archaeology

Cwm Cadlan

June 25, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Cadlan

At the centre of Penderyn is the Lamb Inn, with its blue plaque commemorating ‘Lewsyn yr Heliwr’, one of the leaders of the 1831 Merthyr Rising.  Almost opposite, there’s an ancient signpost labelled ‘Cwm Cadlan, Brecon County’.  It points to a lane off to the east.  After climbing gently for four or five miles across […]

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Eagle

May 28, 2021 0 Comments
Eagle

In summer 1972 I made two happy discoveries within the Roman fortress that had occupied the centre of Exeter.  One of them was human.  That encounter changed my life for good.  The other was inanimate.  Its impact on me wasn’t as great, but it did earn a small place in the history of research on […]

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In praise of Kathleen Jamie

October 2, 2020 0 Comments
In praise of Kathleen Jamie

The half of me that’s Scots lies buried, and usually dormant.  It comes to life when visiting Scotland.  But since my parents died, there’s less obvious reason to go, and we’ve not been there for a few years.  Sometimes I daydream about moving to live in a newly independent Scotland, released from bonehead, vicious British […]

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Maen Madoc

September 11, 2020 2 Comments
Maen Madoc

We’re on the south slope of the Fforest Fawr, north of Ystradfellte.  It’s quiet and still at ground level, but above us clouds rush past from the north; some are innocent, others threaten rain.  At Blaen Llia we leave the narrow road that descends Cwm Llia, and follow on foot the Roman road heading south-west.  […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

September 16, 2019 2 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

No kindness from the Path in the first section of today’s walk (we’re now reduced to three walkers).  From the road, opposite a disused pub, the fingerpost points straight up a steep hill, before we’ve a chance to wake up the limbs.  As the guidebook puts it, the Clwydian hills have not yet done with […]

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Writing for affect

January 26, 2019 1 Comment
Writing for affect

By accident I happened on four late-night radio voices discussing ‘consent’.  Their focus was Samuel Richardson’s 1740 novel-in-letters, Pamela; or, Virtue rewarded, and Martin Crimp’s current stage production at the National Theatre, When we have sufficiently tortured each other, which is based on chunks of Richardson’s lengthy book.  Both are tough reads, in the #MeToo […]

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The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

October 13, 2018 2 Comments
The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

1   Origins and foundations The first local archaeological society in Wales, the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, was founded on 28th October 1847.  It owed its existence largely to the efforts of one man, John Edward Lee (1). Born in Hull in 1808, Lee worked from the age of sixteen in his uncles’ shipping office, but […]

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In search of 100 objects

September 30, 2018 0 Comments
In search of 100 objects

September 2018 has turned out to be a month of personal endings. Three weeks ago, after five and a half years of sporadic legwork, we finished the last mile of the Wales Coast Path. This week saw the publication of two books I’ve been working on for what seems almost as long, Wales in 100 […]

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Gerhard Bersu and ‘hostile environments’

August 6, 2018 1 Comment
Gerhard Bersu and ‘hostile environments’

As I was wandering round the Manx Museum in Douglas last week – it’s a first-class museum with imaginative displays and zero dumbing-down – a name sprang out of one of the panels in the section on Manx prehistory that took me straight back to my student archaeology days.  The name was that of Gerhard […]

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The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

May 13, 2018 0 Comments
The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

1   Foundation The first county archaeological society in Wales was the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, founded in 1847 and renamed the Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association in 1857. It was twenty years before a second local archaeological society in Wales was founded, in 1867.  The gap is puzzling, especially when one considers that this period […]

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