Nevern Castle

Dig history at Nevern Castle

Visitors to Nevern Castle, Pembrokeshire, will have the chance to dig up ancient history and intrigue this coming week.

A two-week dig, organised by Nevern Community Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Dr Chris Caple, of the University of Durham, began today Sunday.

On the final day, Thursday July 3, visitors are invited to find out what has been happening on site during an open evening run by the community council.

Phil Bennett, Archaeological Heritage Manager at the National Park Authority, says the whole of the Nevern area has a fascinating history, with everything from battles to pilgrimages to an ancient Irish script called Ogam [or ogham].

He said: “We are hoping the dig will help us fill in some historical gaps. In the church of St Brynach below the castle there are two inscribed stones that relate to important people in the 5th or 6th century, so the chances are Nevern Castle was an important Welsh site before the Normans were recorded as building the castle in the early 12th century.”

The castle, a scheduled ancient monument, is owned by Nevern Community Council.

It is a motte and bailey (a large mound, topped by a tower, with the bailey being the encircling defences) and built on what was probably an Iron Age promontory fort.

The council secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to produce a leaflet with the National Park Authority on a historic trail around Nevern village, which includes the castle. It is hoped the dig findings will give visitors even more information.

Phil Bennett added: “We know from anecdotal evidence that thousands visit the church, but not so many go to the castle – yet the castle is a huge part of the Nevern story and one that we want to help tell.”

Archaeology students are part of the dig team along with archaeologist Dr Caple. If the dig is a success, a bigger excavation will take place in future.

The dig is open to the public on Thursday at 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Update on dig close:  Exciting finds as Nevern dig ends

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