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Friday, 28 January 2011

Bardsey Island & Its Remarkable History





Peintiad dyfrlliw o Oleudy Enlli gan Douglas Hague.
Watercolour painting of Bardsey Lighthouse by Douglas Hague. Image/Llun: DI2005_0679
Golwg newydd ar Ynys Enlli
Ar ben gorllewinol Pen Llŷn y mae Ynys Enlli. Er ei bod hi’n fach, mae iddi hanes rhyfeddol, a hyd heddiw mae rhyw naws ddirgel iddi. Bu’n gyrchfan i bererinion am gyfnod maith Honnid bod tair pererindod i Enlli yn gyfwerth ag un i Rufain, ond hyd y dydd heddiw mae’n ynys sy’n anodd ei chyrraedd. Er mwyn i bawb allu gweld sut mae “ynys yr ugain mil o saint” wedi newid o oes i oes, mae’r Comisiwn Brenhinol wedi bod yn gweithio gyda’r artist 3D Iwan Peverett i ddatblygu cyfres o animeiddiadau cyfrifiadurol yn bennaf ar gyfer gwefan newydd Casgliad y Werin, sef *www.casgliadywerincymru.com*. Bydd y fideos byr hynny’n cynnig cipolwg ar y ffordd y mae cartrefi a bywydau trigolion yr ynys wedi datblygu o’r Oes Haearn hyd at ddiwedd y 19eg ganrif.

Yr olion archaeolegol cynharaf ar Enlli yw sylfeini crwn, petryal ac is-betryal sawl grŵp o gytiau ar lethrau gwyllt Mynydd Enlli. Er nad oes fawr o dystiolaeth i roi dyddiad i’r olion hynny, mae safleoedd tebyg ar y tir mawr wedi’u dyddio’n bendant i’r Oes Haearn (700 C.C. - 43 O.C.). Y rheiny sydd wedi bod yn sail i adlunio anheddiad o’r Oes Haearn ar yr ynys.

Man cychwyn hanes Cristnogaeth ar Enlli oedd y gymuned o fynachod a sefydlwyd gan Sant Cadfan yn y chweched ganrif, a chyn pen dim o dro daeth yr ynys yn hoff fan claddu ymhlith pobl dduwiol. Mae’n debyg bod safle’r fynachlog gynnar honno’n debyg i un yr abaty diweddarach. Nid yn unig y mae’n gymharol gysgodol a bod golygfeydd braf ohono ar draws yr ynys a’r môr, ond hefyd mae ef yn ymyl un o ffynhonnau mwyaf dibynadwy’r ynys.

Er bod mwy o dystiolaeth o’r abaty o’r cyfnod tua diwedd yr Oesoedd Canol, mae’r ffaith fod cyn lleied o dystiolaeth faterol yno’n golygu ei bod hi’n anodd creu darlun pendant o gynllun yr adeiladau. Adeg diddymu’r mynachlogydd, cofnodwyd bod yr abaty’n cynnwys priordy, tŷ eglwys, tŵr pigfain, ystafelloedd, ysguboriau, stablau, perllannau, 8 gardd, 4 dôl, eglwys, tŷ’r abad, a chapel bwaog hir ac iddo allor ar ei phen ei hun yn un pen iddo, ysbyty, storfeydd, geudy, mynwent a llyfrgell, a’r cyfan ohonynt wedi’u codi o gerrig. Cyfunwyd y wybodaeth am yr adeiladau hynny ag ymchwil i abatai Awstinaidd eraill, gan gynnwys Priordy Penmon, i gael rhyw syniad o’r arddull a’r manylion pensaernïol ar gyfer creu’r adluniad.

