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In the Spring 2015 issue . . .

Gallwch chi lawrlwytho Cylchlythyr cyfredol CPAT yma

Current news stories . . . .

Memories of the Landscape - Community Project Younger and older people share what they have learned together about the local landscape

Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

Memories of the Landscape from SMN film on Vimeo.

Between September 2015 and March 2016, CPAT in collaboration with Campaign to Protect Rural England Shropshire (CPRE) and Shropshire Hills AONB, delivered an extraordinary intergenerational project in South Shropshire. The project was funded by The Big Lottery and it brought older and younger people from the Clun Forest of Shropshire together to create a resource that will be used by all generations in sharing ‘memories of the landscape’. “This has been a pilot project,” explained Judy Crabb, Vice Chair of CPRE Shropshire, “that we feel could be rolled out and has value in any rural area. CPRE is committed to protecting and enhancing our landscape heritage for the benefit of all. The Clun Forest and Valley is one of the Local Priority Areas within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and presents some challenging issues. It is the most deeply rural part of the AONB, and is amongst the most sparsely populated parts of England. A high age profile, rising costs and the difficulty of making livestock products pay in a competitive global market are compounded by the relative isolation of the area. The continuation of both livestock and appropriate cropping are both important for the conservation of the landscape. The continued development of farmer and community networks and working together are crucial. We want to engage with all parts of the community to raise awareness of the issues faced and how we might work together to safeguard what may be at risk.”

“The project was hugely enjoyed by older and younger people,” Judy added and “two fascinating handling ‘cases’ have been created based on the work of our group that can now be used and enjoyed by generations to come”. One case will be for use by schools in the area. “The other case,” explained Sarah Griffiths “has been designed for use in care settings with residents who may enjoy reminiscing about life in the Clun Valley over the last seventy years. It contains a selection of objects that illustrate the changes that have occurred over that period”. Sarah added that “the collection aims to stimulate memory and start a conversation, particularly helpful to those who may be living with dementia”. The Community Case will be donated to Bishops Castle Heritage Resource Centre and will be available for booking by local care homes, community groups and other organisations that care for elderly people living in the area. For further information on how to borrow this case please contact Patricia Theobald at Bishops Castle Heritage Resource Centre, Chapel Yard, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5DE, Telephone: 01588 630556. CPRE contact: Sarah Jameson (Administrator), email

Viviana Culshaw - April 2016

Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB-Annual Forum 2015 ‘The Histroic Environment of the AONB’

Mold, Flinthshire

On Friday evening, 18 September Bill Britnell offered an illustrated talk entitled 'The archaeology of the Walton Basin - ancient mysteries in the landscape', at the Burton Hotel, Kington, as part of the Kington Walking Festival. Over 53 people attended the event.

CPAT senior archaeologists’, Ian Grant and Richard Hankinson, recently attended the Annual Forum for the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB – held at County Hall, Mold. The purpose of the forum was to highlight some of the key ongoing projects that are successfully generating high levels of interest and ground-support in the historic environment of the region. Both Ian and Richard gave a keynote address on recent project work undertaken by CPAT.

Ian presented the work at Tomen Y Rhodwydd (part of the ‘North East Wales Community Archaeololgy’ initiative) which involved working with students and volunteers carrying out extensive management work and surveying of the 12th century Motte.

Richard gave an insight into the ongoing Caves project which has involved the cataloguing and assessment of a large number of sites which have the potential to retain significant evidence of past human activity. For example, Pontnewydd Cave provides us with the earliest known human presence in Wales – that of an early Neanderthal dating to about 230,000 years ago. Both projects, undertaken within the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley, have been supported by Cadw.

Additional presentations were given by Fiona Gale, Denbighshire County Archaeologist, who spoke on the recent consolidation work at Castell Dinas Bran, and Dr Rachel Pope (University of Liverpool) who delivered an update on the ongoing excavations at Penycloddiau Hillfort.

The evening also afforded the opportunity to promote the recently formed ‘Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley'. If you would like to discover more about the landscape and heritage of the region you can contact Loggerheads Country Park. Their website will be soon available on

Photo CPAT- (Top right) Fiona Gale, Ian Grant, Rachel Pope, Richard Hankinson and Councillor Hugh Jones - Chair of the AONB Joint Committee. Ian Grant presenting the Cadw funded project at Tomen Y Rhodwydd.(Bottom left) Fiona Gale, Denbighshire County Archaeologist talking about Castell Dinas Bran.

Viviana Culshaw - November 2015

Kington Walking Festival 2015


On Friday evening, 18 September Bill Britnell offered an illustrated talk entitled 'The archaeology of the Walton Basin - ancient mysteries in the landscape', at the Burton Hotel, Kington, as part of the Kington Walking Festival. Over 53 people attended the event.

The talk generated several questions and discussion around the local archaeology. There was a lot of discussion about where the oak trees came from for the palisaded enclosures, also questions about the gaps between the posts and whether they were freestanding or had held a barrier or lintels on top, and also questions about whether the original banks from the ditches of the cursus had simply weathered back into the ditches or had been backfilled.

The talk concluded with some comparisons with the similar complexes of Neolithic monuments in the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage areas, including new discoveries of Neolithic houses around Durrington Walls which are potentially similar to the ones found by the Trust at Upper Ninepence in the Walton Basin.

The event was received with great interest confirming the local appreciation for the archaeology and heritage of the Walton Basin.

Photo CPAT- cs94-74-150 Alex Gibson's excavations of the Neolithic house sites at Upper Ninepence.

Viviana Culshaw - September 2015

The Prehistoric archaeology of Borras Quarry 2015


This was a unique event organised for the Frinds of CPAT and the members of the Holt History Group, to discover the prehistoric archaeology of Borras Quarry. We had a fantastic time on Sunday, September 13th with C.R Archaeology and Gwynedd Archaeological Trust sharing and comparing results from our recent work on Neolithic sites in North Wales.

CPAT has worked on this particular site since 2008 when the fist traces of a Neolithic or ‘New Stone Age’ settlement were discovered during topsoil stripping for an extension to Tarmac’s sand and gravel quarry at Borras, just north-east of Wrexham. After 7 years this incredible site keeps offering new glimpses about prehistoric life in the area.

The event involved a talk at the Millenium Eco Centre where artefacts where displayd for visitors, followed by a site visit to look at the features associated to a Neolithic structure, possibl a long-house.

The event received an excellent feedback and great enthusiasm, both from volunteers and professionals. CPAT would like to thank all the participants, the Millenium Eco Centre for hosting the event and the management of Tarmac for allowing us on site.

Photo CPAT- The visit at Borras quarry involved indoor and outdoor activities.

Viviana Culshaw - September 2015

A medieval event at the Presteigne Festival - an experience


All aboard the Magical History Tour! For the third consecutive year CPAT’s Nigel Jones organised an event as part of the Presteigne Festival. Unlike the previous events, which focused on the wealth of prehistoric activity in the Walton Basin, this year’s event, which took place on 27 August, looked instead at the rich medieval history of the area. Following an illustrated talk at Evenjobb Village Hall the audience of over 60 people boarded a coach for a tour taking in Offa’s Dyke, Old Radnor and New Radnor, as well as highlighting other places of significance en route.

Photo CPAT- Getting ready to explore the local medieval history.

Viviana Culshaw - August 2015

National Eisteddfod, 2015

Meifod, Powys

For those who are not familiar with the National Eisteddfod, this is an annual festival celebrating the best of Wales which takes place every year in the first week of August, and is regarded as the "pinnacle of the Welsh cultural calendar". The event is held in a different location every year. This year it took place on our doorsteps at Meifod, in Powys giving the opportunity to visitors and promoters to discover and celebrate the rich heritage of the Montgomeryshire area. A total of 150,776 visitors came to the Maes during the week to view a number of music, dance, visual arts and literature competitions, as well as concerts and cultural displays. Unique in its kind, a new pavilion – Y Lle Hanes – was organised by the Powysland Club and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw, and dedicated to the archaeology and history of Montgomeryshire. The National Eisteddfod welcomed visitors with displays and activities prepared by the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, Cadw, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Peoples’ Collection Wales, the National Library of Wales and numerous local heritage societies.

