort at Llanymynech and pupils from Llanrhaeadr visited Llwyn Bryn Dinas hillfort and had the chance to recreate the Meusydd timber circles by standing in the same positions (more or less!) as the posts of these Neolithic ritual monuments. We are very grateful to all the landowners who granted their permission to access the sites.
Left: Children from Ysgol Gynradd Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant recreate one of the Meusydd pit circles.
The field trips were also the perfect opportunities to remind the children of and revisit the ideas and themes brought up during class discussions about prehistory, such things as the reliance on hunting and gathering in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, the advent of farming in the Neolithic and metal working in the Bronze and Iron Ages, the purpose and use of ritual sites and the disposal of the dead.
Right: Visitors at the celebration event study artefacts found in the Tanat Valley with Eva Bredsdorff, Curator of Powysland Museum.
At the end of the project a celebration event was held at Canolfan Pennant in Penybontfawr for the children to present the results of their work to their communities, this consisted of wall displays, slideshows and artwork. The evening was a great success with over 100 people attending and also provided the opportunity to see and handle ancient artefacts from Powysland Museum, try a unique salmon fishing game inspired by a fragment of a Late Palaeolithic or Early Mesolithic harpoon found in the 1970s at Porth-y-waen and to talk to archaeologists from CPAT and Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales.
Left: Visitors to Craig Rhiwarth recreate the palisade and one of the in-turned entrances of the hillfort.
The fun didn’t end there however, as the next morning, led by Sean and Ken Brassil of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, a group of 58 people ranging in age from about 5 to 75 clambered to the summit of Craig Rhiwarth above Llangynog to investigate the magnificent hillfort there and learn about life in the the beautiful Tanat Valley in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Right: The Palaeolithic salmon (cucumber) fishing game in action!
The project was a collaboration between Ysgol Bro Cynllaith in Llansilin, Ysgol Gynradd Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, Ysgol Pennant in Penybontfawr, Powysland Museum, Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, all coordinated and led by local animator and artist Sean Harris with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund through the All Our Stories stream. CPAT are delighted to have been involved in such a successful venture and look forward to the opportunity to work with Sean and the rest of the team again in the future.
To see more of animator Sean Harris' work click here.
Jeff Spencer, April 2013
Edeyrnion Local History Society
Ysgol Isa at Cynwyd was the venue for an evening talk by CPAT to the members of the Edeyrnion Local History Society about the archaeology of the Berwyn. CPAT has undertaken several surveys of the archaeology of this mountain and the talk travelled back in time looking at the range of remains left behind by the people of the past. From relatively recent grouse shooting stands to well preserved medieval field systems to Bronze Age burial cairns and stone circles. There were questions and queries about other local sites at the end of the presentation and several people took away leaflets introducing Archwilio the online Historic Environment Service for Wales.
Above: A CPAT archaeologist stands on the Bronze Age burial cairn on the summit of Cadair Bronwen. Photograph: 2915-015.
Jeff Spencer would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the Society for the generous tea of sandwiches and scones provided!
Jeff Spencer, April 2013
Talk to the Newtown and District Civic Society
Bill Britnell gave a talk to a lively audience of thirty members of the Newtown and District Civic Society on the evening of 11 April 2013 following their AGM in the United Reformed church schoolroom, Newtown.
Right: 16th-century carved oak boss from Glas-hirfryn. Photograph: 3479-0072.
The talk covered some recent projects undertaken by the Trust, which included work on Neolithic sites in the Walton Basin, Radnorshire, at the medieval Cistercian abbey at Strata Marcella, Montgomeryshire, and at the late medieval house at Glas-hirfryn, Llansilin, formerly in Denbighshire. The acting chair of the Civic Society, Mary Oldham, wrote afterwards to say how very much they enjoyed the talk.
Bill Britnell, April 2013
CPAT and Brecknock Museum
Brecknock Museum is at the centre of an ambitious bid to the HLF for the creation of a new Brecon Library and a fully restored and extended Museum & Art Gallery. If successful, and when completed the museum, gallery and library will share a new cultural and community hub facility. To read more about the project, study the site plans and offer feedback click here.
