CAER Heritage Hidden Hillfort
“To make Caerau Hillfort a unique and unforgettable place for visitors by making the best use of its physical location, natural beauty, archaeological heritage and social history. Working alongside local people as co-creators, co-researchers and co-curators, we will develop an accessible, sensory, indoor and outdoor experience at a site that can be appreciated by everyone who visits as a place of opportunity, creativity, fun and learning.”
As part of our current work we're hoping to undertake some repairs on St Mary's Church at Caerau with the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in Spring 2022. We'll be doing this using traditional methods and skills, including the production of our own quicklime for repointing. The first step is to repair and restore the limekiln at St Fagans Museum for use to create our quicklime later in the year.
We're looking for 4 or 5 volunteers to help this Saturday (11th) at St Fagans. You'll be working alongside fellows from SPAB to cut back vegetation around the kiln and help restore the kiln itself. It's a chance to learn some new skills and find out information about traditional lime working as well as have some fun!
Pre-booking is essential. Please get in touch at email@example.com with your details
Visit to the Twmbarlwm Excavations 17th August 2021
On Tuesday 17th August 2021 a small group of eight CAS members actually physically met up at Twmbarlwm in order to view the excavations talking place there. Our group joined a larger party being organised by Janine Reed, of Torfaen County Borough Council who met us at the high car park at the foot of Twmbarlwm. There we were given an introduction to the site by Norman Liversuch, the Vice Chairman of Cymdeithas Twmbarlwm Society, who co-sponsored of the dig along with Cadw. He discussed the damage caused by the wildfire of 2019, and subsequent attempts at exploratory excavations hindered first by the weather and later by Covid, but now finally being undertaken by Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust. We then climbed up the hill and onto the top of the mound where we met Dr Amelia Pannet, Field Monuments Warden for Cadw, who expertly guided us around the excavations and the site in general.
We saw three trenches. Trench 1 (now backfilled) intended to clarify a putative entrance through the bank and ditch – it wasn’t - apparently being a natural break in an incomplete circuit. Trench 2 intended to explore one of the stone rings exposed by the fire and thought to be a hut circle – it wasn’t, but it was the surface remains of an immense amount of stone thrown down internally from the ramparts. Trench 3, essentially a continuation of Trench 2 but situated outside the rampart extending down into the ditch. While we were there, this most recent trench revealed a deposit of charcoal at what was thought to be the original ground level sealed by the construction of the bank and ditch. It was hoped that the dating of this deposit would be a crucial clue in unravelling some of the mysteries of this enigmatic monument.
The CTS are blogging about the dig on their excellent website and the results of the dig will also appear on the site.
Our thanks to all who made this visit possible in such trying times, and to the intrepid members of CAS who joined in the effort, and in particular to Janet who used the climb up to the top of Twbarlwm to test out her two new knees - they passed the test with flying colours!
Looking further ahead to 7th October @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm the Society of Antiquaries will be hosting a lecture on
In the last few years the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) has undertaken a number of excavations on hillforts and linear earthworks in Wales. This work has been accompanied by a systematic programme of palaeoenvironmental analysis and scientific dating – including both radiocarbon dating and optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. As a result CPAT now has confirmed dates for the construction of Offa’s Dyke and for the ramparts of Beacon Ring, a hillfort on the Long Mountain near the Welsh border. The results from Beacon Ring, which is part of a long-term programme of research and conservation partly funded by Cadw, represent the first OSL date for a hillfort rampart obtained anywhere in the UK. The results from Offa’s Dyke, gained over several successive seasons from a number of different locations, are also the first scientific dating of this monument, and complement work done more than a decade ago on nearby Wat’s Dyke. This lecture will consider the potential and limitations of scientific dating for earthworks in general, before discussing the case studies of Offa’s Dyke and Beacon Ring in the broader context of linear earthwork studies and hillfort studies both in the UK and elsewhere. Comparison will be made with sites and projects elsewhere in Europe, for example recent work on the Danevirke by a partnership between the State Archaeological Department of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the Danish Museum Sønderjylland, and work on hillforts in Lithuania and Germany led by the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology. The lecture will conclude with a call for a coherent multi-agency approach to develop a long-term programme for dating earthworks across borders. Further details and a opportunities to purchase early tickets are available here.