Erbyn i Thomas Pennant ymweld â’r ynys ym 1770, tyddynnod oedd yno, ac mae’n disgrifio “a fertile plain... well cultivated... productive of everything the mainland offers”. Daw’r dystiolaeth am yr ynys yn y cyfnod hwnnw o ddisgrifiadau ysgrifenedig yn bennaf, gan gynnwys un Pennant, a map cyfoes sy’n dangos patrwm y ffermydd a therfynau’r caeau. Bu cofnod Chris Arnold o derfynau caeau’r ynys, gan gynnwys y gwahanol ddefnyddiau a’r technegau adeiladu a ddefnyddid ar draws yr ynys, hefyd yn amhrisiadwy. Un adeiladwaith amlwg o’r cyfnod hwnnw sy’n dal yno yw’r odyn galch ar hyd y ffordd o Dŷ Pellaf.

Yn y 1870au gwnaeth Trydydd Barwn Niwbwrch gyfres o ‘welliannau’ mawr i adeiladau’r ynys. Yn lle’r bythynnod â’u croglofftydd, codwyd amryw o ffermdai a thai allan a gawsai eu cynllunio’n bwrpasol, ac ym 1821 fe ddechreuwyd defnyddio’r goleudy. Mae tŵr y goleudy’n 99 troedfedd o uchder, a dyma dŵr sgwâr talaf unrhyw oleudy ym Mhrydain. Er mai bandiau o baent coch a gwyn sydd arno erbyn heddiw, gwyn yn unig oedd ef yn wreiddiol. Ychwanegiad pwysig arall i drigolion yr ynys oedd y capel newydd a’r tŷ capel drws nesaf iddo.

Cysylltau:

Awyrlun o adfeilion abaty’r Santes Fair.
Aerial view of the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. Image/Llun: DI2005_0240
New views of Bardsey Island
Bardsey Island lies just off the western tip of the Llyn Peninsula. While small, it has a remarkable history and even today retains an air of mystery. Long a focal point for pilgrimage, it was claimed that three pilgrimages to Bardsey were equal to one to Rome, but to this day it remains a destination that is difficult to access. Developed primarily for the new People’s Collection Wales website *www.peoplescollectionwales.com*, the Royal Commission has been working with 3D artist Iwan Peverett to develop a series of computer-generated reconstruction animations which allow everyone to see how the “island of twenty-thousand saints” has changed over time. These short videos provide a glimpse of how the homes and lives of those living on the island have developed from the Iron Age to the late 19th century.

The earliest archaeological remains on Bardsey are the circular, rectangular and sub-rectangular foundations of several hut groups, visible on the uncultivated slopes of Mynydd Enlli. There is little dating evidence for these remains, but similar sites on the mainland are conclusively dated to the Iron Age (700 B.C. – 43 A.D.), and these have provided the basis for a reconstruction of an Iron Age settlement on the island.

The history of Christianity on Bardsey started with the monastic community founded by St Cadfan in the sixth century, and the island soon became a favoured burial place for the devout. It is likely that this early monastery was located in a similar position to the later abbey as not only is it relatively sheltered, with good views of the island and sea, it is also located near to one of the most dependable springs on the island.

While more evidence exists for the abbey during the later medieval period, it is difficult to be sure of the design and layout of the buildings as so little physical evidence remains. It was recorded at the time of dissolution that the abbey comprised a priory, church house, steeple, rooms, barns, stables, orchards, 8 gardens, 4 pastures, a church, abbots house, and a long arched chapel with insulated altar at one end, an infirmary, stores, necessarium, cemetery and library, all stone built. Knowledge of these buildings was combined with research on other Augustinian abbeys, including Penmon Priory, to provide architectural style and details for the reconstruction.

By the time Thomas Pennant visited the island in 1770, the island was given over to croft style farming, and he describes “a fertile plain... well cultivated... productive of everything the mainland offers”. Evidence for the island in this period comes mainly from written accounts, including Pennant’s, and a contemporary map illustrating the layout of farms and field boundaries. Chris Arnold’s recording of the field boundaries on the island, including the different materials and construction techniques used across the island, also proved invaluable. One prominent structure of this date which survives is the limekiln which stands alongside the road from Ty Pellaf.

In the 1870's a series of major 'improvements' were made to the buildings on the island by the Third Baron Newborough. Earlier crog-loft cottages were replaced with a number of specially designed farm houses and outbuildings. The lighthouse with its 99ft tower, the tallest square tower of any lighthouse in the British Isles, became operational in 1821. Although today it is painted in red and white bands, it was originally just white. Another important addition for the inhabitants of the island was the new chapel, with its chapel house, Ty Capel, next door.