Since the beginning of 2013, Jeff Spencer and CPAT Trustee David Morgan have been part of the Brecknock Museum Interpretation and Activities Group. The Curator, Nigel Blackamore, has invited representatives of local and special interest bodies to contribute to a forum for the discussion of ideas for bringing together the stories that should be told in the display and interpretation of the Museum’s collections upon reopening.
It is anticipated that the Group will continue to meet periodically once the Museum reopens to continue community participation in the display of the collections.
Jeff Spencer, April 2013
Timber Repair seminar in Welshpool highlights Glas-hirfryn
On the 20 March 2013, Bill Britnell gave a talk about archaeological excavation and recording grant-aided by Cadw at the Glas-hirfryn late medieval half-timbered house on a ‘Timber Repair’ day organised by Jill Fairweather of Cadw for Cadw staff, Powys County Council Conservation Officers and students of Swyddog Cynllun Bwrswriaeth Treftadaeth who were accompanied by their tutor, Helena Burke who wrote later to say
It was a fantastic opportunity for Foundations in Heritage Bursary Students to understand the importance of archaeology in relation to restoration projects. I think they all enjoyed it and were grateful for the opportunity to ask you questions.
Right: Timber recording in advance of repair and restoration at Glas-hirfryn, Powys. Photograph: 3479-0164.
The day also involved site visits to the Manor Joinery workshop, Pontesbury, where repair work on the timbers is taking place, and where philosophical and technical approaches to timber repair were considered, and to the Leighton Centre near Welshpool where issues relating to timber repairs were also considered.
Bill Britnell, March 2013
Kerry Local History Group
At the March 20th meeting of the Kerry Local History Group, Jeff Spencer spoke about the recent work undertaken by CPAT at the site of Strata Marcella abbey, the first concerted programme of study since the 1890s. Grant aided by Cadw the work so far has comprised a map regression exercise of the land around and including the site of the Abbey, topographical and geophysical survey and recording of archaeological features exposed in the bank of the River Severn.
Jeff Spencer, March 2013
Ysgol Maesydre fieldtrip to Holywell
CPAT contributed to an exciting day out for a class of Year 4 children from Ysgol Maesydre, Welshpool on a field trip to north Wales in late March arranged by their teacher. The class of 30 shepherded by staff from Maesydre and CPAT as well as parents visited St. Winefride’s Well and the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park at Holywell.
Right: Maesydre pupils explore St. Winefride's Well, Holywell.
At St Winefride’s Well the children heard the story of St. Winefride and her uncle St. Beuno, learned about holy wells and pilgrimages and explored the museum. After lunch we walked down the route of a disused railway line to investigate the industrial archaeology of the Greenfield Valley. The ruins of copper works, a textile factory and rubber processing works were studied and the lives of the people who worked in them were imagined.
The field trip was a great success with the children doing great credit to their school while at the same time gathering valuable material and experiences for use in their religious education, history, literacy and music lessons.
Right: Year 4 teacher Miss Terry points out the industrial archaeology at the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.
Jeff Spencer, March 2013
Rotary Club of Welshpool
The 6th March saw Jeff Spencer of CPAT giving an afternoon talk to the Rotary Club of Welshpool at the Royal Oak Hotel. The topic was the work of the Trust at local archaeological sites and included information about the investigation of the Smithfield site before its redevelopment, geophysical survey of the Great Lawn at Powis Castle and the long-term research project at Beacon Ring hillfort. Also featured was CPAT’s work with metal detector users, Powysland Museum and local students on work-experience placements.
Jeff Spencer, March 2013
CPAT helps students Get on with Science!
CPAT contributed to a recent science event for schools from the Welshpool area hosted at Welshpool High School. Several organisations took part, with the aim of encouraging pupils and their families to appreciate the importance of science in everyday life and to consider a career in science in the future.
CPAT demonstrated the contribution science makes to archaeology and showed off the Caersws Basin Virtual Reality fly-through model which shows how the area may have appeared in the Late Iron Age and Roman period.
Right: Extract from the County Times, Friday March 8th 2013.
