Congratulations to Dr Edith Evans, GGAT’s Heritage and Outreach Manager, for winning the contract to provide a Community Archaeology Project at the former Hafod and Morfa Copperworks, Swansea.

Why so quiet on the Western Front?

People have been asking why it’s been so quiet on the GGAT news front.  This is because we’ve all been so busy!

Here’s a little taster of what the Trust has been up to.

Our Arfordir Co-ordinator, Rachel, has been busy training volunteers in the Year 3 study area, which runs along the Vale of Glamorgan Heritage Coastline to Penarth.  Through a number of guided walks the volunteers have been taught about the numerous archaeological sites along this stretch of coast, as well as emphasising the potential threats caused by current and future coastal erosion.  The groups have also been taught how to recognise various types of archaeological sites and have been trained in basic recording and photographic techniques used by archaeologists.  Attendance has been good at these events with a keen interest shown by the volunteers.  If you’re interested in learning about this project visit the Arfordir pages on the GGAT website (http://www.ggat.org.uk) or follow the link (Arfordir pages).  To see what the groups have just been up to visit our Facebook page here.

The second year of the Second World War Airfields in Southeast Wales project is drawing to a conclusion.  The Trusts WWII enthusiast Paul has recorded lots of new sites, which you can get a sneaky peek at by visiting our Instagram feed

Meanwhile in our Projects Division, Charley James has just written the first malt kiln tile report for the excavations at Vulcan house, Merthyr Tydfil.  She has discovered that some of the tiles are from a well-known manufacturer, Sealy & Co., based in Bridgewater Somerset.

Remains of one of the malt kiln tiles from the Vulcan House brewery

Remains of one of the malt kiln tiles from the Vulcan House brewery

While Martin Tuck is undertaking a review of the numerous archaeological works that have taken place within the environs of the Roman fort at Neath.  This review funded by the Welsh Government/Cadw focuses primarily on the civilian settlement or vicus, and will supplement the forthcoming reports on the extensive excavations that GGAT carried out between 2010 and 2012. Learn more about the excavations

Monastic Margam Survey – Week 1

Hello, my name is Sam Pamment trainee community archaeologist at GGAT and along with Project Officer Rowena Hart we are running the Monastic Margam survey project at Margam Park.

We are here for 3 weeks to record the standing remains of the abbey using a total station to create an outline of the abbey walls and a photo survey to highlight the areas of substantial damage to the remains and the threats to the abbey remains.

It has been a great first week at Margam, with decent weather and fantastic help from local volunteers and the Friends of Margam Park we have been able to survey a large portion of the outside walls of the abbey remains. We have had a good laugh with the volunteers, who have been very enthusiastic and willing to learn.

The project almost had a celebrity visitor this week, Martin Clunes was rumored to be at the park.  Unfortunately, he did not come down to the abbey to see us at work much to my disappointment!

We have had such a fantastic first week and have made good progress, I am hoping the next two weeks will be just as good.

If you are interested in the project and would like to find out more we will be at Margam every week day until the 5th October from 9.30am – 4.30pm or you can follow us here with more  updates on the project over the next two weeks.

Changes to tomorrows FBA walk

Our colleagues in the Brecon Beacons National Park tell us that there’s so much water on the mountain that it’s not possible to do the advertised Mynydd y Glog walk tomorrow, the 18th July.
However, Dr Edith Evans, who will be leading the walk, does have a Plan B.  This entails still meeting at the layby next to the Penderyn Distillery, but then driving to a few miles to Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil, and do a circular walk to look the remains of the internationally important Cyfarthfa Ironworks and a wide range of sites associated with them, from the quarries, tramroads and water supply, to the houses for the people who worked there.  This is a shorter walk and should finish at around lunchtime.  Hope to see you there.
Cyfarthfa Ironworks
 For more information on this walk or any of the other GGAT events, contact enquires@ggat.org.uk

Volunteers needed

Recruitment is now in progress for the Access to Archaeology volunteer project.
The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust are currently looking for volunteers for our new Access to Archaeology project (A2A).  This scheme aims to enhance the Historic Environment Record with information held within the pages of grey literature reports held within the HER. The results of the work you carry out will be made available to all on the Archwilio website (www.archwilio.org.uk), helping to improve access and facilitate the role of archaeological planning and wider research in the archaeology of Southeast Wales.
  • You don’t need to have any previous archaeological experience, as we will teach you everything you need to know!
  • All we need from you is a minimum commitment of 10 days either as a single block or spread out at a time convenient for you.
 If you, or anyone you know may be interested in this project just download a volunteer pack here or visit the Access to Archaeology site.
 If your interested you could also help us to promote the project and information leaflets can be downloaded from the A2A site (if you would like us to send you printed copies then please contact us at her@ggat.org.uk).
Volunteer working in the HER at GGAT

Community Archaeology Training Placements

Do you want to develop your career in archaeology?
Are you interested in working directly with a wide range of communities?

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is offering 10 twelve month paid bursary places with different host organisations across the UK, aimed at training individuals who already have a good working knowledge of archaeological theory and practice in the skills needed to run and support effective community archaeology projects.

The bursaries are funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future programme, with support from English Heritage, Cadw and Historic Scotland.

Placements will start in April 2012 and successful candidates will receive a salaried bursary of approx £16,450 (see individual job descriptions for further details).

