On a misty Saturday morning people were gathering at St Donats church ready to take part in a free training course.
Natasha explaining the changing churchyard
The Introduction to Graveyard Recording training session began on Saturday 10th March in St Donats Church itself with a presentation looking at history and development of churchyards and cemeteries and the changing designs of gravestones focusing on the significance of different iconographies and the meanings behind them.
This sparked excited discussion, which was very interesting; some of the course attendees were clergy and churchwardens so there were plenty of examples to share!
After a break for lunch everyone headed out into the churchyard to view the whole area and discuss some of the more interesting graves. Once we’d all had a look we began setting up the plane table surveying points showing the attendees how to conduct a survey in order to create their own-scaled map of the graveyard. We followed this with going through an in depth recording form and how to fill it out to ensure we had gathered as much information as possible for each gravestone including style, inscription and iconography.
Menna explaining the process of plane table recording to the course attendees
This was the second of two courses run by the Council for British Archaeology’s (CBA) Community Archaeology Training Placement (CATP) bursary holders based at GGAT and Dyfed Archaeological Trust.
The courses have been very successful with everyone commenting how interesting and useful they have been, helping to provide more training and incentive for groups interested in recording their own churchyards.
The course has been funded through the CBA’s Community Archaeology Bursaries project with specific funding kindly provided by Cadw. This has meant that all the recording equipment bought for the session are now available to borrow from the GGAT and Dyfed Offices for any group interested in conducting their own graveyard investigation.
People interested in borrowing the kit should get in contact with their local trust and ask for the community archaeologist.
Volunteers trying out their newly-learned plane tabling skills
Natasha Scullion – 01792634236, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Menna Bell – 01558825997, email M.Bell@DYFEDARCHAEOLOGY.ORG.UK