Jeff Spencer, March 2013
The Lord’s Garden, Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin
CPAT archaeologists Ian Grant and Sophie Watson will be working closely with Wendy Williams of the Lord’s Garden Restoration Project and a team of volunteers between 18th and 22nd February on an archaeological evaluation within the Lord’s Garden, Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin. The evaluation will be conducted on behalf of the Denbighshire Heritage Service as part of the Lord’s Garden Ruthin Heritage Lottery grant-funded project which aims to develop and open the garden to the public. In order to achieve this, two features of potential archaeological significance require evaluation, an elongated mound in the south-west corner of the garden and an anomaly detected through geophysical survey.
Left: Extract from the 1742 print of Ruthin Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck, which shows the garden in some detail.
During the course of one week, we aim to open up two trenches to take in areas of the above features and we will be reporting back via a daily dig diary which will go live between the 18th and 22nd February.
For more information about Nantclwyd Y Dre, click here.
For more information about Denbighshire County Council Heritage Service , click here.
Sophie Watson, February 2013
Afternoon presentation to Ruthin Local History Group
Jeff Spencer of CPAT visited Ruthin on 18th February to give an afternoon talk to the Ruthin Local History Group. The subject of his presentation was the Roman presence in north-east Wales and began with an explanation of the importance and influence of the legionary fortress at Chester (Deva or Castra Deva in Latin) on the region. It then took the form of a Roman-road-trip along the north coast looking at the archaeological evidence for Roman activity at Flint, Prestatyn and Rhyl before turning up the Vale of Clwyd to Ruthin by way of Rhuddlan, St Asaph and Denbigh.
Left: A decorated roof tile of the 20th Legion whose home was at Chester for over 200 years from about AD90.
The close link between the Roman military and the exploitation of north-east Wales' mineral wealth was demonstrated, with evidence of lead processing most likely under 'official' control just outside Flint. Intriguingly, while there is evidence of civilian settlement at Prestatyn and Ruthin, the anticipated military presence has yet to be conclusively proven. The likely location for the 'missing' fort of Varis caught the imagination of the audience, While St Asaph has long been considered the most likely spot, some were keen to push Ruthin's claim!
Jeff was very grateful for the warm reception from the sizeable audience. The group next meet at 2pm on 18th March at the Ambulance Hall, Prior Street, Ruthin when Margaret Dunn will be the guest speaker talking about "Dating old houses in Denbighshire". Then at 11.30 on 15th April is the Annual Lunch and David Williams Memorial lecture at Ruthin Castle, contact the Hon. Secretary Arnold Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Jeff Spencer, February 2013
Introduction to Archaeology at Ysgol Maesydre
On 6th February Jeff Spencer of CPAT was invited to talk about archaeology with the 28 Year 6 pupils of Mrs Robert-Watkins' class at Ysgol Maesydre in Welshpool. After a brief introduction Jeff explained what archaeologists do, showed the class the tools and equipment they use on excavations, explained how they use aerial photographs and how they recognise new sites by looking for cropmarks; evidence of buried sites visible on the surface of fields.
After a lively question and answer session which saw several pupils asking well-informed questions and offering their own knowledge of local history and archaeology it was time for a practical session. All took part in creating their own cropmarks by laying a 'wall' of gravel on a bed of compost in a seed tray and sprinkling over a packet of cress seeds. The hope was that the seeds would germinate quickly in the compost but struggle in the gravel and illustrate how cropmarks are formed.
Jeff was very grateful for the warm reception from Mrs Robert-Watkins and her class at Ysgol Maesydre.
Right: Aerial photograph of a cropmark of a Neolithic henge monument at Dyffryn Lane near Berriew.
Jeff Spencer, February 2013
Making changes at Beacon Ring
If you are one of the thousands of visitors that passes through Beacon Ring hillfort each year on the Offa's Dyke National Trail you may have noticed a number of changes in the first few months of 2013.
With the help of Wales Probation Trust, Cadw - Welsh Government, Forestry Commission Wales and local volunteers we have been able to make a start on a number of improvements for visitors at the Trust's Iron Age hillfort on Long Mountain, just to the east of Welshpool.
Right: Offenders on the Community Payback scheme arranged by Wales Probation Trust hard at work in early February clearing gorse from the eastern ramparts of Beacon Ring hillfort. The telecommunications mast in the background, a prominent local landmark, transmits television programmes to much of mid Wales.
