Please find some of our recent and current work below.
Bradley Court Cardiff – Landmark Student Accommodation and New Legislation
We were commissioned by AECOM on behalf of Vita (Cardiff) 1 Limited to carry out an archaeological assessment on the potential impacts of the proposed redevelopment of Bradley Court, Cardiff on the historic environment. Our report was one of the first to be submitted under the new planning guidelines set out by the The Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016. The 2016 Act makes important improvements for the protection and management of the Welsh historic environment. It also stands at the centre of an integrated package of secondary legislation (Annexes 1-6), new and updated planning policy and advice, and best-practice guidance on a wide range of topics (TAN 24 Historic Environment). Taken together, these will support and promote the careful management of change in the historic environment in accordance with current conservation philosophy and practice. Following adoption of the TAN 24 Historic Environment on 31st May 2017, Welsh Office Circulars 60/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology; 61/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas; and 1/98 Planning and the Historic Environment have been cancelled. For further details please download the report here Bradley Court, Cardiff archaeological desk-based assessment.
Following the submission of the archaeological desk-based assessment we were asked to carryout a building survey of the 19th century 11 Park Place and the fairly modern Bradley Court prior to redevelopment for landmark student accommodation. We conducted the survey in partnership with leading historic building specialists ArchaeoDomus. For further details please download the report here 1041 Vita 1 Cardiff BS Report.
Land on Seaton Hill, Plymouth – Archaeological Field Evaluation
We undertook a risk management exercise for The Range Superstore (CDS Superstores International Ltd) ahead of a proposed mixed-use development on the site of the former Seaton (Crownhill) Barracks, William Prance Road, Plymouth to inform on the nature and extent of any archaeological remains on the site. The proposed development consisted of a new headquarters building and retail superstore plus cafe, garden centre and car parking.
The former the Seaton (Crownhill) Barracks are located to the east of the Victorian Crownhill Fort (SAM 1020571). The fort was built after the 1859 Royal Commission report on the defence of Britain. Construction of the fort, by Major Edmund Du Cane (Royal Engineer), was started in 1863 and completed nine years later. The fort was later nicknamed one of Palmerston’s Follies after the threat from France diminished with the exile of Napoleon III in 1872. The fort and Crownhill area was used in the late 19thcentury for military training and in the early 20thcentury a recruitment centre for the First World War and home to the Royal Corps of Signals. Crownhill was used as a staging area for Allied troops for the D-Day invasion and was also later used by the Royal Engineers to support the Falklands Campaign.
The archaeological field evaluation demonstrated the presence of live services, culverts and other below ground brick and concrete built structures associated with the area’s former use as an army barracks and MOD residential housing. You can read more here 122 Land on Seaton Hill, William Prance Road Field Evaluation Report#Final.
Pont ar Daf Car Park, Brecon Beacons – Archaeological Field Evaluation
We were commissioned by National Trust Wales to carry out an archaeological field evaluation ahead of a proposed extension to the existing car park to inform on the nature and extent of any archaeological remains at Pont ar Daf Car Park in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The proposed development consists of the construction of a new extended car park of around 263 spaces in an area of former forestry and Post-medieval settlement. There was a significant potential to encounter Prehistoric, Roman, Post-medieval and WWII defensive activity in the general vicinity. With particular emphasis on the presence of the Storey Arms WWII Anti-Invasion Stop Line (SAMBr337) and associated sites, the Beulah-Penydarren Roman Road (14900/14901/14902) and the old Storey Arms public house (115060), outbuildings and fieldscape.
Arguably the most significant discovery was that of the metalled surface found in Trench 6. It is possible that the poorly surviving metalled surface is the Beulah to Penydarren Roman road (RRX77 14900) suggested by Hogg and Houlder (1969), however, we did not recover any dating evidence to confirm this hypothesis. The road feature is very fragmented but appears to survive well, breaking the ground surface along the modern post and wire fence boundary. However, much more investigative work will be required to ascertain the origins of the metalled surface, if indeed it is Roman at all. For further details please download the report here 108 Pont ar Daf Car Park, Brecon Beacons.
Land Adjacent to Trem Y Bannau, Llangorse – Archaeological Field Evaluation
We were commissioned to carry out an archaeological field evaluation ahead of a proposed residential development of a single dwelling at Trem Y Bannau, Llangorse Brecon Powys.
A total of three trenches were machine excavated followed by hand cleaning and recording. The archaeological field evaluation did not identify any features or deposits of archaeological origin in any of the three trenches. There was no evidence of any of the buildings noted on historic mapping within the development area. The stratigraphy suggesting that the land along the road frontage had been reduced in the recent past and the land towards the centre of the proposed development area fairly uniform garden loam deposits. You can read the report here 136 Land Adj to Trem Y Bannau, Llangorse Evaluation Report Final.
Caerphilly Castle Maze and Dragon’s Lair – Heritage Impact Assessment
We were commissioned by EQUINOX on behalf of Cadw to carry out a heritage impact assessment on the potential impacts of the proposed construction of a maze and theatrical dragons lair within the walls of the Scheduled and Grade I* listed Caerphilly Castle on the historic environment. The location for the maze was proposed adjacent to the south west tower and the dragon’s lair in the cistern/storehouse.
Caerphilly Castle (SAMGm002; LB13539) is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe and the first truly concentric castle built during the mid-late 13th century (being completed in 1271 and re-fortified in 1290) and largely ruinous by the 16th century. Partly reconstructed in 19th and early 20th centuries by the 3rd and 4th Marquess of Bute.
