Facebook Twitter Flickr      Posts Subscribe to Heritage of Wales News Blog Posts      All Comments Subscribe to Heritage of Wales News Blog Posts     Cymraeg

Friday, 30 July 2010

Accessing Information On The Go





Through the People’s Collection Wales website project the Royal Commission has been making the most of mobile technology to enable remote access to this new resource sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Use your mobile phone to take a photograph of this barcode (a QR or "Quick Response" code).
What can you see? What information have you received?

Quick Response Barcode
The barcode is an image that contains a URL for a specific webpage.  It can be read using the camera on most mobile phones.  If you have a camera phone with the correct software installed, you can link from this image directly to the relevant web content.

What do you need?
If you don’t currently have QR reading software installed on your phone, you can follow the instructions below (there are a large number of other free readers available online).
By SMS - Text the word i-nigma to: 07797 882325 (for the price of a standard text message). You will receive back a message containing a link to the i-nigma software download site.

People's Collection Wales, Roman Caerleon trail
If you are visiting Caerleon you can use this on the Roman Caerleon trail to access information about various sites in the Roman fortress whilst out and about.

Information where you need it most for a cost of a phone call.
Share this post:

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Grants For Historic Buildings In Wales





Wales’s oldest theatre, its largest chapel and an Anglesey church with Tudor connections are among 24 historic buildings sharing funding of £999,124 announced today by Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones.

The Welsh Assembly Government historic building grants have been offered to carry out essential repairs and restoration work to these buildings across Wales.
www.newswales.co.uk

Read in full: Wales spends to save its historic fabric
Share this post:

National Eisteddfod Ebbw Vale 2010





Royal Commission exhibition panel on Ebbw Vale
One of the many fascinating exhibition panels at this years National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale. Come along to the stand (257-258) of the Royal Commission and find out more abouts it's work as the investigating body and national archive for the historic environment of Wales.


Glynebwy: Tref Haearn a Dur Tyfodd tref Glynebwy o amgylch y gwaith haearn, ac yn ddiweddarach y gwaith dur, a sefydlwyd gyntaf yng Nglynebwy ym 1786. Yn y 1860au datblygodd Glynebwy’n gynhyrchydd dur nodedig a hwn oedd y gwaith dur mwyaf datblygedig ym Mhrydain erbyn y 1960au. Ym 1979 fe ailddatblygwyd y safle’n ffatri dunplat ond cafodd honno’i chau a’i dymchwel yn 2002-2005.

Ebbw Vale: Town of Iron and Steel
The town of Ebbw Vale grew up around the Ebbw Vale ironworks, later steelworks, which were first established in 1786. In the 1860s Ebbw Vale became a noted steel
producer and by the 1960s it became the most advanced steelworks in Britain. In 1979 the site was redeveloped as a tinplate plant, which was closed and demolished in 2002-2005.

Do you remember the Glyn Ebwy Eisteddfod in 1958?
Share this post:

Bid To Make Fourth National Park In Wales





A campaign is under way to make a north Wales mountain range a national park.

If successful it would make the Clwydian range Wales' fourth national park joining Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons.

The "Clwyds" span 35km (22 miles) in length from the Vale of Clwyd in the west to the foothills of the Dee estuary to the east; from Prestatyn Hillside in the north to the Nant y Garth pass in the south.

Its highest point is 554 metres (1817ft) at the summit of Moel Famau in the centre of the range.
www.bbc.co.uk

Read in full: Bid to make Clwydian mountain range a national park
Share this post:

Walks In The Historic Landscape Of Mid-Wales





If you're interest in history and archaeology then check out the series of self-guided walks being developed by the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust.

The walks cover mid and north-east Wales and the first to be developed focus on prehistoric burial and ritual monuments, principally the stone circles, standing stones and burial cairns dating to around 2300-1200 BC.

To find out more about the walks visit: www.cpat.org.uk/walks
thebmc.co.uk 

Read in full: Historic landscape walks in mid-Wales
Share this post:

Garn Goch & National Festival of British Archaeology





Aerial photo of Gaer Fawr, Royal Commission, Crown Copyright.
AP_2007_0753   NPRN 100866
Visitors to Garn Goch hillfort will be invited to walk back in time as part of the national festival of British Archaeology.

On the weekend of 31st July and 1st August, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, with the support of Garn Goch graziers and the community of Bethlehem, will be laying on a host of archaeological and historically themed activities at the largest hillfort in Wales.


Read full story: Garn Goch Archaeology Festival

Contact: Alice Pyper at the Dyfed Archaeological Trust 01558 823131 or log on to www.dyfedarchaeology.org.uk

Coflein Site Description
Gaer Fawr is a very large stone-walled defended enclosure occupying a dramatic isolated ridge. It is a later Prehistoric type hillfort, the largest in south-west Wales. Its walls enclose an area of about 11ha, roughly 680m north-east to south-west by 130-190m. The principal entrances face north-east and south-west towards the gentler slopes along ... Read full Gaer Fawr Coflein description.

Related Internet links:
Gaer Fawr Y, Hillfort On Garn Goch Link to Coflein
Gaer Fawr images on Coflein 
Share this post:

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Archaeologists Excavate A Roman Home Or Trading Post





A Roman home or trading post is being excavated at Tai Cochion near the village of Brynsiencyn.

Dave Hopewell, senior archaeologist, said: "Over 15 volunteers have joined Gwynedd Archaeology Trust staff to excavate the Roman settlement in Brynsiencyn during the last three weeks. This excavation was made possible due to funding from CADW.

The excavation is to be the subject of a TV programme which will be screened on S4C in November.
www.theonlinemail.co.uk

Read in full: Excavation of Roman site near Brynsiencyn
Share this post:

Series II of Hidden Histories To Be Repeated





BBC Two Wales is repeating Series II of Hidden Histories every night in the coming week, Monday 2nd to Friday 6th August, at 7pm (7.30 Friday).

Filming Hidden Histories 2 at Abermagwr Roman site.
Image: DS2009_263_001 / NPRN: 405315 / Source: RCAHMW


 The second series of Hidden Histories, which follows the investigative work of the Aberystwyth-based Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is narrated by Huw Edwards. Once again, in this series the investigators visit sites across Wales and across time, from Anglesey to Swansea and the Bronze Age to the 1960s.

Read more about each episode!

Hidden Histories 2 Episode 1
How the key to Stonehenge lies in the Preseli hills
Swansea – The Blitz and Aerofilms
The highest house in Wales

Hidden Histories 2 Episode 2
Laser Scanning at Vivian slate quarry
Rediscovering medieval coastal fishtraps
Herbert Luck North – architecture for Wales?

Hidden Histories 2 Episode Three
Rediscovering a Roman villa in mid Wales
St David’s Cathedral
Jonah Jones sculpture under threat

Hidden Histories 2 Episode Four
Can Waun Farm be restored?
Penally Practice Trenches.
Amlwch

Hidden Histories 2 Episode Five
Iron Age people living on the edge
The historic buildings of Denbigh
Strata Florida

Related Internet links:
Hidden Histories II Royal Commission
Share this post:

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

4th Century Roman Villa Discovered In Wales





Villa discovery
re-writes history of Romans in the west

Most north-westerly Roman villa in Wales
confirmed by trial excavation

Abermagwr Roman villa. Aerial photograph from 2006 showing the discovery of the site, with the great double-ditched enclosure of the Romano-British farm enclosing footings of the villa, upper right (Crown Copyright RCAHMW).