Over the years the ramparts of the hillfort have become overgrown with brambles and gorse which have made it difficult to fully appreciate what the defences are like. Dense undergrowth has also encouraged burrowing animals - largely rabbits - to dig tunnels into the ramparts which unless halted would begin to cause serious damage the monument. Dense vegetation also makes it difficult for visitors to fully appreciate the scale of the Iron Age defences. The hillfort ramparts were built of earth and stone dug from the surrounding ditch and most probably revetted with stone, timber or turf, evidence of which would be gradually destroyed by burrowing animals.
With the help of a a team of offenders as part of the Community Payback scheme, arranged by courtesy of Wales Probation Trust, we have already been able to make significant inroads into clearing the gorse and brambles from much of the eastern side of the monument. The scheme to clear the gorse and brambles is also supported by a Scheduled Ancient Monument management agreement with Cadw - Welsh Government and by voluntary help.
Because of the various species of birds - principally various members of the finch family - that nest in the gorse, vegetation clearance needs to be undertaken outside the nesting season which falls between early March and late July.
Since parts of the ramparts on the northern and western sides of the hillfort are still shrouded in dense undergrowth we expect to continue the work of clearing gorse and bracken over the next year or two. Once the dense vegetation has been cleared we are hoping to keep it under control in order to inhibit further damage by burrowing animals.
Left: One of the numerous animal burrows being dug into the hillfort rampart, particularly where the vegetation is thick and overgrown. Clearing the gorse and brambles will encourage the burrowing animals to take up home somewhere else, causing less damage to the Iron Age hillfort defences.
In the longer term we are also hoping to clear the interior of the hillfort of the trees that were planted there in the 1950s and return the site to grassland. This will make the site much more accessible to visitors, will cause less damage to the buried archaeology, and will also be more beneficial to wildlife.
In 2012, with the help of a grant from Cadw - Welsh Government, the Trust was able to purchase and fence off an additional strip of land around the eastern side of the hillfort from the local farmer. This makes a new circular walk for visitors to the hillfort with stunning views to the east towards Corndon Hill, the Stiperstones and the Wrekin. On a clear day you can probably see as far as Cannock Chase which is about 60 miles away. As well as improving the site for visitors, buying the new strip of land also keeps ploughing and other agricultural activities slightly further away from the outer ditch of the hillfort, which will help us to preserve and manage site and its setting.
Right: The new strip of land around the eastern side of Beacon Ring hillfort purchased by the Trust in 2012 with the help of grant aid from Cadw - Welsh Government.
Having put up a new boundary we are now able to gradually remove the old hawthorn hedge around the northern and eastern sides of the hillfort, planted perhaps no more than 50 or 60 years ago. The hedge which is now overgrown and poorly maintained had been set out along the bottom the hillfort ditch, spoiling the setting of the monument. Removing the hedge will make the Iron Age defences much clearer and will make the job of looking after the site much more easier. Again, this work needs to be undertaken outside the nesting season to avoid disturbance to wildlife.
Left: Clearing the old hawthorn hedge runing along the bottom of the Iron Age ditch encircling the eastern and northern sides of the hillfort.
Another change that you will see if you visit the site is that with the help of grant aid from Forestry Commission Wales we have been able to install a bench and picnic table along the line of the Offa's Dyke Path towards the western side of the hillfort. Following discussion with Cadw - Welsh Government, these have been placed to take advantage of the magnificent views westwards, towards Welshpool and Powis Castle and the Severn Valley. Again, on a clear day, views extend as far as Snowdon to the north-west and Cader Idris to the west, which are between about 50 and 60 miles away. It was heartening to see the seats were being used and enjoyed by visitors within minutes of being put in place with the help of the Community Payback team!
Right: The new bench and picnic table at Beacon Ring, purchased with the help of grant aid from Forestry Commission Wales under the Better Woodalnds for Wales Scheme.
Into the Blue was a community event held at the Hawarden Institute on Sunday 18th November as part of the Cadw funded Military Airfields
Hinterlands project. It had three main aims –
To inform the public of the Cadw-funded 20th century military airfields project.
To collect the reminiscences of people with first hand knowledge of the 3 study sites, RAF Hawarden, RAF Sealand and RAF Wrexham; particularly for the wartime period.
