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The end of 2016, and a New Year dawns

Another year has passed and Trysor has adapted to all the changes which have
occured in the last 12 months. 2016 will be remembered for a number of reasons, apart from the loss of so many celebs. In July Paul and Ann moved from Pembrokeshire to their new home in Neath. This means the both Trysor partners now live in Neath Port Talbot county. This may make Trysor the county’s leading (but only) heritage partnership! We’re not actually sure!

This year parts of the new Heritage Bill for Wales came into force, but we will have to wait to see what affect it will have on the sector. Uncertainty characterises the year, perhaps, with Brexit dominating the news and policy changes in Westminster having a considerable impact on the number of wind and solar projects in Wales. We hope for more clarity on matters in 2017!

Whatever happens, we wish you all much success!

Happy New Year to all!

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Breconshire

During the summer 2016 we carried out evaluation digs for two hydro-electric projects in Breconshire, near Crai and Llangattock. Both included digging across old tramway beds. The Llangattock project also included excavating an old wall next to the site of Cwm, a farm which was abandoned some 150 years ago. This produced pottery of 18th and 19th century date, as well as small flakes of lead which may have been waste from the making of shotgun pellets.Cnewr

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Alberbury, Shropshire

During July 2016 we had the pleasure of returning to Alberbury in Shropshire, to excavate the remains of a medieval house in the walled garden of Loton Park
mansion. Amongst our finds were dozens of iron nail, part of a copper alloy candlestick and a simple cloak pin. The radiocarbon dates dated the site to between AD1410 and 1445.

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Llanarthney

eglwys-llanarthne llanarthne In April 2016 we were in Llanarthne village, Carmarthenshire evaluating a plot adjacent to the old village school. Our trench produced quite a lot of small coal, as well as rubbish from the Victorian school, such as broken writing slates, a writing stylus and an ink pot.ysgol-llanarthne

Holy Cross Church, Taibach, near Margam

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Holy Cross Church, Taibach, Port Talbot was closed several years ago. After a period as a friendless church and talk of conversion into a house, a local family with connections to the church stepped in to adapt the building for use as a Chapel of Rest. We were able to record the inside and outside of the building and learn something about the history of Taibach, a village now divided by the M4.

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Non Roman

No sign of a Roman fortIn March 2016 we were in the Llanymynech area of Powys, searching for evidence of a supposed Roman fort. After studying historical sources, a geophysical survey by Ian Brooks of EAS Ltd, fieldwalking and opening several trenches, we concluded that there is in fact no evidence at all for the existence of Clawdd Coch Fort.

 

Banwen Mosaic

Banwen Mosaic

A month later we undertook a watching brief at Banwen, near Neath, looking for evidence of the Roman road to Brecon. There was no sign of the road, but we did see a fantastic mosaic in the village, marking Banwen’s
place on the map of Roman Wales.

Elan Links: People, Nature, Water

Two further projects running at present are looking at identifying archaeological sites under threat and also
characterising the historic landscape in the Elan Valley estate, for the Elan Valley Trust HLF funded project “Elan Links“.

The chance to review all the archaeological records for the area to flag up sites which are under threat and
may need management is particularly valuable.

Kidwelly

Kidwelly CastleAs spring warmed up, we spent some time in old Kidwelly town, Carmarthenshire, assessing the effect a proposed footbridge across the Gwendraeth Fach river might have on the town’s famous castle.

 

Llangunnor

We are currently working on 7 interpretation panels and a leaflet for the
community of Llangunnor, Carmarthenshire, working with the designers
Phil Wait and Alan Williams. The panels will trace the history of the area.
Local history includes the ancient parish church, the famous poem
“Llangunnor Hill”, tales of a Roman Road, a local lead mine and even the
work of early geologists studying trilobites here in the early 19th century.

A view from the hills…

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Although the Uplands Initiative has come to an end, our interest in the archaeology and landscapes of upland Wales remains undimmed. In July, to mark the 2017 Festival of Archaeology, Trysor held two events, a guided walk to Llyn Gynon, in the Elenydd hills, and an Archaeological Picnic at Pont ar Elan, in the Elan Valley.

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Whilst the walkers enjoyed a fine day, the summer rains came and spoiled the picnic, which had to be cancelled.  Such is life in the hills.

But we will try again in 2017!

Where did we get to in 2016?

Projects in 2016

Projects in 2016

The map shows the location where we have undertaken work during 2016. A few were across the border in England again this year. This year saw a dramatic reduction in the number of projects associated with renewable energy, caused by the change in government policy, but a rise in the number which included some excavation work. It was good to see the return of community projects and heritage interpretation this year, after a quiet period in those fields for us.