There are five Welsh host organisations and locations:

For complete details of these posts please visit www.britarch.ac.uk/community/bursaries/2012, or visit the host organisation websites.

Application closing date: Friday 20th January


Mae Cyngor Archaeoleg Prydain (CBA) yn hysbysebu deg bwrsari hyfforddi am 12 mis mewn archaeoleg gymunedol, gyda chymorth y Loteri Genedlaethol drwy Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri, a thrwy gymorth ychwanegol yng Nghymru gan Cadw ac Ymddiriedolaethau Archaeolegol Cymru.

Mae pump sefydliad a lleoliad yn cynnig lle yng Nghymru:

  • Cadw (Caerdydd)
  • Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Dyfed (Llandeilo)
  • Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Morgannwg-Gwent (Abertawe)
  • Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Gwynedd (Bangor)
  • Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru (Aberystwyth)

Bwrsari: Gweler disgrifiadau’r swyddi unigol

I gael manylion llawn y swyddi hyn, ewch i http://www.britarch.ac.uk/community/bursaries/2012, neu edrychwch ar wefannau’r sefydliadau sy’n cynnig y lleoedd.

Y dyddiad cau i wneud cais: dydd Gwener 20 Ionawr

Dyddiadau’r cyfweliadau: Gweler y pecynnau ymgeisio unigol.

Council for British Archaeology logo Heritage Lottery Fund logoCadw logo

Introduction to Graveyard Investigation

View of St Peter's church in Llanwenarth, Abergavenny with some gravestones in front of the church's tower Over the last few days GGAT has been involved with running a introduction to graveyard recording course focusing on the different eras of design and architecture of monuments and headstones and the individual significance of various iconographies that are used.

Approached by Adventa GGAT put together and delivered 5 days of 1-day introduction training courses, originally only 3 had been booked however, due to popular demand it was extended to a 5 day run!

The first half of the day comprising of a presentation and discussion followed by explanation of the recording forms and processes. After lunch we then headed out for some ‘hands on’ practice heading to the local churchyards and cemeteries to see the evidence of what had been discussed and the aspects of recording and research that can be done.

Graveyards are real snapshots of community life and if viewed closely enough can reveal details and stories that might never otherwise come to life however they are a finite resource, without active attempts to record the information details of family history will be lost that may not be recorded anywhere else.

The days were hugely successful with most people coming away with new knowledge, keen to put in to practice what they had learned about, the general consensus being ‘I’ll never look at a graveyard the same way again!’

Two volunteers looking at an old carved stone momunment in St Mary's churchyard, Monmouth

Forgotten Landscapes

During the afternoon of Saturday 10th September I will be giving a short talk on the Historic Landscape of Blaenavon at the Learning Landscape Open Day at the World Heritage Centre in Blaenavon. I will be (trying) explaining the Welsh methodology for characterising the  historic landscape, giving a rapid tour through the 21 historic character areas that make up the historic  landscape of Blaenavon and describing how the methodology of the Assessment of the Significance of the Impact of Development on Historic Landscapes (ASIDHOL) can be used to show what is an appropriate development in a Registered Historic Landscape.

LEARNING LANDSCAPES OPEN DAY – New courses available in the World Heritage Site

FLP LogoEver wanted to learn more about the history, archaeology or wildlife of the Blaenavon area then this is your chance!

Come along to Blaenavon World Heritage Centre on Saturday 10th September to find out more about the brand new courses on offer in the World Heritage Site.

Tutors will be available from 1pm to 5pm to discuss the exciting new learning opportunities available. There will also be a series of guided walks, talks and workshops throughout the afternoon.

This open day marks the launch of the new courses, which will start later this month. The courses have been developed by the Centre for Community and Lifelong Learning at University of Wales Newport and the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust.

The courses form part of the Forgotten Landscapes Project and are possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Forgotten Landscapes Education Officer, Ceri Cadwallader said ‘Blaenavon Industrial Landscape has been recognised for its outstanding universal value through designation as a World Heritage Site. We are delighted to be able to offer these courses, and hope they will allow more people to see just how rich this landscape is, both in history and wildlife.’

All Open Day activities free with no booking necessary. For more information please go to www.visitblaenavon.co.uk or contact University of Wales Newport on 01633 432432 or uicenquiries@newport.ac.uk

Blaenavon workers housing with the ironworks in the backgroundHill's Pit stone-built engine house chimney with the remains of the workers enclosures in the foreground


Changing Landscape

The story of the landscape and wildlife of the World Heritage Site, from degradation to conservation. Discover how the relationship between man and the environment has changed with time and find out how this landscape is being managed today. Course starts Tuesday 27th Sept 7–9 pm

People’s History

Are you interested in the people’s history of Blaenavon? Do you want to know how to make sense of the ‘stuff’ that has been left behind? Join this hands-on course and learn how to investigate local history through the objects that were once used in the everyday life of past residents.  Course starts Wednesday 28th Sept 7–9 pm.

Exploring your Heritage – A Community Archaeological Toolkit

This course is set out to encourage and promote the appreciation of the rich and diverse heritage of Blaenavon World Heritage Landscape and to provide a toolkit of skills so that members can take ownership of their local heritage and historic environment and have a hand in maintaining historic sites for present and future generations.  Learn how to investigate the archaeology of sites, create new historical records, look after and take responsibility for your local heritage, present your findings to your community.  Course Starts Thursday 29th Sept 7 – 9pm.