The Abermagwr Roman villa, a remarkable discovery in mid Wales
Archaeologists working near Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, mid-Wales, have discovered a small Roman villa of ‘winged corridor’ plan in a part of Wales previously considered to be well outside the bounds of the Welsh villa-belt. The discovery of this, the most north-westerly Roman villa in Wales, certainly occupied in the early 4th century AD, has forced archaeologists to reconsider the whole nature of Romano-British rural settlement across mid and north Wales.

An imposing Roman building in mid Wales
Roman villas were high-status homes of wealthy landowners which sat at the heart of a farming estate. They are common throughout southern England and to a lesser extent in south-east Wales, with a few outliers in south-west Wales and a singleton in the middle reaches of the Usk valley.  Trial excavations in July 2010 have shown that the Abermagwr villa had all the trappings of established villas in south Wales and southern England, including a slate roof and glazed windows. It was roofed with local slates, but these were cut with five sides and a fine point to form a highly decorative roof of pentagonal form, common amongst villas in south-west England and the Isle of Wight. The walls were built of local stone on cobble foundations though the upper storey (If such existed) may possibly have been timber-framed and plastered.  The villa was fronted by a cobbled yard.

Roman finds
Finds from the site indicate occupation in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD. They include vessels in Black Burnished ware, a practical kitchen pottery imported from Dorset, and fine ware bowls from Oxfordshire. Three coins of Constantine I, minted in the first quarter of the 4th century AD, were crucial for the dating the site and were all found lying on or near late clay floor surfaces underneath the collapsed slate roof.

Two pentagonal Roman roof slates from the Abermagwr villa,
the one on the right nearly complete. Made from local
stone, with square nail holes, these slates constitute
what may be the earliest slated roof in mid Wales. The
right hand slate measures 38cm from top to base.



The villa was heavily robbed for its building stone, probably in the medieval period. ‘Robber trenches’ were dug into the ruins and most useful blocks removed leaving only the substantial clay and stone packed foundations. The building became lost from memory, and the land returned to the plough. Only the local name ‘Magwr’, meaning a ‘ruined homestead’ preserves a memory of a building here.


Abermagwr Roman villa excavations: clay and stone packed foundations of the Roman building.


The 2010 excavations were directed by Dr Toby Driver, of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Dr Jeffrey Davies, formerly of the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University, who excavated at the nearby Trawscoed Roman fort. The excavation was funded by the Cambrian Archaeological Association with support from the Royal Commission and the Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

Archaeologists Toby and Jeffrey explain:
‘Our trial excavations this year have confirmed the remains of an imposing Romano-British building in the heart of mid-Wales, where no Roman villas were previously known. The nearby Roman fort at Trawscoed was abandoned by AD 130, yet here we have a later Roman building where the owners were importing pottery, using coinage, and insisting on decorative slate roofing akin to the largest Roman villas in England. The discovery raises significant new questions about the regional economy and society in late Roman Wales, and raises the possibility of future villa discoveries in the surrounding countryside’.

Excavation and the local community; visits by local schools
The excavation would not have gone so well without the help and support of the landowner, Huw Tudor, and the interest of the local community. The excavation was visited by pupils from three local primary schools in Llanilar, Llanafan and Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, and the local Young Archaeologists Club. Finds will be displayed in the Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth.

Original discovery
A probable villa was discovered during Royal Commission aerial photography in 2006, and buried remains of a winged building on site were revealed during a geophysical survey in 2009. These remains were only confirmed and dated by excavation in July 2010.

In the drought of 2006, aerial photographs taken by Dr Toby Driver for the Royal Commission revealed a large double-ditched enclosure at the site, with the parchmarks of a buried stone building in one corner. It was obvious that this was a large and important archaeological monument, lost to knowledge beneath modern fields and not depicted on early maps.


Geophysical survey by David Hopewell of the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, showing the buried footings of the Abermagwr Roman villa.


While filming for BBC2 Wales’ ‘Hidden Histories’ programme in 2009, Dr Toby Driver was joined by Dr Jeffrey Davies, formerly of Aberystwyth University and an authority on Roman Wales, in a geophysical survey of the field. Just like the ‘geofizz’ of Time Team, the survey revealed not only a vast ditched enclosure and annex, but the buried footings of a winged stone building. With three principal rooms, two projecting wings and a south-facing verandah this 20 metre long building had all the hallmarks of a classic Roman villa. This was so unexpected that a trial excavation was carried out in July 2010.


Related Internet links
Investigating a probable Roman villa near Aberystwyth Heritage of Wales News
Abermagwr Link to Coflein
Share this post:

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Archaeologists Start Excavations On Burial Mound





Archaeologists start excavations on a suspected ancient burial site on which the Pillar of Eliseg stands, to try to understand the significance of this 9th Century monument and Llangollen landmark.

During the dig, David Crane and Sue Evans plan to give daily updates via the Llangollen Museum Facebook page, along with members of the dig team.

The public will be allowed on-site during an open day (31 July), between 11am-3pm.
news.bbc.co.uk

Further details:
Pillar of Eliseg: Archaeologists dig beneath 9th Century monument News BBC 
Eliseg's Pillar, cross and burial mound Coflein
Share this post:

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Bwlch y Pentre Survey Area - North Wales





Bwlch y Pentre Survey Area - North Wales

Crynodeb
Ymgymerwyd ag arolwg archeolegol i adnabod yr ardal fynyddig ar ochr ddeheuol Dyffryn Conwy, o amgylch Bwlch y Pentre (SH 883 476 canol), rhwng Awst a Hydref 2009, gan Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) ar ran Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru (CBHC) fel rhan o Fenter yr Uwchdiroedd. Cyflawnodd y prosiect astudiaeth archeolegol wrth y ddesg i ddechrau, yn cael ei ddilyn gydag arolwg adnabod yn y maes ar gyfer yr ardal astudiaeth.

Mae ardal yr arolwg, Bwlch y Pentre, yn cwmpasu ardal 12.1 cilomedr sgwâr, yng nghysgod copaon uchel ar yr ochr ddeheuol, yn cynnwys yr esgair rhwng Carnedd y Filiast a Trum Nant Fach, gyda chadwyn o fryniau is yn rhedeg o Foel Frech i Foel Eglwys. Mae’r ardal dan astudiaeth yn cynnwys gweunydd llechweddog agored a chaeedig, sy’n codi o tua 300m i dros 600m ar yr esgair uchaf, ac mae’r gweunydd wedi’u hamgylchynu gan dir caeedig wedi’i wella a’i led wella ar y llethrau isaf.

Pennodd yr astudiaeth ddesg gyfanswm o 16 safle oedd wedi’u cofnodi dan HER a NMR, ac fe ddiweddarwyd pob un gyda 14 yn cael rhifau NMR newydd, ychwanegol. Nodwyd cyfanswm o 88 safle newydd gan yr arolwg maes, sy’n gynnydd sylweddol yn nifer y safleoedd o fewn ardal yr astudiaeth.

