Resources

Job Vacancy - Secretary (Chief Executive)

Heritage of Wales News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:41
Closing Date: Friday 25th July 2014Pay: £57,550 - £68,150 (Welsh Government Executive band 1)
Location: Aberystwyth
Contract: 37 hours per week – permanent appointment


Sponsored by the Welsh Government and based in Aberystwyth, the Royal Commission is the investigation body and national archive for the historic environment of Wales. It has the lead role in ensuring that Wales’s archaeological, built and maritime heritage is authoritatively recorded, and promotes the understanding and appreciation of this heritage nationally and internationally.

We are looking for someone to provide strong leadership for the Royal Commission. Acting as Curator of the National Monuments Record for Wales, the appointee will take overall responsibility for its ongoing development as a major national resource and one of the three Welsh national collections. Reporting to the Commission’s Chairman and Commissioners and accountable to the Welsh Government, the Secretary will be responsible for delivering against the Commission’s Royal Warrant and the Welsh Government’s remit. Working across and beyond the historic environment sector to promote collaboration and partnership the Secretary will be expected to drive the Commission in meeting its responsibilities for the historic environment, the Programme for Government, and ultimately the people of Wales.

Candidates must have proven or demonstrable experience at a senior level in an organisation concerned with the understanding and/or management of the historic environment. They must be able to demonstrate success in programme management and the delivery of projects to time and to budget. The successful candidate must be able to evidence excellent business management skills and commercial awareness together with experience in building exemplary relationships with a range of partners. Evidence of developing and delivering initiatives funded by external partners is also required. The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh would be an advantage.

An application form and further details are available from:-

Stephen Bailey John     
Royal Commission
Plas Crug, Aberystwyth
SY23 1NJ

Tel : 01970 621230
Fax: 01970 621246
e-mail: stephen.bailey-john@rcahmw.gov.uk

Closing date for applications is Friday 25 July 2014.

The Royal Commission is an equal opportunities employer.

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Categories: Resources

The Borth and Ynyslas Coastal Heritage Project meets Aberdyfi WI, YAC and Borth Scouts!

Heritage of Wales News - Mon, 2014-06-09 16:00


Photograph of the crew of the HMS Camroux moored at Aberdyfi wharf during the Second World War. This image was donated by Len Dennett (Cook on the HMS Camroux). Known crew members are: George Barnes, Captain; William Howell Selby Davies, Chief engineer, Reg Jenkins.
We have had a busy couple of weeks with the Borth and Ynyslas project, starting off on Wednesday 30 April with a talk to the Aberdyfi WI. During the Second World War, Aberdyfi wharf housed the HMS Camroux, a military coaster, used as a naval aid for the rocket range and military camp. The ship had an important role in many of the estuary rocket firing tests, from testing innovative landing rockets to collecting and positioning used shells. The introduction of the Camroux to the range made a significant impact on the lives of the local community, with stories of broken windows, hearty breakfasts from the local Bwlch farm, charity events and gifts of toys for the local children.  It seemed perfect therefore, to talk with this small community to further our shared understanding of their area.


RAF reconnaisance photograph of the Ynyslas Rocket Range from 1946.
The Aberdyfi WI were keen to find out about our project and happy to help, providing vital information from their own, and their relatives’ memories of area, the ship and the range at that time. Many of the occupants of Aberdyfi still retain vivid memories and personal connections to those who served on the range during WW2, their knowledge provides a great resource to add to our understanding of Ynyslas.
Borth Beavers and Cubs taking part in the Ynyslas activities.Running for the rocket! Borth Beavers and Cubs chasing after a water─propelled rocket.On Friday 2 May we were able to engage with a much younger audience. I took the Beavers and Cubs to the Ynyslas dunes so that they could understand the archaeology and history of the rocket range.  Enthusiastically asking and answering questions, the Beavers and Cubs were really interested in the site, keen to understand the exciting operations performed at Ynyslas, and join in with the games we prepared. We finished the activities, of course, by firing a large water-propelled rocket and exploring  the dunes.

The remains  of a camera oberservation post, originally used for measuring and recording rockets fired from the range into the Dyfi estuary.
To learn how to better engage with younger audiences of a variety of ages, I participated in a two-day training course with Ynyslas Dune Education Team from Natural Resources Wales, learning different methods of communicating and capturing the interests of school groups. Really important activities, such as role playing activities from the pupils’ perspective and a simulation of difficult dune health and safety scenarios , really helped to hone personal teaching styles and methods

Finally, on Saturday 10 May, despite the howling wind and rain, we were undeterred and conducted Ynyslas activities this time from the comfort and shelter of Ceredigion Museum!  YAC (Young Archaeologist Club) members were guided, with the aid of Kimberly Briscoe and using PowerPoint and activities, through the remains of the rocket range establishment, understanding the roles of the servicemen and women on the camp and the operations they conducted. In the 1940s, Ynyslas was chosen as an ideal location to develop and test innovative types of rocket fuel, its remote location provided a perfect arena for rocket experimentation with liquid fuels.

Young archaeologists exploring the aerial photographs of the Ynyslas Rocket Range.This innovative site, still visible from aerial photographs, has a great story to tell by using archaeological remains and through archive materials and local oral histories. By the end of the session the YAC children were visibly identifying intricate changes to the landscape, recalling some of the main characters and their roles within the range, and putting into context the contribution of the range towards the war effort in the Second World War.

Young Archaeologists making their own bicarbonate of soda and vinegar minature rockets!
Finally, on the theme of testing  new types of fuel, the YAC experimented with their very own white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda fuelled miniature rockets!


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Categories: Resources

Do you have any memories or information about Hen Dŷ Cwrdd Chapel Trecynon?

Heritage of Wales News - Fri, 2014-06-06 14:54

Drop in and share your memories with the Royal Commission and see what information we have. For more information about this community project contact Christine Moore or Susan Fielding by e-mail at susan.fielding@rcahmw.gov.uk or christine.moore@addoldaicymru.org or by telephone 07528491819


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Categories: Resources

A new virtual museum will tell the story of chapels in Wales!

Heritage of Wales News - Wed, 2014-06-04 10:00

Digital Dissent: The Story of Welsh Chapels
The Royal Commission and Addoldai Cymru (The Welsh Religious Buildings Trust) have recently been granted over £60,000 for the development of a virtual museum recounting the story of over 300 years of Nonconformity in Wales!

Visit Wales has awarded the funding (part of the Digital Tourism Framework Programme) as part of a larger project, supported by Heritage Lottery funding and Cadw grant aid. The project aims to restore and interpret Yr Hen Gapel, Llwynrhydowen, the famous Grade II* listed Unitarian chapel and the centre from which grew a remarkable group of Unitarian chapels in Dyffryn Teifi, Ceredigion. This was the area called Y Smotyn Du (The Black Spot) by some of their opponents.

Resources will include the creation of virtual access to chapels in the care of Addoldai Cymru through laser scanning, gigapixel photography and computer visualisation. It will also provide interpretative analysis and GIS mapping of the Royal Commission’s 6400 plus records of Nonconformist chapels across Wales via an interactive website.

This project will build on the long-running work of the Royal Commission, in conjunction with Addoldai Cymru and Capel, in highlighting the importance of chapels as a distinctive and iconic building type in Wales, which contributes significantly to both our urban and rural landscapes. Variety in chapel building ranges from the small and simple vernacular chapels, commonly associated with the Welsh countryside, to the grandiose architect-designed ‘show façades’ in our towns and cities, which are now recognised as being on a par with the other great public buildings of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Chapels are now one of the classes of buildings in Wales most at threat from redundancy. The Royal Commission’s chapels database holds a wealth of information on individual chapels, including denomination, dates, architects, language, and cost of construction. The database is supported by a programme of survey and photography, and there is an ever-increasing archive held within the National Monuments Record of Wales, with nearly 1300 digital images available on the Royal Commission’s online database, Coflein (www.coflein.gov.uk).


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Bethania Welsh Baptist Chapel was originally built in 1832, and then rebuilt by the great chapel architect, William Beddoe, in 1908. NPRN: 13780. Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
Hen Dŷ Cwrdd Unitarian Chapel was built in 1751. Described as the Mother Church of Unitarianism in the Cynon valley, it was the first Nonconformist place of worship in the valley. Its most prominent minister was the Rev. Thomas Evans (Tomos Glyn Cothi), prolific author, imprisoned radical and friend of Iolo Morganwg. NPRN: 8941
The exciting new project will be working with local communities to hold survey training days, community history days, and a series of lectures.

Forthcoming events include:

Community history days: tell your stories and bring your photos!

Drop in and share your memories with staff from the Royal Commission, and discover what information we have about your chapel:

  • Hen Dŷ Cwrdd, Trecynon: 11 June, 3─6pm at Mount Pleasant public house, Trecynon, Aberdare, CF44 8NG.
  • Hen Gapel, Llwynrhydowen: 25 June, 2─7pm at Capel Llwynrhydowen, Pontsian, Llandysul, Ceredigion, SA44 4UB.
  • Peniel, Tremadog: 10 July, 2─7pm at Capel Peniel, Tremadog, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9PS.
  • Bethania, Maesteg: 23 July, 2─7pm at Capel Bethania, Bethania Street, Maesteg CF34 9EX.

Open Doors: this year there will be three Royal Commission and Addoldai Cymru Open Doors partnership events.

  • Hen Dŷ Cwrdd Unitarian Chapel, Trecynon, Aberdare, CF44 8NT, 6 September. A display of hand-drawn architectural drawings of Aberdare chapels by Mr William King and an opportunity to view the oldest Nonconformist chapel in the Cynon valley from 10am-12pm. There will also be a talk by Royal Commission chapel’s expert, Stephen Hughes, “Chapels: The National Architecture of Wales”.
  •  Yr Hen Gapel, Llwynrhydowen, Rhydowen, Llandysul, Ceredigion, SA44 4QB, September 13. Talk by Royal Commission chapels expert, Stephen Hughes, “Chapels: The National Architecture of Wales” and local choir from 3-6pm; refreshments available from the Alltyrodyn Arms, Rhydowen. 
  • Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Crown Building, Plascrug, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1NJ, 20 September. Talks 11am -1pm, tours 1.30pm and 2pm. Come and find out more about the chapel architecture of Wales. On 20 September, the Royal Commission is opening its doors for a chapels’ history day. There will be talks by leading experts, rich archival material on display, and the opportunity to discover more about the database of over 6000 chapels and the exciting partnership project between the Royal Commission and Addoldai Cymru. The afternoon tours of Aberystwyth’s historic chapels are limited to 15 people per tour. For further information and booking, please contact nicola.roberts@rcahmw.gov.uk , tel: 01970 621200. Tours will start at 1.30pm and 2pm and will meet outside The English Baptist Chapel, Alfred Place, Aberystwyth.


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Categories: Resources

The Woolly Squadron Returns!

Heritage of Wales News - Tue, 2014-06-03 09:29
A member of the Woolly Squadron visiting Conwy Castle, NPRN: 12
The Britain from Above project is running another Knit for Britain from Above campaign as part of the World Wide Knit in Public Day and we’d like you to be a part of it.

The Britain from Above website is a unique collection of around 70,000 aerial photographs taken over Britain between 1919 and 1953 by the company Aerofilms Ltd. It provides the opportunity for everyone to explore and share their knowledge and memories about the places shown in the photographs.

Some of the pictures on the website are over 90 years old and show how landscapes and towns have changed spectacularly over time. The Knit for Britain from Above project is an opportunity not only to show off your craft skills but also to find out more about your local area and how it changed during the twentieth century. 
An Aerofilms image from 1923. This image may be found on the website Britain from Above. Joining in is easy.

Step 1. Knit a plane. Use our pattern or make up your own. The sky is the limit to your creativity …

Step 2. Go to http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/ to find images near you and pick a favourite spot. Make the most of a sunny moment and head out there with your plane to take a picture. If you like, leave your knitted masterpiece for other people to enjoy.

Step 3. Upload your picture to our Knit for Britain from Above group on http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/groups/knit-britain-above to join the ranks of your fellow yarnstormers.

You can even come along to the free live knitting event at the National Wool Museum in Dre-Fach Felindre, near Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire on Saturday 14 June, 11am-3pm!

Last year knitted planes were spotted in locations across Wales, including Bangor, Caernarfon and Newport - you can see what they got up to here: http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/groups/knit-britain-above

Where will the woolly squadron fly this year?
An example of one of the Woolly Squadron knitted last year.Prime your needles and wind your wool and get ready to take off with Knit for Britain from Above!


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Categories: Resources

First World War Heritage Event

Heritage of Wales News - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:07
On 14 May Royal Commission Community Archaeologists, in partnership with Borth Community Council, ran an initial event to kick-start a series of First World War commemoration events in Borth.

The community of Borth had been asked to bring along any information, photographs and memories they had relating to the First World War. For the event the Commission provided an exhibition of material that we had started collecting, together with information from our archives, including aerial photographs and the 1905 Ordnance Survey map, which highlighted how the town had changed.

For the exhibition, a community member had given us permission to use his information, compiled from the 1911 census, and we were also given permission to use information from the West Wales Memorial Project. This website has detailed information on each person commemorated on all the war memorials in West Wales; including the three in Borth.

Community members looking at old photographs of Borth.We had also been given material to scan by a community member in relation to Howard Lloyd Roberts. Howard Lloyd Roberts was born in Borth but went to work in London as a journalist; he later returned to Borth and volunteered for military service. He produced many sketches and caricatures at this time, which were published and were enjoyed by his comrades.

Trench Cartoon by Howard Lloyd Roberts.The community archaeologists were also on hand to scan and photograph new material and record any new information.

Community Archaeologist scanning material.One community member brought in a large amount of material relating to Arthur Footitt who is commemorated on the Borth War Memorial.

Arthur Footitt.First World War medal belonging to Arthur Footitt.This marked the start of a series of First World War commemoration events in Borth. The next event will be on August 4th in Borth community hall. There will be an exhibition of all the material collected, with afternoon tea and music.


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Categories: Resources

The Royal Commission returns to Hay Castle for Hay Festival 2014

Heritage of Wales News - Wed, 2014-05-28 09:20
Hay Castle, with the thirteenth-century castle (left) and adjoining seventeenth-century mansion (right)Hay Castle (NPRN: 25593) sits at the heart of Hay-on-Wye, home to the annual Hay Literary Festival. The 10-day festival, now in its 27th year, attracts writers, artists and performers from all over the world. This year it runs from 22 May─1 June.

In 2011, Hay Castle, a Grade I listed building, passed into the ownership of a registered charity, the Hay Castle Trust. The Trust, working with Cadw and the Brecon Beacons National Park, aims to ensure the permanent preservation of the site. The community-based project involves a process of rediscovery, conservation and restoration, with the aim of regenerating the castle into a centre for culture, arts,crafts and education. The Hay Castle Trust will be running tours of the castle throughout this year’s festival. Royal Commission Senior Investigator, Richard Suggett, will be leading tours (now fully booked) on Friday 23 May and Saturday 31 May.

Situated on the Welsh/English border, Hay Castle is unusual in that it has been continuously occupied for the last 800 years. Constructed in the twelfth century and occupied into the twentieth century, the castle is considered to be potentially the most important multi-period site on the Welsh side of the border. The medieval castle survives, with its thirteenth-century gateway and early timber gates still intact. The timber gates, with their original cross-bracing, are one of only three to four surviving examples in Britain.

Hay Castle’s thirteenth-century gateway with early timber gates
 Castle House, a seventeenth-century Jacobean mansion, was built alongside the castle’s keep. Recent tree-ring dating by the Royal Commission has established the exact date of the three-storey house as 1636. Despite two twentieth-century fires, its basic structure has remained intact.

Castle House and the castle’s four-storey keep
As the process of rediscovery continues, it is becoming apparent that the castle contains many highly significant and possibly unique architectural components. The walls are to be consolidated, with the aim being to repair rather than to replace. It is heartening to see the castle’s important historical features cared for in this way, with the building and grounds well on the way to becoming a focal point for the local community once again.

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Categories: Resources

Uplands Dayschool 2014 at Sennybridge Training Area, Powys

Heritage of Wales News - Tue, 2014-05-20 10:12
This year’s Royal Commission Uplands Archaeology Forum and Dayschool, on the theme of Upland Military Landscapes in Wales, was held at Sennybridge Training Area in Powys, in collaboration with the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). The requisitioning of the upland landscape of Mynydd Epynt, or the Sennybridge Training Area, and its military stewardship since the second world war, unwittingly preserved a massive block of upland Wales against the effects of post-war and recent farming methods and upland improvement, making the range a haven for preserved landscape archaeology. For this reason it was fitting to hold our 2014 dayschool and fieldtrip in this remarkable upland landscape.
 
Delegates outside the Epynt Visitor Centre with Major Eddie Mahoney, Commandant of Sennybridge Training Area.The event was held over two days. On Friday 9th May we held our dayschool of talks at the Red Kite Centre in Sennybridge Camp. The day was opened by Colonel Richard Howard-Gash, Commander Wales and West, and Major (retired) Eddie Mahoney, Commandant of Sennybridge Camp, who briefed 50 assembled delegates on the requirements of the training estate. The programme began with a talk by Richard Osgood, the Senior Archaeologist for the DIO, about archaeological priorities for the UK training estate. This was followed by papers from the past year’s archaeological walkover surveys funded by the Royal Commission’s Uplands Archaeology Initiative. Over lunch delegates had a rare opportunity to view preserved Prisoner of War (PoW) alpine scenes painted on the Cookhouse walls in the mid 1940s.
Delegates admiring in-situ Prisoner of War alpine murals on the walls of the Cookhouse at Sennybridge Camp.The afternoon saw a splendid range of talks on the theme of Upland Military Landscapes in Wales with papers by Dr Bob Silvester and Jeff Spencer (CPAT), Jon Berry (Cadw), archaeologist Dr Stephen Briggs, military historian Mark Kahn, and Dr Bob Johnston from the University of Sheffield. On the following day, two minibuses of delegates braved the sunshine and showers on Mynydd Epynt to see how the military stewardship of this block of upland moorland has preserved prehistoric, medieval and twentieth-century sites.

Experiencing typical Epynt weather on the Saturday field trip at Hirllwyn enclosure, a scheduled ancient monument protected from military activity by a ‘no digging’ star.By kind permission of the Commandant, we were able to visit famous sites of the Epynt, like the enigmatic defended enclosure at Clawdd British, together with relatively recent discoveries of national importance like Pant y Blodau medieval deserted settlement, and twentieth-century military monuments including drainage culverts built by German and Italian Prisoner of War. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the restricted German training village or FIBUA (Fighting in Built Up Areas), an urban training facility, guided by Mark Kahn.

Visiting the restricted FIBUA village (Fighting in Built Up Areas), a purpose-built training facility for urban combat, modelled on a German village.

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Categories: Resources

From 2014 to 1525 – could you live in The Court?

Heritage of Wales News - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:05

This time last year production company Boom Pictures Cymru were looking for a group of people to take up the challenge of living in a Welsh Manor House (Y Plas) for three weeks in conditions as they would have been in 1910. Their time in Y Plas was documented and broadcast on S4C's living history series Y Plas last September.

The series returns in 2014 but the challenge has changed. This year, the production company are looking for people who are ready to take up the challenge of living in The Court – Y Llys.
The successful families and individuals will leave the comfort of their everyday lives and step back in time to the year 1525 to live in a Tudor court in Tretŵr court, near Crickhowell in southern Powys.

This is the time of Henry VIII, the time when noblemen led decadent lives feasting, being entertained by poets and singers, hunting and jousting. In the Tudor Age it was common for the noblemen and their servants to live and eat together, and don't forget this was before cutlery was invented!

Living in Y Llys will mean dressing, working, eating and spending leisure time exactly as the Tudors would have done in 1525, with cameras following every step of the way for the S4C living history series Y Llys, which will be broadcast on the Channel this autumn.

The production company are looking for 20 people to take part, and they will live in the court for three weeks during the autumn period this year.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 1 June. For more information and to apply contact Boom Pictures Cymru on yllys@yllys.co.uk / 02920 671545



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Categories: Resources

Wales Festival of Architecture: The Creative Space, 15 May - 17 May

Heritage of Wales News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:30


Pant-yr-ynn slate mill, NPRN: 28260. This is one of hundreds of drawings by Falcon Hildred deposited in the National Monuments Record and now available on CofleinLater this week, the Royal Commission will be contributing to this year’s Wales Festival of Architecture, a joint venture between the Royal Society of Architects in Wales and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. A Royal Commission exhibition on the artwork of the highly accomplished, industrial-landscape artist, Falcon Hildred, will run until 28 May 2014: Worktown: The drawings of Falcon Hildred. In addition, architectural historian Richard Suggett will be leading a tour of the award-winning Arts Centre and its surroundings at 2pm, Saturday 17 May. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, there will be a general theme of The Creative Space at this year’s festival, with emphasis on exploring the process of creativity. Other highlights include the festival launch: An Evening of Ideas; Spring School Inspiration Hour: Making History at St Fagans, and The Afternoon Play: Under Plywood, an irreverent review of the regeneration of our “ugly lovely towns”, presented by the Welsh Architects Theatre Studio.

Visitors to the festival will also be offered the opportunity to spend some creative time in a replica of Dylan Thomas’s iconic writing shed as it makes a special visit to the festival on its tour of the UK. Inside the shed, in honour of Dylan’s love of words, there will be the chance to invent your own perfect word and see it published in a Dictionary for Dylan.

For further details, please contact Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

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Categories: Resources

National Monuments Record of Wales Archives and Library Bulletin - April 2014

Heritage of Wales News - Fri, 2014-05-09 12:15
Welcome to the latest edition of the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) Archives and Library Bulletin http://www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/ENG/Our+Services/Donate+Records/Recent+Acquisitions/. The archival items, library books and journal articles are all available to view in our public reading room. The archival material is also available to view on Coflein www.coflein.gov.uk

We are open to the public at the following times:
Monday – Friday 09.30 – 16.00, Wednesday 10.30 – 16.30.
An appointment is advisable.

If you have any comments or enquiries, please feel free to contact us:

NMRW Library and Enquiry Service
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Crown Building, Plas Crug
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion, SY23 1NJ

Telephone:  +44 (0)1970 621200
Fax: +44 (0)1970 627701
E-mail: nmr.wales@rcahmw.gov.uk
Website: www.rcahmw.gov.uk
Blog: www.heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.co.uk

By Lynne Moore


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Categories: Resources

Exploring Fan Llia to Fan Dringarth with the Big Welsh Walk 2014!

Heritage of Wales News - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:13
Throughout May, Ramblers Cymru is holding its annual event, the Big Welsh Walk. The event aims to encourage people to get out and about walking, with a programme of group-walks around Wales. Last Saturday (3 May) the Royal Commission provided the historical expertise for an 8.5-mile walk on the Brecon uplands planned by Cadw. 25 walkers and 4 Royal Commission staff members assembled near a Roman camp on the slopes of Fan Llia, some 400m above sea level. We were led on the walk by David Leighton, the Royal Commission’s Uplands Project coordinator. This long-running project aims to survey and record archaeology on all moorland over 244m above sea level. Although some 2380 square km have been surveyed to date, this area has yet to be covered. The 8.5-mile circular walk revealed the extent and variety of archaeology existing in upland areas such as this, from prehistoric cairns through to nineteenth-century sheep folds!

The walk proceeded along the western side of Fan Llia, where we saw a group of circular and oval platforms representing the remains of a prehistoric settlement which could date to as early as 2000 BC. This is an exciting site, as there are few examples of platform groups such as this in Wales: they are better-known in the north of Britain where the majority of those excavated are Bronze Age in date.

A short distance to the north-east lie the remains of a Bronze Age burial cairn. Its centre has been robbed out and a slab on the edge of the mound is thought to have been the capstone.

David Leighton explains how the burial chamber would have looked, with upright stones defining a stone-lined burial pit and supporting a larger capstone.We continued north, crossing the Afon Llia at Rhyd Uchaf, a ford over the Sarn Helen, an old Roman (and post-medieval turnpike) road. We then headed towards Maen Llia (NPRN 84541), one of the largest standing stones in Wales.
 
Walkers fording the Afon LLia on line of the Roman road.Although Maen Llia reputedly bears traces of a Latin/Ogham inscription, its precise geometric relationship with nearby bronze-age monuments suggests that it is prehistoric in origin. We paused exactly 320m south-east of Maen Llia at the remains of a Bronze Age burial cairn (NPRN 84539). David Leighton explained that the cairn forms the apex of an isosceles triangle whose other two corners are formed by Maen Llia and a multi-banked Bronze Age ring barrow (NPRN 84544). Distances between the three sites have been measured by the Royal Commission and the cairn was found to be equidistant from the other two sites. Intriguingly, a platform (possibly for a structure of some kind) sitting inside this triangle of sites is equidistant from the ring barrow and Maen Llia.
 
Platform lying precisely equidistant from ring barrow and Maen Llia.More recently, a possible recumbent standing stone (NPRN 409642) has been identified projecting from a field-bank at the current roadside to the south-west of Maen Llia. GPS readings indicate that the stone is also at the mid-point between the ring barrow and Maen Llia.

Walker standing on possible recumbent standing stone, positioned at an equal distance between Maen Llia and the Bronze Age ring barrow.Maen Llia, measuring 3.61m high and 2.75m wide, is located at the head of a pass between Fan Llia and Fan Nedd. According to legend, at Midsummer’s eve the stone walks to the river to drink. This story could refer to the stone’s shadow, whose evening shadow reaches towards the nearby river and is, according to local people, the shape of a forked tongue.

Maen LLia, one of the largest standing stones in Wales.Lunch was eaten overlooking the Llia Valley and much fun was had flying kites kindly supplied by Ramblers Cymru!

Looking south down the Llia Valley.After negotiating the 500m+ upper slopes of Fan Dringarth, we made our way down to the eastern slopes of Fan Llia and followed the line of the Nant y Gaseg stream towards Ystradfellte Reservoir. There are numerous abandoned post medieval dry-stone sheep folds and other tumbled stock enclosures in the vicinity of the reservoir.

One of many abandoned folds known to have been used from the medieval period up until at least the nineteenth century, possibly built on an earlier structure.The reservoir, constructed in 1907-14 to provide water for Neath, has the remains of a number of probable later medieval or post medieval building platforms close to its northern and western shores. Some are thought to represent seasonal dwellings, occupied in summer when cattle grazed the upland pastures.

The Royal Commission’s David Leighton and Richard Suggett (Buildings Investigator) discuss the interior layout of a probable longhouse on the reservoir’s northern shore.Given the close proximity of the reservoir, it is likely that further remains lie under the water itself.

Remains of medieval or later longhouse bisected by the western shore of the Ystradfellte Reservoir.
From the reservoir it was a short walk back to our start-point. We all agreed that the walk was invigorating, informative and fun!

Ramblers Cymru’s annual Big Welsh Walk continues throughout May. See their website at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/wales/what-we-do/events-index/2014/may/big-welsh-walk.aspx for details.

A list of heritage walks planned by Cadw can be found on the events page of Cadw’s website at http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/events/?lang=en

 By Nikki Vousden.


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Categories: Resources

Book Sale - Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth

Heritage of Wales News - Wed, 2014-05-07 17:38


Book Sale
Cymdeithas Bob Owen
Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth
Saturday 10 May 2014
10am to 4pm

Saturday 10 May will be the final opportunity to purchase a wide range of books, journals, off-prints and guidebooks relating to archaeology, architecture and the built heritage from the Royal Commission’s surplus library stock. There will also be a selection of O.S. 6-inch maps of various editions, and a small collection of 1:10,000 and Landranger maps.

Doors open from 10am–4pm.Everyone welcome!


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Categories: Resources

December 2011: Heathrow Terminal 5 Excavation Archive released.

Archaeology Data Service - Wed, 2011-12-07 17:45
The ADS and Framework Archaeology are pleased to announce the release of Heathrow Terminal 5 Excavation Archive, 2011. Framework Archaeology is a Joint Venture agreement between Oxford Archaeology (OA) and Wessex Archaeology (WA) to provide archaeological services to BAA. Between 1996 and 2000 they undertook extensive excavations of an important prehistoric and Roman landscape at Perry Oaks sludge works, Heathrow, Middlesex. Further archaeological work in advance of a fifth passenger terminal ('T5') at Heathrow Airport took place from 2002 onwards, and the results of those excavations will be integrated with the data contained in this archive.
Categories: Resources

November 2011: York Archaeology wins Queen's Anniversary Prize

Archaeology Data Service - Wed, 2011-12-07 17:45
The Department of Archaeology at York University, which hosts the ADS, has been given a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. Introduced following the 40th Anniversary of the Queen's reign in 1992, the prizes, which rank alongside the Queen's Awards for Industry are awarded biennially for 'work of exceptional quality and of broad benefit either nationally or internationally'. This is the fifth to be conferred on the university in 15 years, only the second time it has been awarded to a whole Department.
Categories: Resources

December 2011: Settlement Hierarchies in Roman Essex data online.

Archaeology Data Service - Wed, 2011-12-07 17:45
The ADS, ASE, English Heritage and UCL are pleased to announce the release of Town and Country in Roman Essex: Settlement Hierarchies in Roman Essex datasets, This is a large scale regional study based on correspondence analysis of finds assemblages, including coins, pottery, registered finds, animal bone and vessel glass. Data was primarily gathered from existing published or archive sources and was collected from sites in Essex, south-east Cambridgeshire and London dating to the period c 50BC-AD250. The database includes linked tables on small finds, glass, pottery and coins, as well as for the following aspects of the animal bone assemblages: NSIP, MNI, tooth-wear, MNE and metrics for bone elements.
Categories: Resources

November 2011: CAA Recycle Awards announced

Archaeology Data Service - Wed, 2011-12-07 17:45
Do you use ADS data in your research? If so then the CAA Recycle award should be of interest.CAA believes that any vibrant discipline must continually return to its own roots and re-evaluate legacy data if it is to progress. Furthermore, in the field of Archaeology it provides a far less destructive means of researching the past, and maximizes the return on resources invested in fieldwork. Digital technologies have a particularly strong role to play in this regard, thanks to their ability to synthesize large volumes of information and because they often apply new techniques unavailable to the original investigators. To this end, CAA is commencing an annual CAA Recycle Award that seeks to recognize those who breathe new life into old data.
Categories: Resources

November 2011: Parts and Wholes Project archive released

Archaeology Data Service - Fri, 2011-12-02 16:45
The ADS, The British Academy and Durham University are pleased to announce the release of Parts and Wholes: object categorisation and fragmentation in prehistoric context by J C Chapman and Bisserka Gaydarska, 2011. The 'Parts and Wholes' project is concerned with the relationship between complete objects and their fragments. The primary premise of the project can be concisely stated: deliberate object fragmentation was commonplace in the past, with widespread re-use of the ensuing fragments in an extended life 'after the break'. The project studied the artefact assemblages from Chalcolithic sites at Dolnoslav tell and the Durankulak and Varna cemeteries in Bulgaria.
Categories: Resources

October 2011: Historic Seascape Characterisation, Hastings to Purbeck

Archaeology Data Service - Thu, 2011-12-01 12:45
The ADS, SeaZone Solutions and English Heritage are pleased to announce the release of the Hastings to Purbeck and Adjacent Waters archive by SeaZone Solutions Limited, Maritime Archaeology Ltd, 2011.The project resulted in a GIS-based characterisation of the project area, extending from Hastings, Kent, to Purbeck, Dorset, along the coast and seaward across adjacent waters to the Median Line with France.
Categories: Resources

October 2011: The Virtual Amarna Project now released.

Archaeology Data Service - Thu, 2011-11-24 13:45
The ADS, the University of Arkansas and Barry Kemp are pleased to announce the release of The Virtual Amarna Project. This archive resulted from the 3D digitisation of objects from the ancient Egyptian city of Amarna using a Konica Minolta Vivid 9i system. Data includes images, 3D PDF files, meshes (obj) and point clouds (ascii). This archive was undertaken in conjunction with an electronic publication through the LEAP II project and the corresponding article (Limp et al, 2011) can be found in Internet Archaeology 30.
Categories: Resources
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