To gather new information about military sites for study as part of this years project
Left: Ian Grant of CPAT (at right) and Colin Barber of RVHS (middle) in conversation with a local councillor at Hawarden Institute on 18th November.
The event was busy, with between 30 and 40 people attending and several stopping to chat about their knowledge of one or other of the sites.
People also reminisced about seeing wartime air crashes and the characters they met and friends they made during their years of service.
The success of the day was due partly to contributions from several other interested groups and individuals who offered their time for free. We are very
grateful to Debbie Seymour of Flintshire County Council, Colin and Jacquie Barber and Ray Roberts of Rhydymwyn Valley History Society, Mike Grant of the
Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group, Rob Evans of the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust and Roy Marsh of Clwyd Aviation Group.
Jeff Spencer, November 2012
Talk to Sarn Local History Group
Following the AGM of the Sarn Local History Group Jeff Spencer of CPAT gave a presentation on the hillforts of mid-Wales. Illustrated with several
air photographs from the CPAT collection the characteristics, chronology and use of this classic site-type of the Marches were presented.
Examples of hillforts and defended farmsteads (similar in appearance to hillforts, but smaller and usually on lower-lying ground) local to Sarn were
For more information about Sarn Local History Group, click here.
Jeff Spencer, November 2012
Talk to Holt Local History Society
Ian Grant of CPAT was the guest speaker at Holt Local History Society, held at Holt Community Centre on Thursday 25th October. His talk, entitled
“Recent Excavations at Borras Quarry, Wrexham – an interim presentation of the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology” was well received by over 50
members. The presentation, which combined a wealth of site photographs and plans with recent reconstruction drawings of Neolithic pottery, illustrated
the results of five seasons of excavations (2008 –2012) at what has become the largest prehistoric site recorded in the region. Throughout, the project
has been supported and funded by the quarry owners, Tarmac. At the end of the presentation the audience fielded a number of searching and informed
questions creating a lively debate focused around the origins of the enigmatic Borras ‘fire-pits’.
Holt Local History Society have an active field research group who are, at present, engaged in a program of both excavation and geophysical surveys
within their locality. For further information contact Ann Main (email@example.com).
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust Annual General Meeting
Friday the 19th October saw CPAT hold its AGM at the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool. The event was well attended and after the serious business of reports
from the Chair and Director had been dealt with a series of 5 brief presentations about work in the Clwyd-Powys region were given.
Guest speaker was Prof. Howard Williams of Chester University who spoke about the 2 recent seasons of excavation at the Pillar of Eliseg just north of
Valle Crucis Abbey in the Eglwyseg valley, and the Bronze Age barrow on which it stands.
Prof Williams was followed by Nigel Jones, Bill Britnell, Jeff Spencer and Bob Silvester of CPAT who in turn spoke about projects at the site
of Strata Marcella Abbey near Welshpool, the house of Glas-hirfryn in the community of Llansilin, military airfields in north-east Wales and work on churches
undertaken by CPAT in recent years.
Jeff Spencer, October 2012
Talk to Oswestry and Border History and Archaeology Group
The October meeting of OBHAG, the Oswestry and Border History and Archaeology Group at Oswestry Memorial Hall was followed by a short presentation
from Jeff Spencer of CPAT. The talk focussed on the structure of the organisation, its relationship to the other heritage bodies in the UK and introduced
the various roles that it fulfills.
It is hoped that a return visit can be made in order to speak about specific projects undertaken recently in the region.
Visit the Oswestry and Border History and Archaeology Group website, click here.
Jeff Spencer, October 2012
Donations to Powysland Museum
The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust works with local metal detector users to identify and record their discoveries and has built up good
relationships with several individuals over many years.
In late September Mr Nick Howells donated several items, including a silver penny of Henry III and an unusual medieval shield-shaped seal matrix to
Powysland Museum in Welshpool where they were immediately put on display.
The photograph to the right shows museum Curator Eva Bredsdorff with Nick Howells. For more information about artefacts, just click here.