Roedd y safleoedd a ganfuwyd yn flaenorol ac a nodwyd yn yr NMR a’r HER wedi’u cyfyngu i ddwy garnedd angladdol Oes Efydd, a 14 safle ôl-ganoloesol yn cynrychioli strwythurau rheoli stoc, chwareli a cherrig ffiniau.

Yn fwyaf pwysig, mae’r arolwg presennol wedi adnabod adnodd cynhanesyddol arbennig o gyfoethog, sef maes carnedd/system maes amaethyddol yn cwmpasu tua 31 hectar sydd wedi’i amgylchynu gan gofebion angladdol/defodol. Hefyd canfuwyd nifer o garneddau angladdol newydd.

Nid oedd unrhyw safle o ddyddiad canoloesol pendant wedi’i ganfod cyn hyn o fewn yr ardal astudiaeth, ond mae’r arolwg cyfredol wedi medru ychwanegu tri safle trawstrefa newydd o strwythurau cartref uwchdirol sydd yn ôl pob tebyg yn gynharach nag ôlganoloesol o ran dyddiad.

Priodolwyd cyfanswm o 64 safle i’r cyfnod ôl-ganoloesol, mae naw yn fodern a thri ar ddeg o ddyddiad anhysbys. Mae’r mwyafswm o’r safleoedd a nodwyd yn adlewyrchu’r defnydd cymharol ddiweddar o ddarnau mawr o weunydd agored a chaeedig ar ôl y Ddeddf Amgáu Tiroedd. Mae safleoedd o’r cyfnod yn cael eu rhannu’n gymharol gyfartal rhwng corlannau/strwythurau rheoli stoc, a cherrig ffiniau a charneddau marcio yn yr ardaloedd uwch, a charneddau cliro o fewn y caeau isaf wedi’u gwella. Mae nodweddion eraill yn cynnwys llwybrau gweunydd, ardaloedd torri mawn cyfyngedig, a chrafbantiau chwareli bychain.

Summary
An archaeological identification survey of a mountainous region on the south side of the Vale of Conwy around Bwlch y Pentre (SH 883 476 centred), North Wales was undertaken between August and October 2009, by Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) on behalf of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) as part of the Uplands Initiative. The project comprised an initial archaeological desk-based study, followed by a field identification survey for the study area.

The survey area of Bwlch y Pentre covers an area of 12.1 sqkm and is dominated by high peaks at the southern end consisting of the ridge between Carnedd y Filiast and Trum Nant Fach, along with a chain of lower hills running from Foel Frech to Moel Eglwys. The study area consists of sloping open and enclosed moorland which rises from approximately 300m to over 600m on the highest ridges, with the moorland being fringed by improved and semiimproved enclosure on the lower slopes.

In total, 16 sites were established by the desk-based study as being recorded within the HER and NMR, of which all were updated and 14 were given additional new NMR numbers. In total, 88 new sites were identified by the field survey, representing a substantial numerical increase in the number of sites within the study area.

The previously discovered sites identified in the NMR and HER were limited to two Bronze Age funerary cairns, and 14 post-medieval sites representing stock management structures, quarries and boundary stones.

Most importantly the present survey has identified a particularly rich prehistoric resource, in the form of an agricultural cairnfield/field-system covering some 31 hectares which is surrounded by funerary/ritual monuments.

No sites of definitively medieval date had previously been discovered within the study area, but the present survey has been able to add three new transhumance-type sites of upland domestic structures that are probably earlier than post-medieval in date.

In total, 72 sites have been ascribed to the post-medieval period, nine are modern and thirteen are of unknown date. The majority of the identified sites reflect the relatively recent exploitation of large tracts of open and post-Enclosure Act moorland sheepwalks. Sites from the period are divided relatively equally between sheep folds/stock management structures, and boundary stones and marker cairns in the more elevated areas, and clearance cairns within the lower improved fields. Other features consist of moorland trackways, limited peat cutting areas, and small-scale quarry scoops.


Related Uplands Archaeology Links:

Read in full: Bwlch y Pentre Survey Area - North Wales (PDF file, 5.2MB)
The Uplands Archaeology Initiative Royal Commission Website
Share this post:

Royal Commission At The Royal Welsh Show 2010





 Royal Commission At The Royal Welsh Show, 2009

Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru
Dewch i wybod mwy am ‘Hanesion Cudd’ Cymru drwy ymweld â stondin y Comisiwn Brenhinol i weld arddangosfeydd yn amlygu’n gwaith yn cofnodi ac arolygu treftadaeth Cymru. Mae delweddau arddangosfa eleni delweddau o’r archif genedlaethol, yn dathlu treftadaeth Ceredigion (sir nawdd Sioe 2010), Maent yn cynnwys delweddau o safleoedd archeolegol, adeiladau hanesyddol a thirweddau cyfareddol lu y sir.

Dewch draw i gyfarfod â’n staff.
Dydd Llun a dydd Mercher, mae archaeolegwyr y Comisiwn Brenhinol, Louise Barker a Susan Fielding, yn arddangos rhywfaint o’r dechnoleg ddiweddaraf ar gyfer arolygu safleoedd archeolegol ac adeiladau.
Ymunwch â ni ar ddydd Mawrth 20 Gorffennaf am 2 y pnawn ar gyfer sgwrs Dr Peter Wakelin ar ‘Celfyddyd heb Artistiaid – Delweddau o Archif y Comisiwn Brenhinol’.

Edrychwn ymlaen at eich gwled yn y Sioe.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

Find out more about Wales’ ‘Hidden Histories’ by visiting the Royal Commission’s stand to see displays highlighting its work of recording and surveying the heritage of Wales. This year’s exhibition, celebrating Ceredigion (the 2010 Show’s host county), includes images from the national archive of the county’s many fascinating archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes.

Come along to meet our staff.
Monday and Wednesday, Royal Commission archaeologists, Louise Barker and Susan Fielding, demonstrate some of the latest technology for surveying archaeological sites and buildings.
Join us on Tuesday 20 July at 2pm for Dr Peter Wakelin’s talk on ‘Art without Artists – Images from the Royal Commission Archive’.

We look forward to seeing you at the Show.
Share this post:

Friday, 9 July 2010

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal - Historical Background





 The Llangollen Canal, formerly the Ellesmere Canal, originated in a scheme to link the rivers Mersey and Severn, which would also access the iron and coal fields around Shrewsbury, Ellesmere and Ruabon. This plan was fuelled by the need for improved forms of transport, both for an agricultural economy increasingly dependant on long distance trade, and the Industrial revolution that swept across Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. Shropshire, heavily reliant on the trade of its agricultural output, was dependent on the River Severn providing a trade route to the port at Bristol, but many in the county also wished to take advantage of the new industrial trade afforded by the iron and coal fields situated along the Welsh Border.