Links:

Cyhoeddiadau/Publication:


BBC2 Wales - Hidden Histories - Series 3

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

UK's Only Purpose-built Handball Court







Llun o Gwrt Pêl-law Nelson a dynnwyd ym mis Medi 2000.
View of Nelson Handball Court taken September 2000. Image/Llun: DI2009_0986
Cwrt Pêl-law Nelson, Morgannwg
Caiff pêl-law ei chwarae drwy ddefnyddio’r llaw i daro pêl galed mewn casyn o ledr yn erbyn ochr tŷ neu eglwys neu, o’r 18fed ganrif ymlaen, mewn cwrt ac iddo gefn agored. Byddai hwnnw fel rheol yn ymyl tafarn. Câi’r gamp ei chwarae o flaen tyrfaoedd i ennill gwobrau ariannol a byddai yno fetio brwd. Mae’n amlwg bod gêm fwy aristocrataidd yr ‘Eton fives’ a gâi ei chwarae mewn ysgolion gramadeg yng Nghymru yn wahanol iawn iawn i’r gêm bêl-law a chwaraeid gan y dosbarth gweithiol – yn broffesiynol, yn aml – ar hyd a lled Morgannwg yn bennaf.

Câi’r bêl ei tharo â chledr y llaw yn erbyn y wal flaen cyn ac ar ôl iddi daro’r llawr unwaith. Yr oedd chwarae’r gêm yn debyg i chwarae sboncen heb racedi, a’r nod oedd cadw’r bêl allan o gyrraedd y gwrthwynebydd ond y tu mewn i derfynau’r cwrt. Âi’r chwarae yn ei flaen tan i gystadleuydd fethu â dychwelyd y bêl. Câi’r sgoriau eu marcio ar y wal ffrynt.

Yn Nelson, Morgannwg, câi’r gêm ei chwarae gyntaf yn erbyn wal wastad tafarn y Nelson (y Village Inn erbyn hyn). Tua 1860, cododd landlord tafarn y Royal Oak gerllaw gwrt pwrpasol i geisio denu cwsmeriaid y Nelson. Efallai i’r mewnfudwyr o Iwerddon a oedd wrthi’n adeiladu Rheilffyrdd y Great Western (y lein o Pontypool Road i Gastell-nedd) a’r Taff Vale – dwy lein a redai drwy’r pentref – gyfrannu at gynllunio’r cwrt (camp dosbarth-gweithiol oedd ac yw pêl-law yn Iwerddon a châi ei chwarae mewn llawer ‘ale fawr’ a fesurai 60’ wrth 30’).

Cwrt y Nelson fu’r un enwocaf o 1880 tan yr Ail Ryfel Byd a chynhelid twrnamaint blynyddol yno o fis Mai tan fis Awst. Byddai llawer o fetio’n digwydd. Ym 1913 codwyd rhwydi gwifrau yno ar ôl i Orsaf yr Heddlu gael ei chodi gerllaw ym 1910. Delir i chwarae pêl-law yno hyd heddiw.

Cysylltau:

Llun o Gwrt Pêl-law Nelson a dynnwyd ym 1965.
View of Nelson Handball Court taken 1965. Image/Llun: DI2009_0719
Nelson Handball Court, Glamorgan
Handball is played using a hard, leather-cased ball with the hand against the side of a house, church or, from the 18th century, in an open-backed court usually near a public house. It was played in front of crowds for money prizes and betting. It is clear that the more aristocratic ‘Eton fives’ played at grammar schools in Wales was a world away from the working-class, often professional, game of handball that was played, mainly throughout Glamorgan.

Played using the palm of the hand, the ball was hit against the front wall before or after it had struck the floor once. Similar to squash without rackets, the object was to keep the ball out of the opponent's reach but inside the bounds of the court. Play continued until a competitor failed to return a ball. Scores were marked on the front wall.