Jeff Spencer, September 2012
Worthen Local History Group
A relatively new organisation, the Worthen Local History Group, invited CPAT to speak at one of their monthly meetings at Brockton, Shropshire on 18th
The presentation introduced the various heritage bodies either side of the border, and explained the work of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. To
round things off some of the types of archaeological site most likely to be spotted in the Marches were illustrated.
For more information about the Worthen Local History Group or about booking a member of staff to talk to your club or society, contact
Jeff Spencer at CPAT.
Jeff Spencer, September 2012
Tour of Britain visits Welshpool
CPAT staff were able to enjoy the visit of the Tour of Britain to Welshpool on 14th September. The stage began at Powis Castle and the riders
passed the front door of the CPAT office as they raced to Caerphilly Castle...190 kilometres away!
Jeff Spencer, September 2012
How the West was Won exhibition travels to Radnorshire Museum
Fresh from the Royal Welsh Show CPAT's exhibition about the prehistoric archaeology of the Hindwell Basin How the West Was Won, has been loaned to
Radnorshire Museum in Llandrindod Wells. It will compliment the virtual reality fly-through model which already has a prominent position in the main gallery.
To learn more about the exhibition and to read and download your own copies of the display panels follow this link.
For more information about the museum, click here.
Jeff Spencer, August 2012
Festival of British Archaeology 2012
It's that time of year again! The Festival of British Archaeology ran from Saturday 14th July to Sunday 29th July, and CPAT were involved with three events this year. On Saturday 14th, Abi McCullough and Sophie Watson were at the Elan Valley Visitors Centre near Rhayader, where they were holding a 'Family Archaeology Day' jointly with the Elan Valley Trust.
This included various hands-on crafts and activites (such as reconstructing a gigantic pot, right). On Saturday 21st, Jeff Spencer led a guided tour of
Montgomery Castle (see below). And once again, from Monday 16th to Saturday 28th July, CPAT and Cadw led a group of volunteers for a second season of excavations at Hen Caerwys, a deserted medieval settlement in Flintshire.
Abi McCullough, July 2012
How the West was Won or
CPAT at the Royal Welsh Show . . . .
Staff from CPAT were at the Royal Welsh Show at Llanelwedd this year to present a new exhibition which focuses on a remarkable sequence of ceremonial monuments built by the earliest farmers in Wales. Dating to the Neolithic period (the later stone age) between about 3800 and 2500 BC, they include the largest timber palisaded enclosure of this period known in Britain.
Thousands of tonnes of earth and timber were moved during the construction of a sequence of massive monuments which radically changed the landscape in the Walton Basin, lying between New Radnor and the English border. It clearly involved the coming together of hundreds if not thousands of people, at least at certain times of the year. We have still to learn what the monuments were for, but the way they cluster around the springs at the source of the Hindwell Brook hints at a religious cult based on water sources. Most of the sites have been discovered by aerial photography and few are visible on the ground today.
Posts were uploaded to CPAT's Facebook page from the showground to give a flavour of the activity on site. Click here and scroll down to July 23rd to read them.
To learn more about the exhibition and to read and download your own copies of these display panels follow this link.
Chris Martin, July 2012
Festival of British Archaeology 2012: Montgomery Castle
On 21st July Jeff Spencer of CPAT led a well-attended guided walk around the ruins of Montgomery Castle as part of the Trust's commitment to the Festival of
British Archaeology. It was good to talk to a mixed audience comprising families with young children and older people.
Construction of the castle began in 1223 on the orders of King Henry III and comprises a barbican (outer defence), outer ditch 18m wide by 6.3 metres
deep, middle ward where much industrial activity went on, inner ditch (13.7m wide by 6.1m deep) and inner ward which originally contained the royal suite
In the 17th century an ornate brick mansion (the first major brick house in Montgomeryshire) was constructed in the middle ward for Edward, Lord Herbert
of Chirbury and in 1644 the castle became embroiled in the Civil War, with the Battle of Montgomery being fought in the fields below it.
A staff member from CPAT gave a well-received presentation on the work of CPAT and recent local archaeological discoveries to members of Welshpool Inner
Wheel at their July meeting at the Royal Oak Hotel.