Man cychwyn Camlas Llangollen, Camlas Ellesmere gynt, oedd cynllun i gysylltu afonydd Mersi a Hafren. Byddai’r cynllun hefyd yn fodd i gyrraedd y meysydd haearn a glo ger Amwythig, Ellesmere a Rhiwabon. Yr ysgogiad iddo oedd yr angen i wella’r cyfleusterau cludo a oedd ar gael bryd hynny i economi amaethyddol a ddibynnai fwyfwy ar fasnachu dros bellteroedd maith, ac i wasanaethu’r chwyldro diwydiannol a oedd yn lledu fel tân gwyllt ar draws Prydain yn ystod ail hanner y ddeunawfed ganrif. Er bod Swydd Amwythig yn dibynnu’n drwm ar fasnachu ei chynnyrch amaethyddol, ac yn dibynnu hefyd ar gludo nwyddau ar hyd Afon Hafren i gyrraedd porthladd Bryste, yr oedd llu o bobl yn y sir yn awyddus i fanteisio ar y fasnach newydd a ddeilliai o ecsploetio’r meysydd haearn a glo ar hyd y ffin â Chymru.

Read full article:
Historical Background of the Aqueduct and Canal English
Cefndir Hanesyddol y Draphont Ddŵr a’r Gamlas Welsh
Share this post:

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Uplands Initiative Elenydd (South) Archaeological Survey (Part One)





Uplands Initiative Elenydd (South)
Archaeological Survey (Part One)


Crynodeb
Mae De Elenydd yn ymestyn dros 19.36 cilomedr sgwâr ac yn ffurfio tua thraean o ardal ehangach ym mryniau canolbarth Cymru a archwiliwyd gan Trysor yn ystod haf a hydref 2009. Ceir adroddiadau ar wahân ar gyfer arolygon ardaloedd Canol Elenydd a Gogledd Elenydd. Cariwyd y gwaith allan gyda chymorth ariannol Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru, fel rhan o brosiect Menter yr Ucheldiroedd.

Mae ardal yr astudiaeth yn cynnwys cyfres o fryniau a chymoedd bychain ar ochr ogleddol Llyn Claerwen, yng ngorllewin yr hen Sir Faesyfed. Mae De Elenydd wedi aros yn ardal hollol wledig ei naws hyd heddiw, ymhell o drefi a phentrefi’r canolbarth. Y pentref agosaf yw Pentref Elan, 4km i’r dwyrain, tra bod tref Rhaeadr Gwy rhyw 8km i ffwrdd i’r un cyfeiriad. Dyma ardal go anghysbell; yr unig ffordd gyhoeddus sy’n ymlwybro trwy’r ardal yw’r heol garw ar hyd ochr ogleddol Llyn Claerwen, gan gysylltu Dyffryn Elan ag ardal Ffair Rhos, yng Ngheredigion. Mae’r heol yn rhy arw i ganiatáu llawer o drafnidiaeth ac felly nid yw’r ardal yn gweld llawer o ymwelwyr, er bod Argae Claerwen, sydd ychydig i’r de-ddwyrain, yn fan boblogaidd ar hyd y
flwyddyn.

Yn ystod y Canol Oesoedd, ffurfia’r ardal hon rhan o Gwmwd Deuddwr, un o ystadau abaty Ystrad Fflur, Ceredigion. Maes o law, ar ôl Diddymiad y Mynachlogydd, roedd yr hen ystâd fynachaidd wedi syrthio i ddwylo preifat fel rhan o Ystâd Cwm Elan. Daeth y rhan fwyaf o Ystâd Elan yn eiddo i Gorfforaeth Birmingham yn ystod yr 1890au, pan roddwyd hawl iddynt, drwy ddeddf gwlad, feddiannu dyffrynnoedd Elan a Chlaerwen, a’r tiroedd cyfagos. Gwnaed hyn er mwyn creu llynnoedd enwog Dyffryn Elan i gyflenwi dŵr i Ganolbarth Lloegr a chymoedd De Cymru. Agorwyd Llyn Claerwen ym 1952, yr olaf o’r llynnoedd i ymddangos. Hyd heddiw, mae bryniau De Elenydd o dan reolaeth Ystâd Elan, sydd bellach yn nwylo Dŵr Cymru.

Cofnodwyd 114 o safleoedd ac olion archaeolegol gan yr arolwg maes, cyfanswm hynod isel am ardal fynyddig mor fawr. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o’r rhain yn safleoedd a nodwyd am y tro gyntaf. Ymhlith prif ganfyddiadau’r arolwg oedd rhai carneddau claddu sy’n dyddio Oes yr Efydd ac olion nifer o dai hirion, sydd o bosibl yn dyddio yn ôl i’r oes pan fu mynachod Ystrad Fflur yn gyfrifol am yr ardal. Serch hynny, mae’r cofnod archaeolegol yn cael ei dominyddu gan safleoedd ôl-ganoloesol neu fodern, gydag enghreifftiau niferus o hen fawnogydd ar fryniau’r ardal; rhaid cofio mai mawn oedd prif danwydd ffermydd a bythynnod y fro hyd at ddiwedd y 19eg ganrif. Un o nodweddion amlycaf De Elenydd yw’r trwch o laswellt y waun (Molinia Caerulea) sydd bellach yn gorchuddio rhannau helaeth o fryniau a chymoedd yr ardal. Mae’r gorchudd o lystyfiant yn rhwystr difrifol i archaeolegwyr yn y maes, gan guddio olion archaeolegol a gwneud y tir yn anodd ei gerdded. Yn ogystal, mae’n achosi dirywiad yn ansawdd y porfeydd mynyddig a bioamrywiaeth y fro yn gyffredinol.

Er gwaethaf hyn, mae’r ardal yn atyniadol ac yn gyfoethog o ran y rhywogaethau o adar gwylltion a phlanhigion sy’n bresennol. Ychydig iawn o gerddwyr sy’n mentro allan ar y bryniau yma, ac mae’r ardal yn cael ei gyfrif fel un o’r ardaloedd mwyaf anghysbell a digyfnewid yng Nghymru. Gall y cynnydd parhaol mewn poblogrwydd gweithgareddau hamdden megis cerdded a beicio mynydd newid y sefyllfa yn y dyfodol. Gobeithir y bydd y cofnod cyflawn o olion archaeolegol yr ardal a grëwyd gan y prosiect hwn yn fodd i ddiogelu’r dystiolaeth archaeolegol brau am weithgarwch dynol ym mynyddoedd Elenydd.


Summary
The Elenydd (South) study area extends across some 19.36sq km and forms about one third of a larger area surveyed in the Cambrian Mountains by Trysor during the summer and autumn of 2009. Separate reports have been prepared for the surveys of Elenydd (North) and Elenydd (Central). The projects were undertaken with grant-aid from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, as part of their Uplands Initiative project.

Elenydd (South) is focused on a series of hills and tributary valleys along the northern side of the Claerwen reservoir, in western Radnorshire. It is an area which remains thoroughly rural in character, far from the villages and towns of mid-Wales. The nearest village is Elan Village 4km to the east and the town of Rhayader lies 8km to the east. The only public route through the study area is a rough track which runs along the northern edge of the reservoir and ultimately connects the Elan Valley with Ffair Rhos in Ceredigion. This track is too rough to carry road traffic and therefore very few visitors enter the area, although many thousands annually visit the striking Claerwen Dam, just to the southeast of the study area.