At Nelson, Glamorgan, the game was first played against a flat wall of the Nelson Inn (now The Village Inn). In c.1860 the landlord of the nearby Royal Oak then constructed a purpose-built court to entice customers from the Nelson. Irish immigrants who were working on the construction of the Great Western (Pontypool Road to Neath line), and Taff Vale Railways which both passed through the village, may have had a hand in the design of this court (handball in Ireland was, and is, a working-class sport played in ‘big alleys’ measuring 60’x30’).

The Nelson court was most famous from 1880 until the Second World War with an annual tournament lasting from May - August, accompanied by much betting. Wire netting was erected in 1913 after the building of nearby Police Station in 1910. Handball is still played there today.


Links:
Cyhoeddiadau/Publication:


BBC2 Wales - Hidden Histories - Series 3

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Craftsmanship & Planning Of The Old House





Pantyrhwch ar ôl ei adfer.
Pantyrhwch after restoration. Image/Llun: DS2011_056_001
Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion
Mae ‘bwthyn’ yn derm braidd yn gyffredinol am amryw o wahanol fathau o annedd y mae’n ddefnyddiol gwahaniaethu rhyngddynt. Yn eu plith yr oedd y bythynnod y cafwyd caniatâd i’w codi ar dir comin; bythynnod a godwyd heb ganiatâd gan sgwatwyr sef, yn aml, ‘tai unnos’; hafotai neu luestai gwahanol ffermydd; bythynnod diwydiannol; ‘cartrefi o waith cartref’ (fel Wig-wen-fach) a godwyd gan grefftwyr a thyddynwyr, a bythynnod a ffermdai bach a godwyd gan ystadau. Trafodir hwy i gyd yn llyfr Eurwyn Wiliam Y Bwthyn Cymreig (CBHC, 2010).

Enghraifft dda o’r bwthyn-ffermdy pwrpasol yw Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion. Er bod iddo gynllun anarferol, mae’n nodweddiadol o’r math hŷn o fwthyn. Yn y talcen y mae drws y tŷ, tebyg i batrwm tŷ hir, ond cegin a ychwanegwyd at yr adeilad, yn hytrach na beudy, yw’r ‘ystafell allanol’. Elfen fwya’r brif ystafell (y gegin) yw mantell enfawr y simnai – mantell a godwyd o blastr, coed a phlethwaith. Mae’n fwy na thebyg mai cyfuniad o ystafell wely a pharlwr oedd yr ystafell fewnol. Er bod dau lawr i’r tŷ, cyfyng iawn yw’r grisiau, ac mae dau hanner-gris i bob prif ris. Tipyn o gamp yw dringo i siambrau’r llawr cyntaf heb orfod meddwl am y grisiau.

Wedi’i adfer, yn hytrach na’i foderneiddio, y mae Pantyrhwch, ac fe ddiogelwyd yr hen nodweddion ynddo oherwydd ansawdd y defnyddiau a’r grefftwriaeth. Gan fod y perchnogion yn parchu crefftwaith a chynllun yr hen dŷ, mae’r rheiny’n cyd-fynd yn hapus â ffordd gyfoes o fyw.

Cysylltau:

Pantyrhwch y grisiau a’r hanner grisiau.
Pantyrhwch stair with staggered half steps. Image/Llun: DS2011_056_003
Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion
‘Cottage’ is rather a catch-all term for a number of different types of dwelling which it is useful to distinguish. These included permitted cottages on common land; squatters’ cottages erected without permission, often as ‘one-night’ houses; summer dairies (hafod, lluest) attached to farms; industrial cottages, ‘home-made homes’ built by craftsmen and small-holders (like Wig-wen-fach), and estate-built cottages and small farmhouses. These are all discussed in Eurwyn Wiliam’s book on The Welsh Cottage (RCAHMW, 2010).

Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion, is a good example of a purpose-built cottage-farmhouse. The plan is unusual but characteristic of the older type of cottage. The house is entered from the gable end in the manner of a longhouse although the ‘outer room’ is an added back kitchen rather than a cowhouse. The main room (kitchen) is dominated by a huge fireplace hood made of plaster, timber and wattle. The inner room was probably a parlour bedroom. The house is fully storeyed but the stairs are designed not to take up much space and there are two half-steps to each riser. Going upstairs to the first-floor chambers without thinking about the steps required some practise.

Pantyrhwch has been restored rather than modernised. The old features have been preserved because of the quality of the materials and the workmanship. The owners respect the craftsmanship and planning of the old house and this happily coexists with a contemporary lifestyle.

Links:

Cyhoeddiadau/Publication:


BBC2 Wales - Hidden Histories - Series 3


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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Earliest Surviving Church Roof In Wales





Eglwys y fwrdeistref a’r castell: Sain Nicolas yn y Grysmwnt, Sir Fynw
Golwg o dref y Grysmwnt.
Grosmont Town view.
Image/Llun: AP_2004_0441
Codwyd tri chastell, sef Castell y Grysmwnt, y Castell Gwyn a chastell Ynysgynwraidd, i amddiffyn y tir yr oedd y Normaniaid wedi’i gipio yng Ngwent Uchaf. Codwyd castell presennol y Grysmwnt yn y 13eg ganrif adeg cyfnerthu arglwyddiaeth Teirtref gan Hubert de Burgh. Sefydlwyd bwrdeistref newydd yn y Grysmwnt yn y G13eg ac mae prif elfennau honno, sef y castell, yr eglwys a neuadd y farchnad, yn dal yno. Er i neuadd y farchnad gael ei hailgodi yn y 19eg ganrif, mae hi wedi cadw sylfaen y groes a godwyd yn y farchnad yn yr Oesoedd Canol. Ac er bod y castell yn denu llu o ymwelwyr, mae’r eglwys yn un ddiddorol iawn er ei bod hi’n llai adnabyddus.

Eglwys fawr yw eglwys Sain Nicolas yn y Grysmwnt. Mae hi wedi cadw llawer iawn o naws eglwys o’r drydedd ganrif ar ddeg ac fe’i codwyd hi fwy neu lai yr un pryd â’r castell a oedd yn ganolbwynt yr arglwyddiaeth. Gwasanaethai’r eglwys garsiwn y castell a’r fwrdeistref newydd ac mae iddi gynllun croesffurf uchelgeisiol a thŵr canolog. Er i lawer ohoni gael ei hailgodi yn y 19eg ganrif, nid felly ei chanol hir, a thipyn o syndod i’r ymwelydd heddiw yw gweld arcedau a tho yn tra-arglwyddiaethu ar du mewn canoloesol diaddurn.

Er bod cymeriad y to hynafol yn gwbl wahanol i gymeriad unrhyw do arall yng Nghymru sydd wedi goroesi o’r Oesoedd Canol, ceir enghreifftiau tebyg iddo yn ne Lloegr. Diffinnir y baeau gan gyplau plaen iawn o ddistiau trwm. Mae pyst yn codi o’r dynlath i’r coler gorunedig ac o’r coler i’r grib; mae’r cyplau wedi’u clymu’n dynn wrth dulath goler i rwystro unrhyw ddirdynnu. Gan fod y math hwn o bwyslath yn beth prin, mae’n anodd ei ddyddio’n fanwl-gywir. Ac er bod toeon o’r fath yn drawiadol, maent yn perthyn i’r cyfnod cyn i noddwyr sylweddoli bod modd addurno holl faeau’r to. A all y to ddyddio’n ôl i gyfnod sefydlu’r eglwys yn y 13eg ganrif? Os felly, dyma’r to eglwys cynharaf yng Nghymru ac un o’r rhai cynharaf ym Mhrydain. Comisiynwyd dyddio blwyddgylchau’r coed ynddo i ddyddio’r to’n wyddonol.

Ildiodd y samplau dystiolaeth annibynnol dda a awgrymai i’r coed gael eu cwympo, mae’n debyg, rhwng 1214 a 1244. Dyddiad calonogol o gynnar. Mae hynny’n gyson â chymeriad corff yr eglwys a godwyd yn y drydedd ganrif ar ddeg ac yn dangos i’r to oroesi ers cyfnod cyntaf yr adeiladu, sef, yn fwy na thebyg, pan oedd Hubert de Burgh yn arglwydd y Grysmwnt ym 1219–32. Ym 1227, mae’r Rholiau Clos yn cofnodi i Harri III roi hanner can derwen o goedwig Trefil i de Burgh i godi adeiladau newydd yn y Grysmwnt. Mae’n debyg iawn, felly, mai’r rheiny a ddefnyddiwyd wrth godi to’r eglwys yn ogystal ag wrth godi’r castell. Nid yn unig y mae gan Eglwys y Grysmwnt y to cynharaf sydd wedi’i ddyddio’n wyddonol yng Nghymru, ond mae’n debyg mai ganddi hi y mae’r unig do eglwys yng Nghymru o’r cyfnod cyn 1400. Mae hynny i’w briodoli i gadernid y to ac i’r ffaith mai dirywio fu hanes y fwrdeistref yn ddiweddarach yn yr Oesoedd Canol.

Cysylltau:

A castle-borough church: St Nicholas, Grosmont, Monmouthshire

Golwg o du mewn Eglwys Sain Nicolas yn y Grysmwnt.
Interior View of St Nicholas Church, Grosmont. Image/Llun: DI2010_1126
The castles of Grosmont, White Castle and Skenfrith defended the territory seized by the Normans in Upper Gwent, and the present castle at Grosmont belongs to the 13th century consolidation of the lordship of Three Castles by Hubert de Burgh. A new borough was founded at Grosmont in the C13th and the main elements of this still survive: castle, church and market-hall. The market-hall was rebuilt in the 19th century but still retains the base of the medieval market-cross. The castle is a popular tourist attraction, but the church is full of interest and less well known.

St Nicholas, Grosmont, is a large church with a strong thirteenth-century character and more or less contemporary with the castle which was the centre of the lordship. The church served both the castle garrison and the new borough. The church has an ambitious cruciform plan with a central tower. Much of the church was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the long, aisled nave was spared reconstruction and is a shock to the modern visitor who encounters an uncluttered medieval interior dominated by the arcades and roof.

The roof has an archaic character quite unlike any other surviving medieval roof in Wales although there are comparable examples in southern England. The bays are defined by very plain trusses of heavy scantling. Posts rise from tie-beam to lap-jointed collar and from collar to ridge; the trusses are impressively braced to a collar-purlin to prevent racking. This type of king-strut roof is rare and difficult to date with precision. While impressive, they belong to the period before the appreciation of the decorative possibilities of the heavily-bayed roof. Could it be that this roof dates back to the foundation of the church in the 13th century? If so, it would be the earliest surviving church roofs in Wales and one of the earliest in the United Kingdom. Tree-ring dating was commissioned to date the roof scientifically.

Sampling provided good independent dating evidence and gave a likely felling-date range of 1214-1244. This felling-date range is gratifyingly early. It is consistent with the thirteenth-century character of the nave and shows that the roof has survived from the first phase of building, probably when Hubert de Burgh was lord of Grosmont in 1219–32. In 1227 the Close Rolls record that Henry III granted de Burgh fifty oaks from the forest of Trevill for his new buildings at Grosmont. It seems very likely that these were used for the church roof as well as for the castle. Not only has Grosmont Church the earliest scientifically dated roof in Wales, it appears to be the only surviving pre-1400 church roof in Wales, attributable to the substantial nature of the roof and the later medieval decay of the borough.

Links:

Cyhoeddiadau/Publication:


BBC2 Wales - Hidden Histories - Series 3 


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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Return of the Popular Series Hidden Histories on BBC2 Wales






Dyma gyhoeddi’r drydedd yn y gyfres boblogaidd sy’n dadlennu ein treftadaeth gudd gyda chymorth Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru
 20 Ionawr - Gorlif mawr Gwent ym 1607, y tu mewn i fwthyn Cymreig hynafol, ac ymchwilio i’r hyn a all fod yn bont gadwyni gynharaf y byd.

Nosweithiau Iau am 7.30 ar BBC DAU Cymru o 20 Ionawr 2011 ymlaen.


Announcing the third in the popular series that uncovers our hidden heritage with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
20 January – The great Gwent flood of 1607, inside an unchanged Welsh cottage, and investigating possibly the earliest chain bridge in the world.

Thursdays at 7.30pm BBC TWO Wales from 20 January 2011.

Trysorau Cudd III 


Allteuryn a gorlif 1607
Eddie Butler a Richard Suggett sy’n ymchwilio i’r dystiolaeth ynghylch gorlif mawr 1607 ym Môr Hafren. Y man cychwyn yw arysgrif yn Eglwys Allteuryn, a daw’r daith i ben wrth fwthyn Little Porton ar wastadeddau Sir Fynwy.

Wig-wen-fach, Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion
Eddie Butler ac Eurwyn Wiliam sy’n ymchwilio i un o’r bythynnod olaf sydd wedi goroesi yng Ngheredigion ac un sydd wedi cadw’r mwyafrif o’i nodweddion traddodiadol.

Pont Gadwyni Llandysilio
Mae’r Bont Gadwyni wedi rhychwantu Afon Dyfrdwy am bron i 200 mlynedd. Ymchwilydd CBHC, Stephen Hughes, a’r ymchwilydd sydd wedi cael bwrsariaeth gan UNESCO, Rachael Leung, sy’n ymchwilio i weld a allai cadwyni’r bont bresennol fod yr un â’r rhai y gwnaed llun ohonynt gan sbïwr diwydiannol o Ffrainc ym 1819. Fe’i collwyd yn ddiweddarach i lifddyfroedd afon Dyfrdwy.

Hidden Histories III
 

Goldcliff and the 1607 flood
Eddie Butler and Richard Suggett investigate evidence for the great 1607 flood in the Bristol Channel beginning with an inscription in Goldcliff Church and ending at Little Porton Cottage on the Monmouthshire Levels.

Wig-wen-fach, Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion
Eddie Butler and Eurwyn Wiliam investigate one of the last surviving cottages in Ceredigion that preserves most of its traditional features.

The Llantisilio Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge has spanned the River Dee for nearly 200 years. RCAHMW investigator Stephen Hughes and UNESCO bursary researcher Rachael Leung investigate whether the chains in the current bridge could really be those drawn by a French industrial spy in 1819 and later lost to the flood waters of the Dee.

Cyhoeddiadau/Publication:
Trysorau Cudd: Darganfod Treftadaeth Cymru
Hidden Histories: Discovering the Heritage of Wales


BBC2 Wales - Hidden Histories - Series 3 
Episode 1

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches





New Publication!  

Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches


Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches
Published by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
December 2010
ISBN: 978-1-871184-39-6
Price: £35.00
Postage: £0.00
Buy Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches

Review of Contents

From the mid-first century AD to the end of the fourth century or later the tribal peoples inhabiting Wales and its borderlands felt the full impact of the might of the Roman imperial army, both as a fighting force and an occupation garrison.

In the pre-Flavian period Wales was a frontier zone par excellence. With the Flavian conquest it was held in subjection by a huge garrison, typical for a newly conquered land at the edge of empire. By Hadrian's reign, however, the garrison had been massively reduced and, except for the legions, functioned as an internal security force. Frontier characteristics re-emerge in the AD 260s as the western littoral of the empire was threatened from without; this theme of constant pressure on the frontier continued to the end of and beyond the formal military presence in the region.

This book describes and analyses the remains of the Roman army's presence in Wales, with the exception of the ephemeral marching- and practice-camps dealt with in another volume. It is divided into two parts. The first contains a series of discursive chapters dealing with the history of military activity, followed by analyses of installations, communication systems, extramural settlements and discussions of the army's impact on the environment and the native economy.

The second part is a comprehensive gazetteer of known, probable and possible military sites and Roman roads.

CONTENTS
List of contributors
Chairman's preface
Editorial Note
Acknowledgements

Introduction
History of previous excavation and research
The pre-Roman background
Chronological issues
Epigraphy
Coins from Roman Frontier in Wales (P. Guest)
Pottery, chronology and the forts of Roman Wales (P.V. Webster)

A Chronological review of the development of the frontier
Early campaigning and pre-Flavian frontiers
The Flavian conquest
The 2nd- to 3rd-century garrison
The frontiers of the later 3rd and 4th century
The end of the Roman Army in Wales and the Marches (P.J. Casey)

The installations and their garrisons
Distribution
Siting
Morphology, size and internal plan
Defences
Annexes
Internal buildings
Parade grounds
Water supply
The logistics of construction
The garrison

The communication system
Roman Roads in Wales and the Marches (R.J. Silvester and H. Toller)
Shipping (E.M. Evans, D. Hopewell, D.J.P Mason, K. Murphy, O.T.P. Roberts and R.J. Silvester)

The military-civilian interface: extramural settlements and sites with military associations
Introduction
Planning and layout
Buildings
Economic activity
Specialised activities
Religious beliefs
Cemeteries and burial practices
Chronological issues

The military-civilian interface: aspects of the military community, the military impact on the environment and economy, and army supply
Introduction
The military community and local interaction
The military impact on the environment and economy (A.E. Caseldine, with contributions by JLD)
Military supply: the contribution of ceramic studies (P.V. Webster)

Gazetteer of Sites
Legionary Fortresses
Campaign bases/Forts
Fortlets
Watch-towers/signal stations
Sites with probable military associations
Sites with possible military associations
Problematical/Rejected sites

Gazetteer of Roads
(E.M. Evans, D. Hopewell, K. Murphy, R.J. Silvester and H. Toller)
Glossary of Terms
Ancient Sources and Bibliography
Index

Related Publication Links:
Order your copy of  Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches
Gwerthu Llyfrau
Book Sales

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Key To Banner Images At Royal Commission Offices





Key to banner images

Back in 2009 a large banner measuring 9 by 3 metres was first displayed with various images from the Royal Commission's extensive archive on the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales.

The banner is best viewed from the Commission's car park found at the end of Stanley Road, Plas Crug, Aberystwyth. For those wishing to know more about the sites depicted, use the key (above) and links (below) to access Coflein (the Commission's free online archive) to learn more about each individual site. 

1. Carved spandrel at St Mary’s church, Haverfordwest
     NPRN: 103300    DI2006_0405
2. Pentre Ifan chambered tomb, Newport, Pembrokeshire
     NPRN: 101450    CD2005_602_011
3. Stack Rock fort, Herbrandston, Pembrokeshire
     NPRN: 268158    DI2006_1240
4. Jesse Tree in St Dyfnog's Church, Denbighshire
     NPRN: 165239    C2003/182/3
5. Bethania Welsh Baptist Chapel, Maesteg, Glamorgan
     NPRN: 13780    DS2006_118_002
6. Foel Drygarn camp, Foeltrigarn, Pembrokeshire
     NPRN: 94948    CD2003_605_012
7. Ynys-y-pandy slate mill, Dolbenmaen, Caernarfonshire
     NPRN: 40572    DS2007_280_002
8. Orphans at Albro Castle workhouse, Cardigan
     NPRN: 3041    DI2008_0248
9. Slate splitting at Blaenau Ffestiniog
     NPRN: 404307    DI2007_1042
10. Lighthouse at the Smalls
      NPRN: 34350    DI2006_0587
11. Dolwyddelan Castle, Caernarfonshire
      NPRN: 95299    DI2006_0587
12. Tubal Cain foundry, Butetown, Cardiff
      NPRN: 40463
13. Font at St Llawddog’s church, Cenarth, Carmarthenshire
      NPRN: 309895    DI2006_0222
14. Design drawing for Cardiff Inland Revenue and County Court Offices
      NPRN: 31750    PSA057

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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Annual Closure of the Royal Commission's Library & Enquiries Service





Open Day at the Royal Commission, 2009
The annual closure of the Library and Enquiries Service will take place in the week 10 – 14 January 2011. Enquiries can still be made through the usual channels, but will not be answered during that week.

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