Logo Copyright Tord Elfwendahl
Jeff Spencer, July 2012
Work-Experience Week 2012
Work-experience week was a great success again this year, read all about it on the webpage produced by the students
Jeff Spencer, July 2012
Welshpool Be a Local Tourist Week 2012
In July CPAT gave their support to Welshpool Town Council's annual Be a Local Tourist Week. On the evening of the 4th a small group joined archaeologist Jeff Spencer
in investigating the cattle transfer dock near the railway station. Aerial photographs helped interpret the surviving remains on the ground as well as those of the neighbouring
medieval castle Domen Gastell. Scheduled as a site of national importance, the transfer dock is a rare interchange facility between narrow and
standard gauge railways and was built in 1903.
For more information about this site visit Archwilio at
www.archwilio.org.uk, select the CPAT section, enter 'transfer' in the 'Search for'
box and click 'Search'.
Jeff Spencer, July 2012
Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ) INSET Day, St Asaph
The Welsh Baccalaureate is an innovative and exciting qualification delivered by schools, colleges and training providers across Wales. It gives broader
experiences than traditional learning programmes, to suit the diverse needs of young people.
CPAT were invited to speak to regional co-ordinators at a training event held at Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph on the 4th of July. The potential for
archaeology and archaeological skills to contribute to learning at this level was recognised and opportunities for supporting students participating
in the WBQ were discussed. We hope to be further involved in the future.
Jeff Spencer, July 2012
Trip to Cefn Carnedd, Caersws
Organised by community group Twristiaeth Caersws Tourism in association with CPAT, a public outing to investigate and picnic on the site of Cefn
Carnedd took place on Sunday 17th June.
A hillfort built during the Iron Age (AD750 - AD43), Cefn Carnedd occupies a long hilltop and commands views over
the Severn valley. While there has never
been an archaeological excavation of the hilltop, study of the ramparts and ditches has suggested that the hillfort expanded and grew more complex during
the time of its Iron Age occupation.
An interesting feature of Cefn Carnedd is its apparent reuse at a later date, suggested by the presence of a more clearly defined
bank and ditch cutting off a section of the hillfort at the SW end. It is possible that this use dates to the Romano-British or Early Medieval periods.
The fields in which Cefn Carnedd now lies are private property, and Twristiaeth Caersws Tourism are very grateful to the landowners
for allowing us to enjoy this fantastic site and its tremendous views.
Right: Visitors illustrate the positions of the ramparts near the SW entrance at Cefn Carnedd
Jeff Spencer, June 2012
In rare sunshine on the 15th of May members of the Local Social History Group of Welshpool U3A enjoyed a CPAT guided tour of some of the historic sites
and buildings in Welshpool.
Jeff Spencer, May 2012
New book available . . . . .
Don't miss your chance to own this fascinating new book entitled Montgomeryshire Past & Present from the Air, containing over 200 full colour images. It has been produced by the Powysland Club and the Clwyd Powys Archaelogical Trust at a price of just £12.95. To find out how to order your copy just follow this link.
Chris Martin, May 2012
Correspondence from the US
We were reminded of the potential reach of the internet recently when we were emailed out of the blue by a Mr Mark Sadley from the town of Trophy Club,
Texas who it appears has a little bit of Denbighshire history in his home. But I shall let Mark tell the tale...
We thought you might be interested in knowing that a piece of furniture designed and constructed by S. Dyer Gough of Nantclwyd House has found its way
to Trophy Club, Texas (25 miles north of Fort Worth).
Today was our bi-annual "Dust the Furniture Day", and in the process I remembered the inscription on the bottom of the little end table we picked up
years ago at an auction in Sanger, TX. Back then, we could find no information about it on the web, but a search today revealed your sites related to the
Nantclwyd House restoration. (It also provided me with an excuse to "do research" while my wife continues cleaning house.)
Here's a couple pictures of the piece. I'll bet that Mr. Gough would be surprised that one of his creations has made it to the Texas prairie.
Your web sites are very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing them this morning. Back to dusting,
It is interesting to think of the journey this table has made and to wonder how it got to the United States. Unfortunately, we have little about S
Dyer-Gough in our records, do you know anything about him? If so please get in contact with Jeff Spencer at CPAT. To find out more about Nantclwyd House...
check out our Project pages about Nantclwyd House here
A member of staff from CPAT recently visited the Hafan Day Hospice, Newtown to speak about the work of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust and to give
people the chance to handle real sherds of Roman pottery and other items from the Trusts' collection.
Jeff Spencer, May 2012
Lôn Lodges Farm Walks and Nature Trails
Heritage Management Archaeologist Abi McCullough has been working with the owners of Lôn Lodges holiday accommodation at Nantmel near Rhayader in
Radnorshire on presenting the archaeological sites on their land to visitors. Abi supported the production of leaflets to accompany two farm walks and
nature trails and chatted to people at the inaugural walk at a launch event in late March.
Jeff Spencer, April 2012
Flintshire Historical Society AGM
Bob Silvester, Deputy Director at CPAT was guest speaker at the AGM of the Flintshire Historical Society held at the Edith Bankes Memorial Hall in
Northop on Saturday 24th March. His talk was entitled Hen Caerwys, a medieval settlement on the limestone plateau: past, present & future? and over 70
members were in attendance. To read more about the joint project by CPAT and Cadw visit the CPAT projects page.
Jeff Spencer, April 2012
Welsh Music Maestro back at CPAT
The recent excavations at Hindwell, in Radnorshire, saw Welsh music legend Rhys Mwyn back on site with CPAT for the first time in over 25 years.
Having graduated from Cardiff with a degree in archaeology Rhys came to work for CPAT in 1984 during excavations on a Bronze Age ring ditch at Four
Crosses, and later on sites in Montgomery and Caersws. Soon after music took over his life as his band Yr Anrhefn went from strength to strength. Having
spent over 20 years in the music industry Rhys is now getting back in touch with his roots and volunteered for a day on an excavation which investigated
part of the Roman settlement outside the Hindwell fort, as well as one of the three Neolithic palisaded enclosures in the area.
Nigel Jones, March 2012
The Montgomery Hoard - Jeff and Adrian team up again!
A joint presentation about the Montgomery Hoard by Jeff Spencer of CPAT and finder Adrian Simmons formed the first talk of the season
to the Montgomery Civic Society on 23rd March. The audience at the well attended evening event at Montgomery Town Hall heard how the discovery was made,
what it comprised, and what in due course it might tell us about life in the area over 1700 years ago. Adrian's detailed knowledge of Roman coins allowed
him to share some fascinating facts about some of the individual coins and the Roman economy in the 3rd century AD. The talk was also an ideal opportunity to keep interested
members of the public informed of the progress of the hoard through the Treasure system.
Jeff Spencer, March 2012
Exhibition - Finds from Montgomeryshire
Between December 2011 and March 2012 and in partnership with staff from Powysland Museum, a small exhibition of finds discovered by metal detector
users in Montgomeryshire was displayed in the museum’s archaeology exhibition. The initiative was facilitated by CPAT staff who liaised with the finders
to arrange loans and prepared suitable display texts. We would like to say a big "Thank You!" to everyone who kindly loaned items for the
display. It is hoped that a similar exhibition can be arranged during the new financial year.
Jeff Spencer, March 2012
Llanymynech Historical Society
An illustrated talk introducing CPAT and some of its recent projects was given to members of the Llanymynech Historical Society at the Presbyterian
Church Hall on 19th March. The audience of about 25 heard Jeff Spencer describe the excavation of a range of archaeological sites ahead of development
such as a Bronze Age ring-ditch (a barrow that has been ploughed flat) on the route of the Four Crosses bypass and the Roman road at the Tesco
site in Newtown. The evening ended with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Jeff Spencer, March 2012
Community event at Coelbren
The Fforest Fawr Geopark in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park (stretching roughly between Llandeilo and Brecon and falling within the
regions covered by three of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts) has been designated as a territory whose geological heritage is of European significance.
It is a partnership between Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the British Geological Survey and Cardiff University. CPAT is one of a host of other
organisations with local, regional or national interests contributing to the partnership and to this end staff from CPAT and the Glamorgan-Gwent
Archaeological Trust were present at a community event to promote the Geopark held at Coelbren in southern Breconshire on Sunday 4th March. Several local
residents stopped for a chat and to study the digital Historic Environment Records for the area. To do so for yourself please visit