During medieval times, the area formed a part of Cwmwd Cwmdeuddwr, one of the upland granges of Strata Florida abbey, Ceredigion. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the old monastic grange was transformed into the private Cwm Elan estate. During the 1890s the whole district was passed into the ownership of the Birmingham Corporation, when an Act of Parliament granted them permission to occupy the Elan and Claerwen valleys, and the watersheds of their rivers, to create a new Elan Estate around the famous Elan Valley reservoirs, which were constructed to supply water to the English Midlands and the valleys of South Wales. Claerwen was the last of the reservoirs to appear, not being opened until 1952. To the present day, the hills of Elenydd (South) are managed by the Elan Estate, which is now in the hands of Welsh Water.

The field survey recorded 114 archaeological sites in the area, a very low figure for an upland area of this size. Most of these features were noted for the first time. Amongst the most significant discoveries were a small number of Bronze Age funerary cairns and the ruins of long huts, some of which may have been in use in medieval times, when the area was controlled by the monks of Strata Florida. The record is dominated by post medieval and modern archaeology, including evidence for the once important peat cutting industry; peat was of course the main source of domestic fuel in the district until the end of the 19th century.

One of the most important characteristic of Elenydd (South) is the vigorous growth of purple moor-grass which now covers a significant portion of the hills and valleys. This mat of vegetation is a hindrance to archaeological survey as it obscures surface features and makes the land difficult to walk. It is also causing deterioration in the quality of the upland pasture and affecting the bio-diversity of the area in general.

Despite this, the study area remains an attractive landscape and is still rich in terms of its wildlife, especially in terms of bird species and its flora. Is rarely frequented by walkers; most visitors to the area keep to the road. The area is considered to be amongst the most remote and undisturbed in Wales. It is not impossible that the continuing rise in popularity for outdoor pursuits such as walking and mountain biking might yet have an impact. It is hoped that the complete record of archaeological features created by this project will help protect the fragile evidence of human activity in the area and enable an increased understanding of the history and development of this special landscape.

Related Uplands Archaeology Links:
Read in full: Uplands Initiative Elenydd (South) Archaeological Survey (Part One) (PDF file, 4.4MB)
The Uplands Archaeology Initiative Royal Commission Website
Share this post:

Uplands Initiative Elenydd (North) Archaeological Survey (Part One)





Uplands Initiative Elenydd (North)
Archaeological Survey (Part One)


Crynodeb
Mae ardal astudiaeth Gogledd Elenydd yn ardal sy’n ymestyn dros 19.51 cilomedr sgwâr ac yn ffurfio tua thraean o ardal ehangach ym mryniau canolbarth Cymru a archwiliwyd gan Trysor yn ystod haf a hydref 2009. Ceir adroddiadau ar wahân ar gyfer ardaloedd Canol Elenydd a De Elenydd. Cariwyd y gwaith allan gyda chymorth ariannol Comisiwn Brenhinol ar Henebion Cymru, fel rhan o brosiect Menter yr Ucheldiroedd.

Gorwedd y rhan fwyaf o ardal astudiaeth Gogledd Elenydd ar ddwy ochr rhan uchaf Dyffryn Elan, rhwng Pont ar Elan a tharddle’r afon yng Nghors Lwyd, yng nghornel gogledd-orllewin hen Sir Faesyfed. Yn ystod y Canol Oesoedd, roedd yr ardal yn rhan o Gwmwd Deuddwr, un o ystadau abaty Ystrad Fflur, Ceredigion. Maes o law, roedd yr hen ystâd fynachaidd wedi dod yn rhan o Ystâd Cwm Elan, yn nwylo preifat. Hyd at y 19eg ganrif, roedd cornel uchaf Gogledd Elenydd yn syrthio fewn plwyf Llangurig, Sir Maldwyn, yr unig ran o hen arglwyddiaeth Arwystli oedd ym meddiant mynachod Ystrad Fflur yn y Canol Oesoedd. Unwyd yr ardal i gyd o fewn Sir Faesyfed, ac yna Sir Powys yn ystod y 20fed ganrif.

Ardal hollol wledig ei naws yw Gogledd Elenydd hyd heddiw, ymhell o drefi a phentrefi’r canolbarth, gyda dim ond ychydig o ffermydd o fewn ei ffiniau. Y pentrefi agosaf yw Llangurig, 4km i’r gogledd, Cwm Elan, 7km i’r de-ddwyrain a Chwmystwyth, tua’r un pellter i’r gorllewin, tra bod tref Rhaeadr Gwy rhyw 8km i’r dwyrain. Er hynny, nid yw Gogledd Elenydd yn anghysbell, oherwydd ei leoliad ym mlaenau Dyffryn Elan. Mae’r ffordd rhwng Rhaeadr Gwy a Chwmystwyth yn rhedeg ar hyd rhannau uchaf y dyffryn tra bod ffordd arall yn cysylltu Pont ar Elan â llynnoedd Elan i’r de, sy’n golygu bod hon yn ardal hynod boblogaidd gydag ymwelwyr ar hyd y flwyddyn.

Daeth y rhan fwyaf o’r ardal yn eiddo i Gorfforaeth Birmingham yn ystod yr 1890au, pan roddwyd hawl iddynt, drwy ddeddf gwlad, i feddiannu dyffrynnoedd Elan a Chlaerwen, a’r tiroedd cyfagos, er mwyn creu Ystâd Elan a llynnoedd enwog Dyffryn Elan. Hyd heddiw mae’r rhan fwyaf o Ogledd Elenydd o dan rheolaeth yr Ystâd, sydd bellach yn cael ei rheoli gan Dŵr Cymru.

Cofnodwyd 238 o safleoedd ac olion archaeolegol gan yr arolwg maes, y rhan fwyaf yn safleoedd a nodwyd am y tro gyntaf. Ymhlith prif ganfyddiadau’r arolwg maes oedd nifer o garneddau claddu sy’n dyddio Oes yr Efydd ac olion cytiau hirion oedd ar un amser yn cael eu defnyddio gan ffermwyr a bugeiliaid wrth warchod eu preiddiau ar fryniau’r ardal. Mae’r cofnod archaeolegol, fodd bynnag, yn cael ei dominyddu gan safleoedd sy’n dyddio i’r cyfnodau ôl-ganoloesol a modern. Mae hyn yn cynnyws olion o’r diwydiant torri mawn; rhaid cofio mai mawn oedd y prif danwydd a ddefnyddid yn yr fro hyd at diwedd y 19eg ganrif. Mae cyfres niferus o bostiau concrît yn brawf o ddylanwad Ystâd Elan yn ystod y 20fed ganrif, a gwelir olion maes tanio milwrol ar y bryniau uwchben Pont ar Elan yn ogystal.

Er bod yr ardal yn hynod atyniadol, ychydig iawn o gerddwyr sy’n mentro allan i’r bryniau. Mae’r ardal yn cael ei gyfrif fel un o’r ardaloedd mwyaf anghysbell a thawel yng Nghymru. Y llynnoedd sydd yn denu ymwelwyr i’r fro yn anad dim, ond fe all hynny newid yn y dyfodol, gyda’r cynnydd parhaol mewn poblogrwydd cerdded a beicio mynydd. Felly, bydd y cofnod cyflawn o olion archaeolegol yr ardal a grëwyd gan y prosiect hwn yn gymorth i ddiogelu’r olion archaeolegol brau sy’n cynrychioli miloedd o flynyddoedd o weithgarwch dynol ym mynyddoedd Elenydd.