We produced a comprehensive assessment to support the successful submission, which included a detailed assessment of the impacts to the setting of both the castle and nearby nationally designated monuments. You can read the report here 1018 Caerphilly Castle Final Report.
Gipsy Castle Lane – Archaeological Field Evaluation and Geophysical Survey
Mr & Mrs Davies of Upper Court Farm commissioned us to carry out a geophysical survey and archaeological field evaluation ahead of a proposed residential development of five dwellings and associated access and landscaping to inform on the nature and extent of any archaeological remains on the site.
A geophysical survey was undertaken by Geoarch and the results of the survey incorporated into the trenching strategy. The results of the trenching married well with the geophysical interpretation confirming that the natural geology was strongly reflected, as were features of natural origin such as tree-throws, and more modern responses from agricultural activity. There was no evidence of any prehistoric activity in relation to the Gipsy Castle Lane Enclosure (PRN5833) and associated cropmarks known from fields to the north of Gipsy Castle Lane. The topsoil and subsoils across all trenches were fairly uniform and shallow suggesting that this field may never have been ploughed. You can read the report here 121 Gipsy Castle Lane Field Evaluation Report.
Gipsy Castle Lane, Adjacent Land – Archaeological Field Evaluation and Geophysical Survey
We retuned to Gipsy Castle Lane in December 2018 to investigate fields to the west of our initial project (above). We were commissioned by Mr MT Davies, Mr JL Davies, P&B Brown and Mrs S Hooper to carry out a geophysical survey and archaeological field evaluation.
Geoarch carried out the geophysical survey with the results of the survey incorporated into the trenching strategy. The magnetic survey showed the widespread distribution of minor magnetic anomalies across the site, their distribution corresponding closely with the layout of an existing Literary Festival campsite. Seventeen trenches were excavated and confirmed the geophysical interpretation that the natural geology was strongly reflected. The minor magnetic anomalies identified from the geophysics across the site proved to be road irons, tent pegs and in some isolated cases wrought iron nails. There was no evidence of any prehistoric activity in relation to the Gipsy Castle Lane Enclosure and associated cropmarks known from fields to the north of Gipsy Castle Lane. You can read the report here 152 Land Adjoining Gipsy Castle Lane Field Evaluation Report
New House, Church Row, Redwick – Archaeological Watching Brief
New House is located in the centre of the village of Redwick, 70m northeast of the medieval Church of St Thomas, on the Caldicot Level. The Caldicot Levels are an Outstanding Historic Landscape (HLW(Gt)2), which represents the largest and most significant example in Wales of a ‘hand-crafted’ landscape. Comprised of the Wentlooge Series of clay deposits, the Caldicot Levels are subdivided into Upper, Middle (a peat layer) and Lower Wentlooge Formations. Archaeological artefacts and structures dated to the Bronze Age are associated with the Middle Wentlooge peat formation and the Upper Wentlooge formation was laid down from the Iron Age through to the medieval and post-medieval periods.
The archaeological watching brief identified a single archaeological feature of significance, a palaeochannel (B03) of undetermined date. The linear feature was aligned SE/NW and located to the rear of the house in the footings for the rear extension. Palaeochannels on the Gwent Levels, particularly on the Upper Wentlooge Formation, are fairly common and largely fall into several groups. Natural streams or channels forming during periods of inundation or preserved Roman or medieval field boundaries (drainage channels or reens). Whilst the length of palaeochannel (B03) discovered in the rear foundation trench is too small to draw any useful conclusions regarding comparable Roman and medieval field systems, the identification of a reen cut into alluvial clays, running east-west, during the replacement of Redwick Village Hall (Stewart-Turner 2012; E004546) on a similar alignment may hint towards a managed Roman or medieval landscape buried beneath the fringes of the village. Similarly, no artefacts were found during the village hall replacement with which to date the reen. Read the report here 123 New House, Church Row, Redwick WB.
Belle View House, South Row, Redwick – Archaeological Watching Brief
Belle View House is located in the centre of the village of Redwick, c110m southeast of the medieval Church of St Thomas, on the Caldicot Level. We were commissioned by Mr Nick Lakey to undertake an archaeological watching brief during the ground investigation work for a proposed extension to the rear of the property.
The investigations identified a medieval surface deposit around 0.3m below the present ground level containing 13th century ceramics overlain by a mixed deposit containing both medieval and Post-medieval ceramics. The investigations did not identify any further features or deposits of archaeological origin in the excavated areas. Read the report here 157 Belle View, Redwick WB V2 compressed.
St Mary’s Road, Portishead – Archaeological Watching Brief
We are currently engaged in an archaeological watching brief in Portishead ahead of the development of five houses. There is the potential here for Prehistoric, Roman and medieval activity. So far we have recovered a few fragments of white transfer printed wares (18th/19th century), a glass fragment which may be Roman and a single sherd of a medieval ceramic (bodysherd) vessel. We have also recovered a flint nodule and a single sherd of local flint, possibly worked but highly abraded.
Pugh’s Garden Centre, Morganstown – Archaeological Watching Brief
We are currently engaged in an archaeological watching brief for a new extended farm shop at Pugh’s Garden Centre, Morganstown. Here there is the potential to encounter Prehistoric (Bronze and Iron Ages), Roman, Early-medieval and Medieval activity in the general vicinity. With particular emphasis on the presence of a medieval Motte and Bailey castle (Scheduled Ancient Monument Gm256) located on the boundary of the garden centre. So far all we have discovered is a footplate for a fence or trellis from a 1970s market garden 3D footplate model.