Merthyr

The Big Welsh Walk – Cyfarthfa Ironworks and its Landscape

As part of the Big Welsh Walk campaign, GGAT will be carrying out a circular tour to look at the ironworks, its water management and transport systems, as well as some of the places where the people associated with it lived. No dark Satanic mills here now – most of our walk follows the Taff Trail through beautiful scenery at the edge of the Brecon Beacons.

Distance: 7km

Duration: 3.5 hours

Dates: 23 May 2015

Times: 10.00am – 1.30pm (approx)

Start/Parking: In front of Cyfarthfa Castle main entrance

Be sure that you have stout footwear and suitable clothing. Please follow the Countryside Code: http://www.countrysidecodewales.org.uk

To book a place on the walk and for more information, contact Dr Edith Evans
edith@ggat.org.uk, or phone 01792 634227
.
Places are limited to 30 on this walk.

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Archaeology for All!

The fantastic Festival of Archaeology is once more upon us, and GGAT kick off their activities for the festival with our flagship ‘Archaeology for All!‘ event on Saturday 12th July. 
This year the event is being held within the beautiful surroundings of Cyfarthfa Castle, in association with the Merthry Tydfil Heritage ForumThere will be Roman Cooking, Medieval Archery, Rural skills demonstrations, Archwilio, and that firm family favorite the Body in the Box!.  
The fun starts at 9:30am. Hope to see you there!  

Ynysfach Ironworks site Online Now!

The ironworks of Merthyr Tydfil have often been described as the ´Engine of Empire´. You can now learn more about one of these important sites by visiting our new ‘Ynysfach Ironworks microsite‘. Watch the CGI animation, view the reconstruction drawings, and learn all about this important ironworks and the excavations that GGAT have carried out there.

Ynysfach website

Cyfarthfa Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil

Over the past 2 months GGAT has been excavating at the former Cyfarthfa Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil. The development area is situated in what was once the coke yard and associated ovens connected to the ironworks. The excavation has revealed multiphase forges, smithies, coke ovens, calcining kilns, coal stores, a marshalling yard and office buildings.

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

GGAT short listed for British Archaeological Award

The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust and Miller Argent (South Wales) Ltd have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2012 British Archaeological Awards for their landmark archaeological project at Ffos-y-fran, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

The Ffos-y-fran project involved the investigation of arguably one of the most important early extractive industrial landscapes in the world and has made it into the top three projects in the ‘Best Project’ category.  The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in July.

A GGAT archaeologist recording a feature at Ffos-y-fran

Day in the life of an archaeological planning officer-ongoing

Our main method of finding out where development is going to occur is by checking the weekly planning list produced by the Local Planning authorities (LPA) each week. Two new ones, for Cardiff and Swansea, have been issued this morning so I go through them and note the applications that may have archaeological implications. Today there were 60 registered applications and I identified 11 that could have an impact on archaeological sites. I then checked those with the Historic Environment Record (HER) and also against the early editions of the Ordnance Survey (there are still a lot of post-medieval sites that are not included in the HER and sometimes we can spot these using the old maps). Three of the identified applications appear to be likely to have an impact on the archaeological resource so I enter them into our register so that detailed analysis and advice to the LPA can be prepared later.

Richard Lewis (Head of Projects) came to see me to explain that it appears that a major breach of a planning condition has occurred on a very sensitive archaeological site. I phone the relevant LPA only to find that the Officer dealing with the application and the Head of Planning are both at a meeting outside the Council’s offices. A helpful assistant promises to send me the full set of planning conditions for the development and gave me the name and direct telephone contact for the Enforcement Officer, in case I feel action is required.