Summary
The Elenydd (North) study area extends across some 19.51km2 and forms about one third of a larger area surveyed in the Cambrian Mountains by Trysor during the summer and autumn of 2009. Separate reports have been prepared for the surveys of Elenydd (South) and Elenydd (Central). The projects were undertaken with grant-aid from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, as part of their Uplands Initiative project.

The study area is focused on the hills flanking the upper reaches of the Elan Valley, between Pont ar Elan and the source of the river at Gors Lwyd, in the northwestern corner of the historic county of Radnorshire. During medieval times, the area was part of Cwmwd Cwmdeuddwr, one of the granges of Strata Florida abbey, Ceredigion. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the old monastic grange was transformed into the private Cwm Elan estate. Until the 19th century, the most north-westerly corner of Elenydd (North) fell within Llangurig parish, in the historic county of Montgomeryshire, which had been the only part of the medieval lordship of Arwystli possessed by the monks of Strata Florida. The whole area was united into the old county of Radnorshire, and later Powys, during the 20th century.

Elenydd (North) has remained wholly agricultural in character to the present day, far from the villages and towns of mid-Wales and with only a small number of farmsteads within its boundaries. The nearest villages are Llangurig, 4km to the north, Elan Village, 7km to the southeast, and Cwmystwyth, a similar distance to the west. The town of Rhayader lies 8km to the east. Despite this, Elenydd (North) is not remote, due to its location in the upper Elan Valley. The main road from Rhayader to Cwmystwyth passes along the valley, and a second road connects Pont ar Elan with the area of the Elan reservoirs to the south, which means that the area is popular with visitors throughout the year. Most of the area came into the ownership of the Birmingham Corporation during the 1890s, when they were granted permission, by Act of Parliament, to purchase the Elan and Claerwen valleys and adjacent lands to create the Elan Estate and the famous Elan Valley reservoirs. Over a century later, most of Elenydd (North) is still managed by the Elan Estate, which is now under the control of Welsh Water.

The field survey recorded 238 archaeological sites in the area, most of which were noted for the first time. Amongst the most significant discoveries were a number of Bronze Age funerary cairns and the remains of huts, which were once used by shepherds tending their flocks on the mountain pastures of the area. The record is dominated by post medieval and modern archaeology, including evidence for the once important peat cutting industry; peat was of course the main source of domestic fuel in the district until the end of the 19th century. Features such as a large number of boundary posts show the influence of the Elan Estate during the 20th century, whilst the target area of an early 20th century artillery range can be seen on the hills above Pont ar Elan.

Elenydd (North) is an outstandingly beautiful area but, surprisingly, is rarely frequented by walkers; most visitors to the area keep to the road. The area is considered to be amongst the most remote and undisturbed in Wales. The Elan Valley lakes, more than anything, ensure that many visitors do pass through the area, and it is not impossible that the continuing rise in popularity for outdoor pursuits such as walking and mountain biking may yet have an impact on Elenydd (North). It is hoped that the complete record of archaeological features created by this project will help protect the fragile evidence of human activity in the area and enable an increased understanding of the history and development of this special landscape.

Related Uplands Archaeology Links:
Read in full: Uplands Initiative Elenydd (North) Archaeological Survey (Part One) (PDF file, 6.4MB)
The Uplands Archaeology Initiative Royal Commission Website
Share this post:

Uplands Initiative Elenydd (Central) Archaeological Survey (Part One)





Uplands Initiative Elenydd (Central) 
Archaeological Survey (Part One)

Crynodeb
Mae Elenydd (Canol) yn ymestyn dros 23.47 cilomedr sgwâr ac yn ffurfio tua thraean o ardal ehangach ym mryniau canolbarth Cymru a archwiliwyd gan Trysor yn ystod haf a hydref 2009. Ceir adroddiadau ar wahân ar gyfer arolygon ardaloedd De a Gogledd Elenydd. Cariwyd y gwaith allan gyda chymorth ariannol Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru, fel rhan o brosiect Menter yr Ucheldiroedd.

Mae Elenydd (Canol) yn cynnwys ardal o dirwedd fynyddig, anghysbell rhwng rhannau uchaf cymoedd Elan a Chlaerwen. Lleolir ym mhlwyf Llansanffraid Cwmdeuddwr, yng ngorllewin yr hen Sir Faesyfed, rhan o sir Powys bellach. Dyma ardal sydd heb gael ei effeithio’n drwm gyda gweithgareddau dynol, ar wahân i’w defnydd fel tir pori gan ffermydd y cymoedd cyfagos. Dim ond dwy fferm fynyddig sydd o fewn ei ffiniau heddiw. Y pentref agosaf yw Pentref Elan, 4km i’r dwyrain, tra bod tref Rhaeadr Gwy rhyw 8km i ffwrdd i’r un cyfeiriad. Yr unig ffordd gyhoeddus i gyffwrdd â’r ardal yw’r heol garw sy’n cysylltu Dyffryn Elan â Ffair Rhos, Ceredigion, gan ddilyn ochr ogleddol Llyn Claerwen. Serch hynny, mae’r ffordd hon yn rhy arw i ganiatáu llawer o drafnidiaeth. Ceir llwybr arall, sy’n croesi trwy ganol yr ardal o Ffair Rhos i ran uchaf Dyffryn Elan, sef y llwybr a elwir “Ffordd y Mynachod” heddiw. Mae hon yn un o’r ychydig ffyrdd cyhoeddus yn Elenydd (Canol).

Yn ystod y Canol Oesoedd, ffurfia’r ardal hon rhan o Gwmdeuddwr, un o ystadau abaty Ystrad Fflur, Ceredigion. Ar ôl Diddymiad y Mynachlogydd, roedd yr hen ystâd y mynachod wedi syrthio i ddwylo preifat fel rhan o Ystâd Cwm Elan. Daeth y rhan fwyaf o’r ystâd yn eiddo i Gorfforaeth Birmingham yn ystod yr 1890au, pan roddwyd hawl iddynt, drwy ddeddf gwlad, feddiannu dyffrynnoedd Elan a Chlaerwen, a’r tiroedd cyfagos. Gwnaed hyn er mwyn creu llynnoedd enwog Dyffryn Elan i gyflenwi dŵr i Ganolbarth Lloegr a chymoedd De Cymru. Llyn Claerwen oedd yr olaf o’r llynnoedd i agor, ym 1952. Hyd heddiw, mae bryniau Elenydd (Canol) o dan reolaeth Ystâd Elan, sydd bellach yn nwylo Dŵr Cymru.