Over 6600 people visited the Y Lle Hanes pavilion and staff from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) provided practical activities for children and adults to give them a taste of the fascinating world of archaeology and displayed aerial photographs of the wide range of archaeological sites which survive in Montgomeryshire.

Photos CPAT- Being part of the Eisteddfod 2015.

Viviana Culshaw - August 2015

Festival of Archaeology 2015

Rhuddlan Castle, Denbighshire

On a very windy day over 400 people visited Rhuddlan Castle to celebrate the 25th Festival of Archaeology.

On Saturday 18th July, Viviana Culshaw and Jeff Spencer of CPAT hosted a “Fun Day in the Castle” as part of a two-day event which involved several exhibitors and the well-known Re-enactment group Cwmwd Ial at Rhuddlan Castle.

The event couldn't have succeeded without the partnership of CADW and their staff.

Around 160 people, children and adults, visited our stall to learn about the work of archaeologists and to engage with a series of hands-on crafts and practical activities. Families tried their hands at an excavation experience and recovered buried artefacts such as pottery, glass, animal bones, as well as Bobo, our loyal skeleton!

Young Minecraft experts had the opportunity to demonstrate their technical abilities and tried to reconstruct Rhuddlan Castle looking at the real monument and its plan. It was a really interesting experience which stimulated children to look at the monument in a different way.

The Festival of Archaeology is co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, and involves museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.

Viviana Culshaw - July 2015

Talk to Hyssington Social Club

Members of Hyssington Social Club welcomed Jeff Spencer of CPAT to their village hall on 25th June to hear about the Trust's excavation the previous year in Bodelwyddan Castle Park, when a small team supported by volunteers investigated some First World War practise trenches.

The presentation demonstrated the link to the nearby Kinmel Park Camp and explained the reasons for the excavation and what was discovered. Although only a small area was excavated, it was enough to show that in this area of the complex at least, some of the internal trench features survived, despite being left open to the elements for nearly 100 years. Numerous finds were discovered and the presentation ended with images of these and some thoughts on what they added to the story.

The event was organised by Clare Beaumont of Hyssington Social Club who also happens to be CPAT's Admin Officer!

Jeff Spencer - June 2015

Talk to Corwen and Dee Valley Archaeological Society

Jeff Spencer entertained the Corwen and Dee Valley Archaeological Society at their June meeting with a presentation which introduced the wide range of archaeological sites to be found in the Dee Valley and on the Berwyn overlooking it. Taking a chronological approach, Jeff showed images of Bronze Age cairns and stone circles (including Cerrig Bwlch y Fedw pictured to the right during excavation by CPAT in 2011), discussed the nature of Roman activity in and around Corwen and showed aerial photographs of medieval fields and hafodtai on the Berwyn. A talk to an archaeological society in Corwen would not be complete without mention of sites associated with Owain Glyndwr, so the motte which carries his name and the nearby site of one of his houses just outside Llidiart y parc also featured.

Jeff Spencer - June 2015

Tour of Dolforwyn Castle

The morning of Saturday 13th June saw fourteen members of the Montgomershire Genealogical Society brave persistent rain to explore Dolforwyn Castle, near Abermule. Led by Jeff Spencer of CPAT they were introduced to the history of the site, heard about the planned market town on high ground outside the castle (subsequently abandoned in favour of Newtown), and the development and turbulent life of the castle.

Photo courtesy of Julie Carol Williams

Jeff Spencer - June 2015

Cardiff Archaeology Society tour the Walton Basin with Bill and Jenny Britnell

Photo courtesy of Bill Britnell

On the afternoon of Saturday 30 May 2015, twenty-five members of the Cardiff Archaeological Society toured sites in the Walton Basin in two minibuses led by Bill and Jenny Britnell. The event followed on from a talk to the society given by Bill in January (see The Archaeology of the Walton Basin below). Visits included New Radnor medieval town and castle, Old Radnor Church (followed by lunch at the Harp Inn at Old Radnor in the company of a wedding party!), Knapp Farm large mound (courtesy of the landowner), Four Stones stone circle and Hindwell cursus and Hindwell 1 round barrow (courtesy of the landowner), Offa's Dyke near Evenjobb, and Burfa Bog motte (phew!). The trip finished with a visit to the Radnor Arms in New Radnor and then the Water-break-its-neck waterfall. A good time was had by all, who certainly got good value!

At Four Stones one of the party spotted a possible inscribed circle or double circle with central hole on the east face of the south-western stone. It is currently unexplained. Another possible circle has previously been reported on the north-eastern stone, is anyone interested in undertaking a bit more study of the stones perhaps?

The south-western stone. Photo courtesy of Bill Britnell

The north-eastern stone, with circle arrowed. Photo courtesy of Paul Wood

Bill Britnell - June 2015

Recent investigations at the Walton Basin - illustrated talk. Worcester University

For the second time in a week CPAT’s Nigel Jones crosses Offa’s Dyke to present the results from the Walton Basin project to an audience in England.

This time the recipients were 11 members of the University Archaeology Society, as well as one member from the local history society.

Viviana Culshaw - May 2015

Buckley Potteries and the community excavation at Price's Pottery

Over 25 members of the Flintshire Archaeology Group (U3A) gathered at the New Brighton Community Centre to hear a talk on “The Buckley Potteries and the community excavation at Price’s Pottery”. The talk aimed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the historical and archaeological significance of Buckley potteries, presenting the results of research projects conducted from the mid-1970s to present days.

A particular emphasis was given to the recent excavations carried out at Price’s Pottery located on the grounds of Elfed High School, in the heart of Buckley and the impact that the event had on the local community.

The event received a positive feedback and many people was amazed in finding out the large number of potteries that existed in such a small area and they expressed interest in discovering more by visiting the local museum.

Viviana Culshaw - May 2015

The Tudor mansion at Glashirfryn, Llansilin

A lively audience of 46 members of the Llansilin Local History Society met in Llansilin Village Hall on the evening of 27 April to hear a talk on 'The Tudor mansion at Glashirfryn, Llansilin: its history and renovation', shown in the accompanying photo as it appears in April 2015.

The focus of the talk was the elaborate box-framed house Glashirfryn, built in 1559, which is currently in the process of reconstruction (see further details here. ). The talk began by looking at a number of earlier, cruck-built medieval hall houses in the area dating to the period 1450-1550 which have been excavated by the Trust (Ty-mawr, Tyddyn Llwydion, Ty-draw), and examined how these differed from the more elaborate types of storied, half-timbered houses that were being built from the second half of the 16th century onwards.

It appears that Glashirfryn was built by a certain Dafydd, whose son married into the prominent local family, the Wynn's of Moeliwrch, Llansilin, who were notable patrons of poets and musicians during the 15th and 16th centuries. The talk explored the possibility that the halls of the larger houses at this period, in addition to other functions, also provided a performance space for Welsh poetry and music.To the delight of the audience the talk was enlivened by various musical recordings including one of a Welsh poem sung to an accompaniment on a crwth (an early stringed instrument), taken from a recording by the Cardiff-based musical group Bragod.

Viviana Culshaw - May 2015

Recent investigations at the Walton Basin - illustrated talk

In a rare foray across the border Nigel Jones presented the results of recent Cadw-funded survey and excavation in the Walton Basin to a group of over 40 members from the Kington Local History Society, on April 24th.

The enthusiast audience included several people who have recently volunteered with CPAT as part of the project, which has involved members of the local community in a range of fieldwork activities.

Viviana Culshaw - May 2015

Talking about Maritime Archaeology in Welshpool

On March 24th 34 people attended the talk given by Ian Cundy on Maritime Archaeology, including seven divers from Shrewsbury and Telford. The talk engaged participants for 2 hours offering an excellent introduction to the work of NAS and the principle of conservation and protection of shipwrecks. The story of the "Diamond Ship" thrilled the audience.

The event had an excellent feedback, here some of the comments:

“This was a top quality talk-excellent! Everyone was very friendly and helpful” (Marion)

“Ian was a fantastic speaker, very clear explanation of how and what the NAS do” (Peter)

Many thanks to all the people who attended and in particular Ian Cundy for delivering the event.More information about NAS and the fascinating story of the Diamond are available on the NAS website here.

Viviana Culshaw - April 2015

Exploring the local and cultural heritage of Rhayader

Over 30 people attended the talk presented to the “Rhayader by Nature- local natural history society” by our community archaeologist Viviana on March 2015. The talk aimed to explore the breathtaking local historic landscape and the way people shaped it through time.

The natural history society is currently working on the publication of a booklet that explore the local environment and its connection with the past, and the event gave the opportunity to explore new areas of interest and research.

Richard Knight, Chair of Rhayader by Nature the local natural history society said “The talk, presentation and question time were clearly very much enjoyed by everyone. Interestingly there were several people in the audience that were not members of our natural history society but came along having seen the posters advertising your talk. We gained two new members. The subject is of great interest to people locally. A useful part from our society’s perspective was that the subject attracted an audience with several people not usually seen at Rhayader by Nature events.” It was clear that people at the event were keen to discover more about the individual archaeological sites in close proximity to Rhayader town. There is consequently potential for future events and local activities.

Viviana Culshaw - March 2015

Clun Forest Landscape Heritage Project. Past, Present and Future...

A training programme and education activities were undertaken between October 2014 and March 2015 at Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire, to follow up the HLF-funded “Down to Earth” project run by the AONB from 2003-2007 and the “Land, Life and Livelihoods” project (2011-2013). These latest projects developed interests and connections, specifically through its strand of community archaeology. The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust was approached by local volunteers and the Shropshire Hills AONB to bring their expertise in community archaeology and historic landscapes to the Clun Forest communities to help train local people and equip them with a variety of skills. The aim of the project was to increase local participation in understanding, managing and interpreting the historic environment in the three parishes of Bettws Y Crwyn, Newcastle and Mainstone. A series of training activities, including recording historic buildings, topographic and landscape survey were mainly developed at Bettws Y Crwyn and Newcastle. There were enhanced by several seminars and site visits. Potential research projects have been identified for the three parishes which will be developed at a later stage.

The training programme was well-received and involved several volunteers from the local parishes of the area investigated. There has been wide interest in the project with short articles appearing on the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust’s website and social media, and with presentations to local community groups. The project was highlighted in the CPAT Annual Review. The Clun Forest Landscape Heritage group has identified new research topics and they now have the necessary technical information to carry out field survey. The community objectives were met therefore and in this respect the project represents a success.

The project will culminate in a two-day exhibition “Display of work in progress” in Newcastle on 21-22 March 2015 from 10.30am to 5pm at Newcastle Community Centre. This event will include a series of displays presenting the research project conducted by the community group and an illustrated talk entitled “Offa’s Dyke—a journey in words and pictures” by Jim Saunders.

Viviana Culshaw - March 2015

The search for Boror Park: A deer park in the Clun Forest?The story so far ...

Amongst the places marked on a picturesque 1595 manuscript map of Shropshire, housed in the British Library is Boror Parke. Located on the North bank of the River Clun between Newcastle and Bettws in the Foresta de Clun, the reference made us curious. A little digging around online soon came up with a second and more detailed nugget of documentary evidence for Boror Park in the History of the County of Shropshire , volume 4 (on Agriculture). Here, information gleaned from contemporary court records, reveals that by the end of the 14th century, Boror Park was being used as a stud for horse breeding. This raised all sorts of intriguing questions and some members of the group attempted to make a start at finding answers for some of them using mainly secondary sources and carrying out site visits.

The search for the Park of Boror on the ground …

With our new-found interest in Boror Park from the 1595 map, we have been trying to discover where in the Clun Forest the Park may have been. Since parks can leave little or no trace in the landscape or on maps after 500 years, we had a challenge on our hands. Looking at field boundaries on maps of the Clun Forest, Bob Silvester from CPAT had noticed what looked like the possible hint of a park-like outline in the D-shaped field boundaries at Castle Idris. This would very conveniently have almost exactly matched the parks location on the 1595 map! With the kind permission of landowners John and Thelma Davies four of us set out with Bob on a bright, cold February morning to see if we could find any evidence of the park on the ground in fields and woodland on Garn Bank. Starting in Garn Wood and walking up the right hand side the land slopes very steeply straight up Garn Bank. Following the tree line North East, we found no trace at all of what should have been a fairly distinctive (even if degraded/broken up) linear ditch and bank boundary-type feature. Had there been such a feature here, it is unlikely it would have been ploughed out completely, since the terrain is so steep and difficult to work.

Medieval lynchets up near the hedgeline (banks of earth that build up over time on the downslope of ploughed fields). Bob Silvester spotted a potentially very interesting (and uncommon) possible earthwork near the field boundary in the form of two rather subtle long mounds. These resemble the possible remains of long -collapsed walls (now turfed over) of a sheepcote, or medieval shelter built for sheep and/or fodder. Measurements, notes and photographs were taken and we await to hear more!

Author: Sarah Jameson, Clun Forest Landscape Heritage Project - February 2015

The Archaeology of the Walton Basin

Another successful event run by Bill Britnell who gave a talk entitled 'The Archaeology of the Walton Basin - a microcosm of the Welsh Marches' to over 60 members of the Cardiff Archaeological Society on 22 January 2015 in the Main College of Cardiff University. The audience became so intrigued by the wealth of archaeological sites in the area that they have persuaded the speaker to lead them on a field trip around the basin, to be held on the 30 May 2015.

Viviana Culshaw - January 2015

Presentation to Royal British Legion, Borth Branch

On a wild January night at Borth Community Hall about 20 members of the Royal British Legion, Borth Branch gathered to hear a presentation by Jeff Spencer on the First World War aerodromes of Wales. The presentation was based on that delivered to the Cambrian Archaeological Association the previous September (see below), but with the addition of information on 2 more establishments in Pembrokeshire, kindly provided by Alice Pyper of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

The sites featured were the Naval Airship Patrol Stations at Llangefni and Pembroke, the short-lived aerodrome near Bangor in Gwynedd, the twin bases of North and South Shotwick, later to become RAF Sealand in Flintshire and Fishguard Harbour Seaplane station.

Jeff would like to record his thanks for the warm welcome and generosity shown by the membership and branch officers.

Jeff Spencer - January 2015

CPAT at 1914 WWI Christmas Truce Exhibition Launch

CPAT Archaeologists attended the launch of an impressive temporary exhibition 1914 WW1 Christmas Truce at Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire on Saturday 10th January.

The exhibition, an international partnership between museums in Wales, France and Germany, which will be open to the public until April 11th before moving to Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales, was launched at an event with music from a male voice choir and speeches before being declared open by Deputy Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Ken Skates. CPAT presented information on our recent Cadw-funded excavation of a section of the practice trenches in Bodelwyddan Castle Park and displayed artefacts found during this project.

CPAT are very grateful to the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust and Director Dr Kevin Mason for the opportunity to contribute to a very successful day. We would also like to thank volunteer Richard Spencer who helped to erect the display and photograph the event.

Jeff Spencer - January 2015

Clun Forest Community Landscape Heritage Project

In recent months CPAT has worked with a Shropshire based community group on “The Clun Forest Community Landscape Heritage Project”. Through professional training and public engagement activities, the project aims to increase local participation in understanding, managing and interpreting the historic environment in the three parishes of Bettws Y Crwyn, Newcastle and Mainstone. The project is funded by Shropshire Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund and it is a community-led initiative. CPAT has organised and led a series of training sessions which included a visit to Shropshire Archives to learn about historic document and maps analysis, building recording and landscape archaeology sessions. The experience was enhanced by several site visits, including the “mysterious” motte of Newcastle and the impressive earthworks of Bryn Amlwg castle from which people could practice the principles of landscape survey and explore different types of landscape character. The project will provide an understanding of the landscape history as well as increase people’s social skills and networks. It will also enhance the sense of place, improving the sense of community among local communities. The Clun Forest is confined by the River Clun on the north and the River Teme on the south, and is characterised by high, flat-topped hills cut by steep-sided river valleys.

Viviana Culshaw - December 2014

Friends of CPAT meeting

On 2nd December the first meeting of the Fiends of CPAT took place at CPAT office, in our cosy meeting room. A total of 20 people joined the event. The evening gave the friends a chance to meet some members of our staff and learn more about community engagement and Beacon Ring. Our director, Paul Belford opened the evening by welcoming our guests and introducing the Trust and some of the most recent works. Viviana Culshaw, CPAT community archaeologist, offered an illustrated talk on community archaeology and public engagement. This was followed by a well-illustrated presentation on conservation work at Beacon Ring hillfort, by Abi McCullough, CPAT Heritage Management Archaeologist.

Supporting local societies and groups is very important for the Trust. For our first meeting we invited Mr Dewi Morris who represented Llanfyllin Civic Society.Dewi introduced the “Llanfylling farm building community project” which aims to help recording farm buildings. The evening was a great success and we all look forward to our next meeting. We hope more friends will be able to attend our future meetings and we are happy to welcome new members in the new year. For more information please contact Viviana Culshaw or call 01938553670.

Viviana Culshaw - December 2014

The Historical Farm Buildings of Wales - illustrated talk

Following their AGM, Jeff Spencer of CPAT presented members of Kerry Local History Group with an illustrated talk on the historical farm buildings of Wales and the marches. Images of the wide variety of building types to be found on farmsteads were shown, including threshing barns, brew houses and goose pens. Discussion centred on the features which aid identification of building types, similar buildings known to members of the group, construction techniques and the use of dendrochronology (tree-ring dating).

Viviana Culshaw - November 2014

CPAT Archaeology Day School, Oswestry

On October 25th, the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust held its new annual archaeology day-school at the Marches School in Oswestry. Over 120 people attended the event, with the day focusing on new results from work at Offa’s Dyke, Wroxeter, Llangollen and Ironbridge, as well as reports on longer-term projects in the Marches covering a wonderful variety of archaeological remains – from Neolithic ritual landscapes to twentieth-century aircraft crash sites. Our director, Paul Belford opened the seminar with a welcoming speech and introduced the speakers who explored over 6,000 years of history and archaeology on both side of the border. The seminar followed a basic historical sequence and it was structured around the results of CPAT’s recent projects, and the work conducted by other professional archaeologists on the borderland, including Dr Roger White (University of Birmingham), Professor Howard Williams (University of Chester), Dr Keith Ray (Nexus Heritage) and Shane Kelleher (Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust). The event also included a photographic exhibition which was designed to tell the story of CPAT’s work from the late 1970s to the present day, by looking at some of the most fascinating archaeological sites of Wales. A small area was dedicated to a rich exhibition of artefacts excavated at Borras Quarry, which included some beautifully decorated prehistoric pottery. Attendees also had the opportunity to visit displays by other groups and societies. An area was dedicated to the Marches Young Archaeologists’ Club branch where young people had the chance to try some hands-on activities looking at artefacts and replicas, as well as recording a Roman burial! The day received positive feedback and the useful comments left by the public will contribute to make next year event even more successful.

Viviana Culshaw - November 2014

Powysland Club October Meeting

Over 60 people attended a talk by Bob Silvester on 11th October hosted by the Powysland Club. The topic was Montgomeryshire Estate Maps. For more information about the Powysland Club click here.

Jeff Spencer - October 2014

Bodelwyddan WWI Practice Trenches Excavation - Open Day

An open day on October 4th during CPAT's 2 week Cadw-funded excavation of part of the complex of practice trenches in parkland at Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighsire was a success despite occasional downpours! Visitors had the chance to tour the excavation trench in the company of a member of the CPAT team who explained the site and what the work so far had revealed, study the artefacts discovered and talk to reenactors who were kitted out with the same uniforms and equipment as were likely to have been worn and used by soldiers at the site almost a hundred years previously. People were keen to share their family history in connection with past conflicts and were able to tell CPAT staff about one or two local sites associated with the First World War.

Jeff Spencer - October 2014

Presentation for Brecon Beacons Park Society

At the start of the month Jeff Spencer contributed to this season's Brecon Beacons Park Society lecture series with a presentation at Crickhowell on 20th century military remains in north-east and mid-Wales, with particular emphasis on sites within the National Park. In discussions afterwards information about several previously unrecorded sites in the area was shared by members of the audience and this will be used to enhance the Historic Environment Record.

Jeff Spencer - October 2014

Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference

On 28th September, the day before the start of CPAT's excavation of WWI practice trenches in Bodelwyddan Castle Park near Rhyl, Jeff Spencer presented a paper entitled Training for the trenches: archaeology of the First World War in north Wales at Conflict in Context: Archaeologies of War 1618 – 1918 the Annual Conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology. The paper was well received and generated a very useful set of informal discussions which produced several new ideas and contacts.

Jeff Spencer - September 2014

Llandinam History Fair

Abi McCullough and Viviana Culshaw represented CPAT at the second Llandinam History Fair, entitled Llandinam Lives on 27th September. Viviana gave a presentation in the morning about community archaeology projects and how interested members of the public can get involved in them. There was the opportunity for people to bring any 'finds' made in the locality and have them identified and recorded and there was a workshop offering people the chance to learn how to make the best use of Archwilio, the online archaeology information service of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts. For more information about this fast-growing annual event click here.

Jeff Spencer - September 2014

Partnership project with Llanfyllin Society

18th century cowhouse at Ty Brith, Guilsfield

Dewi Morris of Close Encounters with Nature joined Jeff Spencer of CPAT in introducing a community engagement project at a meeting of the Llanfyllin Society on 24th September. It is hoped that with support from CPAT, interested members of the public can approach farmers for permission to make standardized records of the older buildings on their farms using a paper form and by sketching and photographing them. The aim being to enhance the Historic Environment Record with information on buildings that are all around us but which are not always appreciated. Some may be converted to a new use while in time others will inevitably collapse. This project will ensure that details of these buildings will be available for study in years to come. If you are interested in getting involved please contact Dewi Morris or Jeff Spencer. For more information visit the Llanfyllin Society website here.

Jeff Spencer - September 2014

Cambrian Archaeological Association Autumn Meeting

The latticework roof structure of a General Service Shed or Belfast Truss 
Hangar at the former RAF Sealand

The title of the Autumn Meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association held at the Faenol Fawr Hotel at Bodelwyddan over the weekend of September 20th was Aspects of the First World War in Wales. CPAT's contribution was a paper introducing the First World War aerodromes of North Wales which will be reprised at the AGM of the Council for British Archaeology: Wales in Welshpool on 18th October.

Jeff Spencer - September 2014

Open Doors Festival 2014

Glas-hirfryn, a late medieval timber-framed house near Llanrhaeadr-ym-mochnant in Powys has been undergoing restoration work throughout the year. An open day was held on September 1st as part of Cadw's Open Doors festival. For more information about Glas-hirfryn click here.

Jeff Spencer - September 2014

A big hit at the Prestiegne Festival

Visitors to the Presteigne Festival on a guided tour around the Walton basin
 outside the Harp Inn at Old Radnor

Following on from last year’s sell out appearance at the Presteigne Festival CPAT’s Nigel Jones repeated the event, for which all tickets were once again sold several months in advance. A summary of recent Cadw-funded work in the Walton Basin at Evenjobb Village Hall was followed by a coach tour visiting the sites of some of the more important Neolithic and later monuments, which finished at Old Radnor, one of the best vantage points across the basin.

Nigel Jones - August 2014

The hammerbeam roof at Llanynys Church

Bob Silvester, the deputy director of the Trust, wears several hats, one of them being the diocesan archaeologist for St Asaph, the see for north-east Wales which extends as far west as the Conwy and as far south as Montgomeryshire. An advantage of sitting on the diocesan advisory committee is that he gets to know in advance what work is likely to take place in a church in terms of repair, restoration or refurbishment.

Llanynys in the Vale of Clwyd is unarguably one of the most interesting churches in the diocesan, and work on the roofs of the twin naves of the church offered the opportunity, with the help of the contractors, of getting up the scaffolding to have a closer look at the carvings than would normally be possible, and photographing them.

Llanynys is one of several churches in the area which have hammerbeam roofs, almost certainly of 15th-century or early 16th-century date. In this case the angels that normally adorn the hammerbeams of the arched-braced trusses have been sawn off, perhaps in the mid-17th century, but the alternate trusses are simpler and their terminal carry carved bosses. Most of these are stylised heads, but two are rather different, one a crouching dog, its tail curled underneath it and sporting a collar, the other a deaf old lady, cupping her hand to her ear and clutching a rosary. We might wonder whether these two had some special significance in Llanynys, perhaps carvings of someone who was a patron of the church and her pet?

You may have other ideas, let us know what you think.

Bob Silvester - August 2014

Meifod Local History Group visit Beacon Ring Hillfort

The warm and sunny evening of Thursday 24th July saw a small but enthusiastic band from the Meifod Local History Group meeting Bill Britnell on Beacon Ring for a two hour exploration of the hillfort and discussion of its origins, and of current and future management by the Trust. We were joined by Paul Belford, Director of the Trust and Mark Spanjer, senior archaeologist with ARCADIS in the Netherlands.

The first stop was to look at the siting of Beacon Ring - at 408m above sea level on the southern end of the Long Mountain - and at its views east and southwards towards other high spots and hillforts such as the Wrekin (407m), the Stiperstones (536m), Corndon Hill (513m), and Roundton Hill (370m). We talked about when and why the hillfort might have been built and about its more recent history and CPAT's management plans for it. The Trust would ultimately like to see the tree-covered interior returned to grassland, though this is a long term project.

We then walked round part of the perimeter of the hillfort from its small northern 'back' gate to its massive southern main gate, looking at the construction of the bank and ditch and discussing to what extent Beacon Ring might have been built for defence, for overnight protection of herds grazing on summer pastures on the hill, or as a showy statement of power and recources.

We returned through the beech wood that covers the interior of the fort, with the evening sunlight filtering through the slender tree trunks - on the way looking at broad low mound that is probably the site of a link in the country-wide chain of beacons that celebrated Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1887. The evening finished in the last of the sunlight - looking west and south across the Severn Valley towards the distant massifs of Cader Idris and Snowdonia, and with very welcome and restorative refreshments provided by the Gilmour family - including homemade scones and jam, and accompanied by further discussion of hillforts, Celtic society and continental comparisons.

Bill Britnell - July 2014

The Carneddau Hills

Above: The Carneddau hills. The ramparts of Caer Einion hillfort can be seen on the left. Beyond lies the mist-filled valley of the river Wye at Llanelwedd.
Photograph 07-C-0003, © CPAT

Radnorshire from above
Images of landscape and archaeology

Follow this link and order yours today

The historic county of Radnorshire lies at the heart of mid Wales at the centre of the modern county of Powys, though its ancient boundaries still provide the best framework for envisaging the landscape and archaeology of the region, encompassing the wide sweep of the Wye Valley in the south, the wild uplands of the central spine of Wales and the hills and valleys of the borderland on the east and north

The book’s striking images trace the signs of the past etched into the county’s landscapes from earliest times almost to the present day. They pick out the ceremonial sites and burial mounds of pioneering Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers, the hillforts and farmsteads of Iron Age tribes, the campaigning camps and forts of the Roman army, the stunning boundary work of Offa’s Dyke, the county’s Norman and medieval castles, its historic towns, villages and churches and the great nineteenth-century engineering feats and present-day tourist attractions of the Elan Valley.

Castell Tinboeth

Left: Castell Tinboeth from the north, with the precarious remnant of its masonry gatehouse standing just left of center.
Photograph 05-C-0230, © CPAT

An opening section shows how the aerial viewpoint allows the traces of the past to be read in the landscape of the present day, illustrating typical site types from the various phases of prehistory and history. Some sites and landscapes, of course, can speak for themselves but the view from above gives a new and revealing perspective, often highlighting features or patterns that are barely discernible at ground level. Shadows, changes of colour in the crop and even snow can help the airborne archaeologist to rediscover long-lost sites and features that would otherwise be almost invisible. Later parts of the book focus more closely on different ‘regions’ within the county while a final series of images show Radnorshire in winter, cloaked beneath a blanket of snow.


Right: The central core of the present-day market town of Knighton (whose Welsh name – Tref-y-clawdd – means ‘the town on the dyke’) preserves the street pattern of its medieval origins, in this case the gentle curve where Bridge Street veers to the left into Ffrydd Street at the imposing nineteenth-century clock tower. The green space preserved within the bailey of Knighton Castle can just be glimpsed in the top left corner of the picture. The castle itself is illustrated on page 54. Those who know Knighton well on the ground will appreciate how the aerial viewpoint can sometimes flatten the contours of a scene like this, Ffrydd Street in fact climbing quite steeply uphill towards the castle site. Photograph 04-C-0116, © CPAT

Newbridge-on-Wye Church

The images in this book pay tribute to a very special part of central Powys, as explored and recorded from the air over the past three decades. The book, inspired by a request from the Radnorshire Society, is the result of close collaboration between the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

Left: All Saints church, Newbridge-on-Wye, an elegant Victorian addition alongside the main road through the village. Photograph 95-C-0615, © CPAT

The author, Chris Musson, well-known as an archaeologist but also as a pioneer of aerial archaeology in Wales, was Director of the Clwyd-Powys Trust before joining the Royal Commission as its first specialist in the subject. His successor in that post, Dr Toby Driver, has contributed many of the striking images that form the basis of this extended visual essay.

To order a copy of this book follow this link.

Bill Britnell - July 2014

New booklet about the archaeology of the Walton Basin

The Walton basin is a natural amphitheatre surrounded by hills on the borderland of England and Wales, between the towns of New Radnor, Powys, and Kington, Herefordshire. To the casual eye there is little, apart from the stunning scenery, that is remarkable about the landscape. However, the discoveries made here in recent decades have brought to light a story of human history spanning many millennia that is virtually unparalleled in such a relatively small area. The sites that we now know of include a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, cursuses, palisaded enclosures and ring-ditches, Bronze Age burial mounds, a stone circle and standing stones, Iron Age hillforts and camps, Roman marching camps, fort, civil settlement and roads, early medieval church settlements, a stretch of Offa’s Dyke, medieval mottes and the medieval town and stone castle at New Radnor. Many of the sites lie hidden in the ground, which means that much of the history of the Walton basin has had to be pieced together from glimpses of evidence gleaned from fieldwalking, aerial survey, geophysical survey, ground survey and trial excavation.

A new 80-page illustrated booklet, Walton Basin archaeology and conservation by Bill Britnell, former Director of CPAT, is now available which summarizes the history of the Walton Basin from the remote past up to the present day. The inspiration for this booklet emerged from a recent study of the archaeology of the basin by the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT), grant-aided by Cadw Welsh Government, which has focused on the conservation of archaeological sites within this living agricultural landscape.

This booklet is now available as a digital download. To obtain your copy just follow this link.

Bill Britnell - July 2014

Welshpool History Fair

CPAT contributed leaflets and displays about the Trust, Strata Marcella Abbey and the town for the first Welshpool History Fair which took place on 28th June in the Corn Exchange. People dropped in for a cup of coffee, to study the displays put together by various groups and to chat about all aspects of the past of the local area. Thanks to the curator of Powysland Museum, CPAT staff were also able to have several medieval floor tiles from Strata Marcella Abbey for people to handle and study.

Jeff Spencer, June 2014

Beacon Ring. Guided walk for members of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society

As part of their 2014 Summer Event Programme 16 members of SAHSoc. met on the fine and warm afternoon of Saturday 14th June for a guided walk around Beacon Ring hillfort. They were met by Bill Britnell, Research Associate of CPAT and spent about an hour and a half exploring the perimeter and interior of the hillfort and hearing about its history - from its construction sometime in the pre-Roman iron age, through its association in early Welsh literature with the British prince Cadwallon and his warring with Edwin the Anglo-Saxon king of Northumbria – Cadwallon is said to have camped at the fort for seven months, carrying out seven skirmishes a day – up to its use as a beacon site from the 17th century to 19th centuries and its plantation with trees in the mid 20th century to mark the Queen's accession.

While walking around the defences. Bill also explained CPAT’s Scheduled Monument Management Agreement with Cadw to control gorse and brambles on the defensive circuit, and for management of the site as a whole. The agreement will benefit and help protect the archaeology of the monument, but the newly visible and accessible lengths of bank and ditch will enhance the Trust's current use of the hillfort for teaching and general outreach events. Lastly Bill spoke about the Trust’s partnership with Dutch archaeological colleagues from the Ruud van Beek Foundation, and of discussions with them, with other archaeological colleagues and with the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust about longer-term management issues including the Trust’s thoughts, for and against, on eventually returning the tree-covered interior to grassland.

Bill Britnell - June 2014

British Archaeological Awards

On the 14th July Paul Belford, CPAT Director attended the British Archaeological Awards 2014, held at the British Museum. Presented every other year, the purpose of the awards is to advance public education in the study and practice of archaeology in all its aspects in the United Kingdom, and in particular by the granting of awards for excellence and/or initiative. The four Welsh Archaeological Trusts were highly commended in the Best Archaeological Innovation category for the Archwilio App, which the Trusts developed in partnership with CEMAS (the Centre of Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services) at the University of South Wales. The App gives the public access to data from the Welsh Historic Environment Records via their smart phones and also allows them to contribute new information and photographs.

Viviana Culshaw, July 2014

Welshpool Airshow

Over 300 people visited CPAT’s stand at the Welshpool Royal Air Show. The air show, which attract thousands of visitors every year, was held in memory of Bob Jones, 60, who was the creator and owner of the Mid Wales Airport, based in Welshpool. He died when the Piper Navajo plane he was flying with former easy Jet pilot Steven Carr, 55, from Ruthin, North Wales, crashed into Long Mountain, Welshpool, on January 18, 2012. Mr Carr also died. The show was organised by Welshpool Town Council and Mid Wales Airport. CPAT honoured Bob’s memory by displaying material about his important contributions to archaeology. Bob loved flying, it was his passion. Another of Bob’s interests was history and archaeology, but more than that he became an invaluable member of the aerial archaeology fraternity. Although initially just acting as the pilot for aerial photographers, his interest and skill as a pilot became a much valued asset. Those who flew with Bob could rely not only on his ability to position the aircraft in the best place for taking a photograph, but also on the way he helped to identify new sites which might be of archaeological interest (CPAT, Newsletter Spring 2012). The event also offered an opportunity to share with the public some of our recent aviation-related projects.

Viviana Culshaw, June 2014

Forden Friendly Circle

At the start of June, Viviana Culshaw CPAT's Community Archaeologist gave a presentation to the members of Forden Friendly Circle about the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust and the archaeology of the area. The talk was well received by an audience of about 40. Phone 01588 620612 for more information.

Viviana Culshaw, June 2014

CPAT at Welshpool Visually Impaired Club

On May 13th our outreach team, together with work placement students met the Welshpool and District visually impaired club for a talk and artefacts handling session using genuine finds and replicas. Visual impairments vary greatly in their severity and effect on ability. However, people with visual impediments often demonstrate enhanced tactile skills which can be useful for aspects of identification, such as artefacts. Touching and handling artefacts allowed people to make archaeology tangible. They could investigate and interpret different objects. Several people struggled with earlier artefacts and they were all very interested and surprised when we explained what certain objects were used for. On the other hand, we were positively impressed when people came up with new interesting interpretations. People worked in team and individually.

Viviana Culshaw, June 2014

CPAT at Uplands Forum

This year’s Uplands Archaeology Forum was held at the Red Kite Centre, Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA) in Powys, on Friday 9 May 2014. This was an open event, held in partnership with RCAHMW and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. During the morning session speakers offered presentations on this year’s work in the uplands archaeology project, while the afternoon was dedicated to papers about the archaeology of upland military landscapes in Wales. Jeff Spencer and Bob Silvester gave a talk on upland and military archaeology at Sennybridge The Upland Forum is a non-statutory group set up in January 2005 to provide advice on matters affecting the hills and uplands in Wales. The following day, Bob Silverster led a well-attended walk to the military ranges on Mynydd Eppynt. A group of 25 adventurers delegates joined Bob to learn more about the archaeology of Mynydd Epynt and other archaeological landscapes in Wales.

Viviana Culshaw, May 2014

Big Welsh Walk

In early May in partnership with the Head Warden of the Elan Valley Trust, CPAT Director Paul Belford led a guided walk to Gro Hill cairns and Crugiau Bach stone circle in the Elan Valley as part of the 2014 Big Welsh Walk, an initiative set up by Ramblers Cymru to encourage people to get out and walk all around Wales. CPAT hopes to contribute to the Big Welsh Walk in subsequent years, keep an eye on our Forthcoming Events page, or the Ramblers Cymru website.

Jeff Spencer, May 2014

Placement students at CPAT

Chipped and polished stone axe from the Tanat Valley

May saw 2 students on long-term placements at CPAT. Jaz Kilmartin is studying at the University of Bradford while Nikita Patel is at the University of Chester. Historic Environment Record staff are very grateful to both Jaz and Nikita who have successfully turned their hands to a range of tasks which have resulted in the addition of much new data to our records, specifically from the Cadw-funded Historic Settlements Survey project and from many years of work in the Severn Valley in and around the villages of Four Crosses, Llandysilio and Llandrinio.

Jeff Spencer, May 2014

CPAT Open Day, Welshpool

Chipped and polished stone axe from the Tanat Valley

On 3rd of May 2014 the Corn Exchange, Town Hall, Welshpool, was transformed into a meeting place for people who care about the local heritage and for those who wanted to learn more about the fantastic archaeology of our region. CPAT met members of the public to share the results of its work and launch the new group of Friends. The day included guided tours of historic Welshpool led by our historic environment record officer Jeff Spencer, as well as displays about recent projects, photographic exhibitions, artefacts, crafts and fun activities for children. Over 200 people visited the Corn Exchange during the day.

Viviana Culshaw, May 2014

CPAT at BBNP Heritage Day

The Brecon Beacons National Park Heritage Day was held at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon on 6 April. Along with the Brecon Beacons Park Society and other local heritage organizations, groups and societies, CPAT had a display stand throughout the day. Richard Hankinson represented the Trust and gave an excellent and very moving talk about his work on military aircraft crash sites. The event was well attended with over 100 participants.

Viviana Culshaw, May 2014

Conservation work, training and community involvement at Tomen y Rhodwydd

Tomen y Rhodwydd, motte and bailey castle

Tomen y Rhodwydd, motte and bailey castle

The project at Tomen y Rhodwydd combined archaeological survey and analysis, heritage conservation and community outreach. This provided a more detailed picture of the extent and condition of the monument, and has resulted in a baseline survey which will inform future research and heritage management activity on the site.
Conservation work reduced vegetation cover – thus limiting root damage and inhibiting potential future erosion issues from rabbits and badgers. The site has now a new "make up" showing new features once hidden by the vegetation.

Local community visiting the site

The public involvement was remarkable. The community outreach element of the project enabled over 100 people to access the site and participate in archaeological and conservation work. The project was particularly successful in engaging with the local agricultural community, whether through the very efficient workforce of Llysfasi students and volunteers and through attendance at the school events and open day. Participants were drawn from a wide demographic range, and the level of interest generated suggests that further community-based archaeological projects will be sustainable in future years.

Viviana Culshaw, May 2014

A Neolithic Axe from the Tanat Valley

Chipped and polished stone axe from the Tanat Valley

As a result of CPAT's involvement in the very successfulTanat 12000 BT project, when the grandmother of one of the pupils involved found a beautiful Neolithic axehead in her garden the Trust was contacted and asked to lead a session at Ysgol Pennant all about the axe and how to make a record of it for posterity. Jeff Spencer led a fun and informative session with the Year 6 class.

Jeff Spencer, April 2014

Ysgol Maesydre field trips

St Winifride's Well and Shrine, Holywell

Early April saw CPAT staff providing expert advice and guidance to the staff and pupils of Ysgol Maesydre on their annual cross-curricular visit to Holywell in Flintshire. A busy but fascinating day was spent learning about St Winifride's Well, pilgrimage and industrial archaeology.

Jeff Spencer, April 2014

Hen Caerwys Excavations 2014

CPAT photo, Hen Caerwys, 2013

The Trust in conjunction with Cadw have been running a community excavation at Hen Caerwys on the Flintshire limestone plateau near the town of Caerwys every season since 2011. This year, probably our last, will run from Monday 23 June to Saturday 5 July. Interested in helping out, if only for a day or two? Then get in touch with Will Davies at Will.Davies@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK, who will be able to provide you with more information.

To find out more about whats been happening since 2011, follow this link

Bob Silvester, April 2014

Talk to Hawarden Rotary Club

Members of Hawarden and District Rotary Club were treated to an after dinner presentation from CPAT on Military remains in NE Wales at their April Meeting at the Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold.

Jeff Spencer, April 2014

Talk to Oswestry U3A

Around 120 members of Oswestry U3A packed into the Memorial Hall in Oswestry on 21 January to hear a talk by CPAT's Nigel Jones on the results of recent research into the history and archaeology of Llanymynech Hill. This facinating area has evidence for human activity from the Mesolithic or Early Neolithic but is perhaps best known for the Iron Age hillfort, which is the fourth largest in Britain. The hillfort is likely to have been associated with early mining and the exploitation of minerals continued into later periods. By the 19th century the main activity was the quarrying of limestone, which developed rapidly following the opening of the Montgomeryshire Canal and later the coming of the railway.

Nigel Jones, January 2014

Menna Bell joins CPAT . . .

CPAT Senior Project Archaeologist, Nigel Jones, welcomes project archaeologist Menna Bell to her new job with the Trust. Menna was formerly employed at the Dyfed Archaeological Trust where she was Community Archaeologist and will work on a range of projects across the CPAT region. Croeso Menna!

Jeff Spencer, January 2014

Kate Pack joins CPAT . . .

CPAT Director, Paul Belford, welcomes archaeologist Kate Pack to her new job with the Trust. Kate should be with us for six months working on a variety of projects accross Wales and the Marches. Hope you enjoy it Kate - we all look forward to working with you.

Chris Martin, December 2013

Rhyl Photographic Society

The use of photography in archaeology was the topic for a presentation by Jeff Spencer to Rhyl Photographic Society on a blustery night in late November. The venue was the marvellous new Rhyl Community Fire Station on Coast Road. The talk covered the importance of photography for recording the detail of archaeological excavations, discovering and monitoring the preservation of sites from the air and for recording artefacts. Its increasing use for recording outreach events and interaction with the community was also covered. Hopefully, some idea of the value of photography to archaeologists was conveyed!

Jeff Spencer, December 2013

Welshpool Society

The audience!

Despite being built on a similar scale to Valle Crucis and Cwmhir abbeys, virtually nothing of Strata Marcella Abbey, just outside Welshpool, is to be seen at the site. Jeff Spencer of CPAT gave a presentation to explain the archaeology of the site and to introduce the work, funded by Cadw, that CPAT has been involved in there over the last couple of years. In addition, the history and development of the nearby settlement of Pool Quay was presented and explained. Over 60 people attended and there were plenty of questions asked and thoughts offered after the talk.

Jeff Spencer, December 2013

Clwyd Aviation Group

Model Bristol Blenheim

Having met Roy Marsh, Chairman of the Clwyd Aviation Group in November 2012 at CPAT's Into the Blue community event (part of the Cadw-funded Military Airfields Hinterlands project) it was a pleasure to accept an invitation to talk to the group about CPAT's recent work on the airfields of north-east Wales. About 30 people attended to hear Jeff Spencer introduce the project, describe the development of the three airfields at Sealand, Hawarden and Wrexham, and explain what was left of the sites. It was satisfying to have several members of the audience want to chat, ask questions, and offer their knowledge of the sites at the end of the evening.

Jeff Spencer, December 2013

Powysland Club

Llanymynech and part of the hillfort

Llanymynech Hillfort may be the 4th largest in Britain but despite its impressive size it remains relatively unknown and has seen only limited archaeological excavation. As part of a recent study funded by Cadw, CPAT has reviewed the evidence for the hillfort, drawing on the results from a series of small-scale investigations. The talk to the Powysland Club in Welshpool on 2nd November presented the results from the study, which will be published in Montgomeryshire Collections in due course.

Nigel Jones, December 2013

Llandinam History Fair

The CPAT display

On 28th September Abi McCullough represented CPAT at the inaugural Presenting the Past history festival in the village of Llandinam in Montgomeryshire. The day was organised by the newly formed Severn Valley Local History Alliance, which joins together most of the local history groups in the area to share ideas and promote their work to the public. For such a small village, the event was very well attended by exhibitors and visitors alike. There were presentations and talks throughout the day, and guided tours of the venue, the Llandinam Institute, an Arts and Crafts period village hall, built for the people of the village by Lord David Davies. The CPAT stand was dominated by the Romans in Mid Wales display, and our Roman Caersws Virtual Reality model, which drew a lot of attention. As well as being able to discuss the work of CPAT and archaeological sites in the local area with the public, it was extremely useful and positive to meet the many people, often voluntarily, promoting heritage and carrying out research in our area.

Abi McCullough, October 2013

CPAT reponds to the Heritage Bill Consultation

Earlier this year the Welsh Government published a consultation paper, The Future of our Past, which looks at the proposed Wales Heritage Bill, expected to go before the National Assembly in 2015. CPAT has, along with many other heritage organisations in Wales, responded to this consultation and to see what we have said follow this link.

Chris Martin, October 2013

The Tanat Valley Prehistoric Digital Map goes live!

The Tanat12000BT homepage

The Tanat12000BT (Before Tractors) homepage

On this news page back in April we reported on a fantastic project to introduce people to the rich prehistoric archaeology of the Tanat Valley. After much hard work by a web-developer and project leader Sean Harris the results of that project can now be enjoyed at Have a look, it's well worth it!

Jeff Spencer, October 2013

Llanwnog WI

Powys/Montgomery Federation of Womens Institutes

The Llanwnog branch of theWomens Institute invited Jeff Spencer to talk after their weekly meeting at Clatter Community Centre on 1st October. Having spoken before in the area about the Romans the focus this time was on the hillforts of the Iron Age Britons.

Aerial photographs from the Trust's collection formed the majority of the images displayed and included some of a local example, Cefn Carnedd, a large, multi-phase hillfort to the southwest of Caersws.

Jeff Spencer, October 2013

CPAT at Holt Local History Society’s big weekend

Holt Local History Society logo

Holt Local History Society is a very active community group. Founded over 20 years ago in January 1992 its aim is to promote the study of the history of Holt, northeast of Wrexham, and the surrounding area. Members have volunteered with Wrexham County Borough Council Heritage Services on excavations at Holt Castle and are on the verge of completing a book after receiving a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to investigate and publish the history and archaeology of their village. A weekend of activities was organised for the end of September designed to allow the public to experience archaeology for themselves.

Holt Local History Society logo CPAT were invited by Holt LHS to give a lecture at St Chad’s Church as part of Open Doors/Drysau Agored 2013 which coincided with their big weekend of activities. Jeff Spencer spoke about the Portable Antiquities Scheme and showed the audience a collection of archaeological finds that they were then able to study at first hand.

Jeff Spencer, October 2013

Farming on the edge in the 17th to early 19th centuries

Carneddau hills, Llanelwedd, looking towards the misty Wye Valley

Carneddau hills, Llanelwedd, looking towards the misty Wye Valley

A talk entitled 'Llanelwedd Rocks, Radnorshire: farming on the edge in the 17th to early 19th centuries' was presented to an audience of about 40 at the Annual Conference of the Society for Folk Life Studies at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, on Sunday 15 September. The talk looked at the Trust's recent excavations on the mid 17th to early 19th upland farmstead complex consisting of longhouse and associated corn-drying kiln and bread ovens at Llanelwedd on the southern end of the Carneddau range, just to the south of Llandrindod Wells. The talk looked at the agricultural context of the farmstead on the edge of the upland commons, the social milieu revealed by probate records and artefacts, and its relationships with contemporary rabbit warrens and larger landed estates in the parish of Llanelwedd. The conference as a whole focused on three main topics, 'Water', 'Borderlands' and 'Vernacular Architecture'. Following the conference the organiser, Steph Mastoris of Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau / National Waterfront Museum emailed to say 'Many thanks for your giving your fascinating paper this year’s Folk Life conference. It fitted very well into this year’s conference theme and was greatly appreciated by the members.'

Bill Britnell, Research Associate, September 2013

A first for CPAT at the Kington Show

Visitors to the CPAT stand at the Kington Show

Visitors to the CPAT stand at the Kington Show

Saturday 14 September saw CPAT's first visit to the Kington Show, just over the border in Herefordshire. The Trust's stand was designed to draw attention to recent work in the nearby Walton Basin and in particular distribute free copies of the new booklet, written by Bill Britnell. Although the weather was kind on the day heavy rain the night before turned much of the showground into a sea of mud, which affected vistor numbers away from the main arenas. Even so almost 100 people stopped by to read the displays and talk to members of staff.

