Llandaff  50+

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Wednesday

Our Archaeological Dig - see the photos!

The Dig, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Cardiff YMCA (1910) Trust was led by professional archaeologists Dr Tim Young of GeoArch and Louise Mumford, Archivist of The Cathedral School, Llandaff.  The equipment (above right) was loaned to us by the Archaeology Dept of Cardiff University.


Local schools brought 288 children to take part and experience the fun and learning involved in an archaeological dig.   And they learnt about the history of the ‘city within a city’ from local storyteller, Dick Berry.  Llandaff 50+ and Llandaff Society volunteers worked throughout the event.  There was a viewing area for locals and visitors to see the dig in progress, and many booked a session to try digging or washing and identifying any finds.




Llandaff 50+ held a community archaeological dig between Monday 16th September and Friday 27th September.   

However, on the final day, the corner of a building was discovered (right) and so the dig continued until the middle of November.

It was an exciting time with new discoveries virtually everyday.  Our dedicated team of volunteer diggers and stewards were kept busy revealing the treasures of the late 14th, early 15th century hall house, and made sure that visitors were given the latest information, some even came twice a day for updates.


Now that the Dig is over, the site will be redeveloped to become our Centre for Older People and a Heritage Information Centre for Llandaff, funded by Welsh Government and the National Lottery Community Fund.  The Centre is intended to be an eco-friendly building with solar slates, a sedum roof and rainwater harvesting, to flush the accessible toilet and Llandaff 50+ will be working with local schoolchildren to monitor the effectiveness of the eco-friendly design.  With the help of architects Downs Merrifield, the aim is to produce a Centre for older people and Llandaff that is both financially and ecologically sustainable.

See the Dig in our Gallery


Two walls were uncovered, one 75cm thick and its return was 95cm thick, with a fireplace.  After digging down 2m, Keith Edger found the floor (and we lost Keith!). There was a hearth, and clear evidence that the fire surround was made of carved Bath stone and, therefore, a house of high status.  On the very final day (well, sort of) the right hand side of the fireplace was found, indicating that it was a two storey building.  Dr Tim and Keith came back to uncover it.


Dr Tim also found a lovely 14th century French jeton (right), an accounting coin, hidden in the fireplace.  Its excellent condition makes us wonder if it was placed in the fireplace to ward off evil spirits!


This unexpected continuation of the dig could only have taken place with the support of our wonderful archaeologists (professional and volunteer): Dr Tim Young, Keith Edger, Cathy Morris, Janis Pringle, Luke Collins, Gail Chester, and Louise Mumford for her conservation advice. Thanks, too, to our volunteer helpers: Tim Egan, Roger Martin, Geoffrey Barton-Greenwood and Cllr Sean Driscoll and many others.

 


We also thank Robert Matthews Construction (above) for their constant help removing concrete, finding cables and giving advice. Also to Plasdwr for donating building materials.

It is hoped that, in the near future, we will be able to fund another project, working with local schools, to identify the many finds and learn about medieval life in Llandaff and Cardiff.