Cofnodwyd 122 o safleoedd ac olion archaeolegol gan yr arolwg maes, y rhan fwyaf o’r rhain yn safleoedd a nodwyd am y tro gyntaf. Dyma gyfanswm hynod isel am ardal fynyddig o’r maint yma. Ymhlith prif ganfyddiadau’r arolwg oedd rhai carneddau claddu sy’n dyddio I Oes yr Efydd, yn ogystal ag ychydig o gytiau hir, sydd o bosibl yn dyddio i’r oes pan fu’r ardal yn nwylo mynachod Ystrad Fflur. Serch hynny, dominyddir y cofnod archaeolegol gan safleoedd ôl-ganoloesol neu fodern, llawer ohonynt yn gysylltiedig â gweithgareddau Ystâd Elan.


Adnabyddir Elenydd fel ardal sy’n gyfoethog mewn bywyd gwyllt, yn enwedig mewn rhywogaethau o adar a phlanhigion. Un o nodweddion amlycaf Elenydd heddiw yw’r trwch o laswellt y waun (Molinia Caerulea), sydd bellach yn gorchuddio rhannau helaeth o’r tir yma. Mae’n rhwystr difrifol i archaeolegwyr yn y maes, gan guddio olion archaeolegol a gwneud y tir yn anodd ei gerdded. Yn ogystal, mae’n achosi dirywiad yn ansawdd y porfeydd mynyddig a bioamrywiaeth y fro yn gyffredinol. Mawnogydd a geir dros rannau sylweddol o Elenydd (Canol) hefyd, ond ychydig o dystiolaeth sydd am dorri mawn nac erydiad o’r mawn yn gyffredinol.

Ychydig iawn o ymwelwyr sy’n mentro allan ar y bryniau yma, ac mae’r ardal yn cael ei gyfrif fel un o’r ardaloedd mwyaf anghysbell a digyfnewid yng Nghymru. Gall y cynnydd parhaol mewn poblogrwydd gweithgareddau hamdden megis cerdded a beicio mynydd newid y sefyllfa yn y dyfodol. Gobeithir y bydd y cofnod cyflawn o olion archaeolegol yr ardal a grëwyd gan y prosiect hwn yn fodd i ddiogelu’r dystiolaeth frau am weithgarwch dynol ar fryniau Elenydd.


Summary
The Elenydd (Central) study area extends across some 23.47km2 and forms about one third of a larger area surveyed in the Cambrian Mountains by Trysor during the summer and autumn of 2009. Separate reports have been prepared for the surveys of Elenydd (North) and Elenydd (South). The projects were undertaken with grant-aid from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, as part of their Uplands Initiative project.

Elenydd (Central) is focused on a remote hilly area which lays between the Claerwen and upper Elan valleys. It is in the parish of Llansanffraid Cwmdeuddwr, in western Radnorshire, part of the modern county of Powys. It is an area which appears to have seen very little human activity apart from pastoral farming and has only two occupied hill farms within its boundaries. The nearest village is Elan Village, 4km to the east, whilst the town of Rhayader lies 8km in the same direction. The only public road through the study area is the rough track which connects the Elan Valley with Ffair Rhos in Ceredigion, which runs along the northern edge of the Claerwen reservoir, via Claerwen farm, at the southern edge of the area. This track is too rough to carry road traffic and is therefore rarely used. A long distance trackway runs through the heart of Elenydd (Central), from the Ffair Rhos and Strata Florida area in Ceredigion to the upper Elan valley, the so-called “Monks’ Way” or “Monks’ Trod”. This is one of very few public footpaths in the district and is also infrequently used.

During medieval times, the area formed a part of Cwmdeuddwr, an upland grange of Strata Florida abbey, Ceredigion. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the grange was transformed into the private Cwm Elan estate. During the 1890s the whole district passed into the ownership of the Birmingham Corporation, when an Act of Parliament granted the Corporation permission to occupy the Elan and Claerwen valleys, and the water catchments of each river. This created a new Elan Estate focused on the famous Elan Valley reservoirs, constructed to supply water to the English Midlands and the South Wales valleys. Claerwen was the last of the reservoirs to appear, not being opened until 1952. To the present day, the hills of Elenydd (Central) are managed by the Elan Estate, now in the hands of Welsh Water.

The field survey recorded 122 archaeological sites in the area, most of which were noted for the first time. This is a very low figure for an upland area of this size. Amongst the most significant discoveries were a small number of Bronze Age funerary cairns and several long huts, some of which may have been in use in medieval times, when the area was controlled by the monks of Strata Florida. The record is, however, dominated by post medieval and modern archaeology, much of which is associated with the activities of the Elan Estate.

Elenydd (Central) is rich in terms of its wildlife, especially in terms of bird species and its flora. However, one of the most important characteristics of Elenydd (Central) is the thick mat of purple moor-grass (Molinia Caerulea) which now covers a significant portion of the area. This proved a hindrance to the archaeological survey as it obscures surface features and makes the land difficult to walk. It is also affecting the quality of the upland pasture and the bio-diversity of the area in general. Elenydd (Central) also has extensive areas of peat bog, with remarkably little evidence for peat cutting or peat erosion.

The Elenydd landscape is considered to be amongst the most remote and undisturbed in Wales, and this part of it is rarely frequented by visitors. It is not impossible that the rise in popularity for outdoor pursuits might yet have an impact. It is hoped that the complete record of archaeological features created by this project will help protect the fragile evidence of human activity in the area and enable an increased understanding of the history and development of this special landscape.



Related Uplands Archaeology Links:
Read in full: Uplands Initiative Elenydd (Central) Archaeological Survey (Part One) (PDF file, 5.5MB)
The Uplands Archaeology Initiative Royal Commission Website
Share this post:

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Launch of Archwilio - Access To 100,000 Records By The Welsh Archaeological Trusts





The first of July sees the launch of the new on-line access system to Wales' Historic Environment Records - Archwilio - by the Minister for the Heritage Alun Ffred Jones AM at the Treftadaeth Conference at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The system gives access to over 100,000 records maintained by the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts.
Share this post:

Investigating a probable Roman villa near Aberystwyth





Abermagwr Project 2010
Investigating a probable Roman villa near Aberystwyth

What are archaeologists doing in Abermagwr this summer?
We think we have found a Roman villa buried beneath fields on the outskirts of Abermagwr. There are no Roman villas currently known in Ceredigion, and none this far north or west in Wales. We are carrying out a small excavation this summer to try to date the building.

When was an archaeological site found at Abermagwr?
Aerial archaeologists from Cambridge University, flying over Abermagwr in 1979, first saw green lines or ‘cropmarks’ in the fields caused by old buried ditches. In the summer of 2006 the Royal Commission overflew Abermagwr and saw cropmarks of a great double-ditched enclosure, with a stone building inside. A circular Iron Age farmstead was also discovered close by. Both sites lie a mile north of Trawsgoed Roman fort.

What do we know about the probable Roman villa?
In 2009 a magnetometry survey, like the ‘geofizz’ of the Time Team, was used to scan the field. It revealed the tell-tale floor plan of a building with stone foundations and two projecting wings, most likely to be a Roman villa.
Old Trawsgoed estate maps do not show any buildings on this site in the last 300 years, and its plan is unlike any medieval houses or churches. It is similar to excavated examples of ‘winged-corridor’ Roman villas in south Wales and England, built between AD 70 and AD 400. The building faces due south, maximising sunlight to the front corridor and rooms. A small room at the back could be a stoking room for a hypocaust – a system of central heating with floors raised up on pillars. We would expect this building to have been home to a wealthy farmer or landowner, at the centre of a large estate. The Abermagwr villa probably had a tiled roof and possibly even mosaic floors in the principal rooms, especially the dining-room. It sat within a large rectangular enclosure.

