Thursday, 16 August 2007

Fieldwork at Valle Crucis

At the end of July, myself and a group of students from University of Chester (Phil C., Brandi M., Joe M and Rachel G) spend a number of days carrying out fieldwork of the site of the old fulling mill of the Cistercian abbey at Valle Crucis, near Llangollen. This is the first stage of a joint project with Llangollen Museum to explore the site. There are no standing structural remains, but a series of earthworks related to the mill can be seen in the garden at Pandy.

We carried out an earthwork survey, which involved creating a hachure plan and levelling in a series of profiles across the site. Exploring the surrounding area I think I have also identified the course of aqueduct that took water to the nearby abbey. This will require further fieldwork though.

The next stage of the project will be small-scale fieldwork on the mill site and, ideally, further geophysical survey in the surrounding area. This will hopefully link up with geophysical survey already carried out by Sarah Semple (University of Durham)and Dai Morgan Evans ((University of Chester)in the environs of the Pillar of Eliseg.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Rotherwas Ribbon

Apologies for the long delay in updating the blog. The joys of fatherhood (ie sleepless nights, projectile vomiting and constant nappy changing)and the need to complete writing my new book have meant that the blog has slipped down by 'to do' list.

Thanks to Bill Sheppard for passing the following on to me:

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales


A recently discovered 4000 year old monument in rural Herefordshire
is at risk of being covered by a new road development. Archaeologists
have said the 197ft (60m) long ribbon of stones, found by road
builders, could be as important as Stonehenge and is apparently
unique in Europe.

It is made up of a series of deliberately fire-cracked stones and
appears to have been deliberately sculptured to undulate through the
whole of its length that has so far been uncovered.

Hereford Green Party has been leading the campaign to defend the
Rotherwas Ribbon, also known as the Dinedor Serpent.

Local Green Cllr Gerald Dawe, said: "What we're going to have is a
road which no-one wants, going over a part of our history which has a
lot of public support.

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall said:

"The Rotherwas Ribbon is of great historical importance. It is vital
that discoveries like these are protected from more road building.

"English Heritage inspectors have said that the best thing is for the
remains to be preserved in-situ. They are currently considering
whether the site meets the criteria for 'scheduling' - this status is
given to monuments whose preservation is given priority over other
land uses. (1)

"Though this wouldn't preclude the relief road being built, it would
send a message to Hereford council of the importance of these ancient

"A petition calling for a full public inquiry to decide the future of
the Rotherwas Ribbon can be signed on the Downing St website. I urge
people who care about out archeological heritage to add their names.(2)

"There are many organisations fighting effective and vital campaigns
against road building around the UK - including Road Block and the
Group Against Motorway Expansion." (3)


Notes for Editors

(1) More information on the Scheduling of Monuments can be found at


(3) More info on Road Block can be found at

More info on Group Against Motorway Expansion - http://

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