Nigel Jones, September 2013

Work at Moel Arthur

The Clwydian Range Archaeology Group at work

Volunteers from the Clwydian Range Archaeology Group working at Moel Arthur

CPAT's Ian Grant recently spent two weeks supervising members of the Clwydian Range Archaeology Group (CRAG) and providing training during their third season of excavations at Moel Arthur. The site is located on the northern side of the hill which is crowned by an impressive Iron Age hillfort.

The excavation has been positioned to investigate a series of features identified following a geophysical survey. During the two previous years the group found a number of flint tools and the current work produced more flint, as well as identifying several features which are as yet undated.

Nigel Jones, August 2013

CPAT at the Presteigne Festival

Eager Festival goers wait outside the Harp in Old Radnor

Festival goers assembled outside the Harp in Old Radnor

The 22 August saw CPAT's first appearance on the bill for the Presteigne Festival. Tickets for the event were heavily oversubscribed, with places limited to only 70 who assembled in Evenjobb Village Hall to hear Nigel Jones present a short summary of recent discoveries in the area before boarding a coach for a guided tour of the Walton Basin. The trip ended at Old Radnor, one of the best viewpoints from which to appreciate the landscape and its remarkable history

Nigel Jones, August 2013

CPAT a'r 'Steddfod Genedlaethol

CPAT's Abi McCUllough helping visitors to CPAT's stand make medieval-style floor tiles CPAT's Abi McCullough and visitors to our Eisteddfod stand make medieval-style floor tiles

The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust were active in promoting the archaeology of north-east Wales to Eisteddfod-goers at this year's event just outside Denbigh. Particularly rewarding was working in partnership with Ken Brassil and his team from National Museum Wales/Amgueddfa Cymru.

For the full picture of our time at the Eisteddfod at the start of August check out the story on our Facebook page. Follow this link.

Jeff Spencer, August 2013

Powysland excursion to Pool Quay and Strata Marcella

Group members within the nave of the abbey church at Strata Marcella, which was excavated by the Powysland Club in 1890

Following a visit to St John Evangelist Church at Pool Quay, and lunch at the Powis Arms, over 40 members of the Powysland Club joined CPAT's Nigel Jones for a guided tour of Strata Marcella. In its heyday the Cistercian abbey was one of the most important in Wales but today slight earthworks are all that remain and the site is not widely appreciated.

The tour included an explanation of the visible remains, together with a summary of recent Cadw-funded geophysical and topographical surveys, as well as recording of features along the riverbank.

For further information about CPAT's work on the remains at Strata Marcella follow this link

Nigel Jones, August 2013

Churchyard Tour for Welshpool's Be a Local Tourist Week

Alan Crowe talking to the group about Welshpool St Mary's graveyard

As part of Welshpool's annual Be a Local Tourist Week Jeff Spencer joined local historian Alan Crowe in leading a tour around the churchyard of St Mary's in Welshpool. The audience was introduced to the wide range of features to be found in churchyards such as sundials and the grooves worn in church stonework. These probably date from the days when archery had to be practised in churchyards by law, and people sharpened their arrowheads on any convenient stones. A surprising amount of information about towns and villages and the people who have lived in them can be gleaned from gravestones, several stories inspired by details on memorials were recounted during the tour.

Jeff Spencer, August 2013

Interview for Australian radio programme

Logo of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

On a recent glorious mid-Wales afternoon Jeff Spencer of CPAT was interviewed by Nick Franklin for ABC Radio National of Australia. Nick was in Wales to walk a section of the Offa's Dyke long distance footpath between Welshpool and Prestatyn and to record an episode of a radio programme about walking called Off Track. Visiting a stretch of the dyke near Montgomery Nick and Jeff discussed the 8th century earthwork; its construction, original function and impact on the landscape and people of the region when it was built. Nick was also keen to learn more about King Offa himself.

The ABC is Australia's public broadcaster. It produces national and local television, radio and online services. For more detail about Offa's Dyke click here. For information about the Offa's Dyke footpath click here.

Jeff Spencer, June 2013

Bronze Age Study Group visit to the Walton Basin

Bronze Age Studies Group at Walton

Members of the Bronze Age Studies Group taking refreshments at the Harp Inn, Old Radnor, during their visit to the Walton Basin on 26 May 2013. Pictured here are (from left to right) Professor George Eogan, Dr Stephen Briggs, Dr Trevor Cowie, Terry Manby and Dr Sian Rees.

Thirty members of the Bronze Age Studies Group (BASG) spent the morning of Sunday 26 May 2013 visiting archaeological sites of various periods in the Walton Basin as part of their South and Mid Wales Meeting organised by Frances Lynch Llewellyn. In the company of Bill Britnell visits were paid to the medieval town of New Radnor, the possible Bronze Age barrow at Knapp Farm, the Four Stones Stone Circle, the Hindwell Neolithic Cursus and Palisaded Enclosure, and to the Womaston Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure. The party were presented with copies of the recently published booklet, Walton Basin archaeology and conservation produced with grant aid from Cadw Welsh Government. It being a hot and sunny day, members of the BASG took advantage of refreshments and a fine view over the basin by visiting the Harp Inn, Old Radnor at lunchtime, before setting of to visit a number of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in and around the Black Mountains of Breconshire in the afternoon.

Bill Britnell, May 2013

Stand up for Walton!

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

New book available . . . . .

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.

Chris Martin, March 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.

Follow this link to see the Dig Diary for 2013

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 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.

Find out more about Beacon Ring hillfort here.

Bill Britnell, February 2012

Into the Blue - Military Airfields Event

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 discussed.

    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 (

    Download the ‘Borras Dig’ booklet here.

    Ian Grant, October 2012

    Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust Annual General Meeting

    Decorated medieval floor tile from Strata Marcella, now in Powysland Museum,

    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 September.

    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
    CPAT at the Royal Welsh Show . . . .

    A reconstruction of one of the two palisaded enclosures in the Walton Basin

    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.

    The CPAT stand

    A booklet called "How the West was Won" has been published to accompany the exhibition especially for visitors to the Royal Welsh Show. Get your FREE copy or click here to download one in English, or here to download one in Welsh.

    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

    Members of the public gather before the guided tour

    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 and apartments.

    A mount from a cross found at the castle

    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.

    Between 1964 and 1981 an extensive programme of clearance, excavation and conservation work took place and illustrations of the finds made during this work were shown, including that of a mount from a cross decorated with an eagle, the sign of St John the Evangelist (see above right ©Cambrian Archaeological Association). After the walk several of the group took the opportunity to look at the real finds on display nearby, at the Old Bell Museum.

    Jeff Spencer, July 2012

    Welshpool Inner Wheel

    Logo Copyright Tord Elfwendahl

    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

    Jacob Griffiths hard at work

    Work-experience week was a great success again this year, read all about it on the webpage produced by the students here.

    Jeff Spencer, July 2012

    Welshpool Be a Local Tourist Week 2012

    'Local Tourists' at Welshpool cattle transfer dock

    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, 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

    Members of the public gather on the summit at Cefn Carnedd before exploring
the hillfort

    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 ramparts at the SW end of Cefn Carnedd 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

    Welshpool U3A

    U3A members gather outside St Mary's Church, Welshpool

    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

    The Dyer-Gough table in Texas, photo 3454-002 © Mark Sadley.

    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
    • visit our online Historic Environment Record here
      • select the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust region of the map
      • accept the Conditions of Use
      • type Nantclwyd House into the Search For box
      • click the Search button.

    Read more about Trophy Club, Texas here.

    Jeff Spencer, May 2012

    Visit to Hafan Day Hospice, Newtown

    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

    Lôn Lodges Farm Walk, photo 3321-0001 © Lôn Lodges.

    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

    A volunteer at work at Hen Caerwys, photo 3321-0001 © CPAT.

    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

    Rhys Mwyn with Yr Anrhefn in 1986.

    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!

    Roman coin, photo 3306-0010 © Adrian Simmons.

    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

    A late prehistoric woad grinder found near Mochdre, photo 2684-0011 © CPAT.

    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

    Llanymynech Rocks from the air, photo 92-c-1050 © CPAT.

    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

    Visitors to the Fforest Fawr Geopark event at Coelbren, photo 3430-0003 © CPAT.

    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

    Jeff Spencer, March 2012