What excavations are planned?
Archaeologists are only planning a small-scale ‘evaluation’ exercise this year, just large enough to recover finds to date the building and, hopefully, show its relationship to the enclosing ditches. The main rooms of the villa will not be explored.  The dig is funded by the Cambrian Archaeological Association, with equipment loaned by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust. It is being directed by Dr Toby Driver of the Royal Commission based in Aberystwyth and Dr Jeffrey Davies, a Roman expert formerly with the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University, who excavated at the nearby Trawsgoed Roman fort.

Can we visit the excavations?
The site is on private land, but the landowner has kindly allowed some local schools to visit the dig. People can visit the dig via a footbridge off the Abermagwr-Pontrhydygroes road while excavations are in progress in July, but there is no parking close to the site. We hope to keep the local paper updated and to give a public talk in the autumn to tell people what we have found.

How can I find out more?
The Abermagwr site can be found on the Royal Commissions’ online database, www.coflein.gov.uk . Search for ‘Abermagwr’ or ‘Nant Magwr Roman site’ in the Quick Search option. The Internet can be searched for ‘Trawsgoed Villa’ - there are lots of references and articles already online. Alternatively, contact Toby Driver on 01970  621207 or toby.driver@rcahmw.gov.uk

Further Abermagwr information
Abermagwr Link to Coflein



Prosiect Abermagwr 2010
Ymchwilio i fila Rufeinig debygol ger Aberystwyth

Beth mae archaeolegwyr yn ei wneud yn Abermagwr yr haf hwn?
Rydyn ni’n credu i ni ddod o hyd i fila Rufeinig o dan gaeau ar gyrion Abermagwr. Gan nad oes yr un fila Rufeinig yn hysbys yng Ngheredigion ar hyn o bryd, na’r un mor bell i’r gogledd a’r gorllewin â hyn yng Nghymru, fe wnawn ni ychydig o waith cloddio yno yn yr haf i geisio pennu dyddiad i’r adeilad.

Pryd y cafwyd hyd i safle archaeolegol yn Abermagwr?
Wrth hedfan dros Abermagwr ym 1979 y gwelodd archaeolegwyr-o’r-awyr o Brifysgol Caergrawnt linellau gwyrdd neu ‘ôl-gnydau’ yn y caeau gyntaf. Achoswyd y rheiny gan hen ffosydd a gawsai eu claddu. Yn ystod haf 2006, wrth hedfan dros Abermagwr, gwelodd y Comisiwn Brenhinol ôl-gnydau lloc mawr ac iddo ffos ddwbl, ac ynddo roedd adeiladau cerrig. Cafwyd hyd hefyd i fferm gron o’r Oes Haearn gerllaw. Mae’r ddau safle filltir i’r gogledd o gaer Rufeinig Trawsgoed.

Beth wyddon ni am y fila Rufeinig debygol?
Yn 2009 defnyddiwyd arolwg magnetometrig, tebyg i ‘geofizz’ y Time Team, i sganio’r cae. Dangosodd hwnnw gynllun llawr adeilad ac iddo sylfeini cerrig a dwy aden ymestynnol, sef fila Rufeinig, yn fwy na thebyg.
Does yr un o hen fapiau ystâd Trawsgoed yn dangos adeilad ar y safle hwn dros y 300 mlynedd diwethaf, ac mae ei gynllun yn wahanol i gynllun tai ac eglwysi’r Oesoedd Canol. Mae’r adeilad yn debyg i’r enghreifftiau o filâu Rhufeinig â ‘choridor adeiniog’ a godwyd rhwng OC70 ac OC400 ac sydd wedi’u cloddio yn ne Cymru ac yn Lloegr. Mae’r adeilad yn wynebu’n union tua’r de er mwyn i gymaint o heulwen â phosibl lifo i’r coridor a’r ffenestri blaen. Gallai ystafell fach yn y cefn fod yn ystafell dân i hypocawst, sef system gwresogi canolog lle mae’r lloriau wedi’u codi ar golofnau. Bydden ni’n disgwyl i’r adeilad fod wedi bod yn gartref i ffermwr neu dirfeddiannwr cyfoethog ac wedi’i godi ar ganol ystâd fawr. Mae’n fwy na thebyg i fila Abermagwr fod â tho teils a hyd yn oed loriau mosaig, efallai, yn y prif ystafelloedd, ac yn enwedig yn yr ystafell fwyta. Safai o fewn lloc mawr petryal.

Pa waith cloddio sydd ar y gweill?
Ymarfer ‘gwerthuso’ graddfa-fach yn unig sydd gan archaeolegwyr mewn golwg eleni, sef dim ond digon i allu dod o hyd i eitemau iddyn nhw allu rhoi dyddiad i’r adeilad a hefyd, gobeithio, i ddangos ei berthynas â’r ffosydd o’i amgylch. Fyddwn ni ddim yn ymchwilio i brif ystafelloedd y fila. Cymdeithas Hynafiaethau Cymru fydd yn ariannu’r cloddio a chawn ni’r offer ar fenthyg gan Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Dyfed. Dr Toby Driver o swyddfa’r Comisiwn Brenhinol yn Aberystwyth, a Dr Jeffrey Davies, arbenigwr ar y Rhufeiniaid, fydd yn cyfarwyddo’r gwaith. Arferai Dr Davies weithio yn Adran Hanes a Hanes Cymru ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth, ac ef gloddiodd y gaer Rufeinig yn Nhrawsgoed gerllaw.

Gawn ni ymweld â’r gwaith cloddio?
Er bod y safle ar dir preifat, mae perchennog y tir wedi bod yn ddigon caredig iawn i ganiatáu i rai ysgolion lleol ymweld â’r lle. Gall pobl ymweld ag ef drwy groesi pont droed oddi ar ffordd Abermagwr-Pont-rhyd-y-groes yn ystod y gwaith cloddio ym mis Gorffennaf, ond does dim lle parcio ger y safle. Rydyn ni’n gobeithio rhoi gwybod i’r papur lleol yn gyson am y datblygiadau, a rhoi anerchiad cyhoeddus yn yr hydref i sôn wrth y cyhoedd am ein darganfyddiadau ni yno.

Sut mae cael gwybod rhagor?
Gallwch chi ddod o hyd i safle Abermagwr ar gronfa ddata ar-lein y Comisiwn Brenhinol, www.coflein.gov.uk . Dewiswch Chwiliad Cyflym a chwiliwch am ‘Abermagwr’ neu safle Rhufeinig ‘Nant Magwr’. Gallwch chi chwilio’r we am ‘Trawsgoed Villa’ - mae peth wmbredd o gyfeiriadau ac erthyglau arni ar-lein eisoes. Dewis arall yw ffonio Toby Driver ar 01970  621207 neu anfon e-bost ato i toby.driver@cbhc.gov.uk

Further Abermagwr information
Abermagwr Link to Coflein

Share this post:

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails