CBHC / RCAHMW > News > Pendinas Hillfort: Discover More about the Capital of Iron Age Mid-Wales in an Exciting New Project
Volunteers at the 2021 excavations, re-opening the trenches first dug in the 1930s using modern archaeological techniques. © Dyfed Archaeological Trust

Pendinas Hillfort: Discover More about the Capital of Iron Age Mid-Wales in an Exciting New Project

On Wednesday 15 March between 4 – 6pm a new exciting archaeological project will be launched at the Penparcau Community Hub, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. With a free buffet and children’s activities, this event will feature short talks by experts Ken Murphy (from Dyfed Archaeological Trust) and Dr Toby Driver (from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales). The results of the 2021 limited excavation will be unveiled by Fran Murphy from Dyfed Archaeological Trust. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and to meet the project’s new outreach officer, Beca Davies. A warm welcome will be given to all.

Though there was some excavation in the 1930s, this magnificent hillfort, like so many of the others that crown the hills of Wales, remains something of an enigma. Was it built for show, to demonstrate the power of the local Iron Age community, or did it serve a practical purpose as a place where cattle and grain could be safely stored? What activities did those who lived here undertake on this hilltop site?

The project will seek answers to questions such as these working with members of the Penparcau History and Heritage Group and other community groups in the area. The 18-month project will include geophysical survey and excavation that will give us further information on the structure and use of the site. Previous finds from the site have included a late Roman coin of the emperor Maximian (AD 307) in the 1930s and more recently a fine glass bead, Iron Age pottery, and numerous pebble slingshots. Finds from the recent excavations in 2021 will be on show at the event.

This is an NLHF- and Cadw-funded partnership project between Dyfed Archaeological Trust and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical of Wales working closely with the community of Penparcau and relying on the support and enthusiasm of local volunteers. The idea for the project arose from members of the local community, who want to know more about the hillfort and to see it better maintained. Various community activities are planned, including archaeological excavation, working with local wildlife experts to clear bracken and gorse and improve the hilltop site for the rare plants, birds, small mammals, insects and other invertebrates that have a home on the slopes of Pendinas, which is also Penparcau’s Local Nature Reserve!

Film making, pottery making, schools projects, guided walks and storytelling will all form part of this exciting project, which will culminate in a weekend festival to showcase the results of all these activities later in the summer.

The first activity is a four-week archaeological excavation, starting on Monday 27 March and running to Friday 21 April. This is an opportunity to get involved in this exciting project. If you are interested in volunteering on the excavation, please register your interest with Ken Murphy (k.murphy@dyfedarchaeology.org.uk) or come to the launch on Wednesday 15March between 4 – 6pmto find out more!

For further information on the project, please contact the Pendinas project outreach officer, Beca Davies (beca.davies@rcahmw.gov.uk).

Recording excavations in the 1930s. DI2007_1991 © Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW)
Recording excavations in the 1930s. DI2007_1991
© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW).
An Iron Age hillfort defender using slingshots. Illustration from The Hillforts of Cardigan Bay (2021) by Dr Toby Driver. DD2018_003_15.JPG © Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW)
An Iron Age hillfort defender using slingshots. Illustration from The Hillforts of Cardigan Bay (2021) by Dr Toby Driver. DD2018_003_15.JPG
© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW).
Pendinas hillfort overlooking the community of Penparcau. ibase number: 260806 © Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW)
Pendinas hillfort overlooking the community of Penparcau. ibase number: 260806
© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW)
Volunteers at the 2021 excavations, re-opening the trenches first dug in the 1930s using modern archaeological techniques. © Dyfed Archaeological Trust
Volunteers at the 2021 excavations, re-opening the trenches first dug in the 1930s using modern archaeological techniques.
© Dyfed Archaeological Trust.
Aerial view showing the complex and impressive entrances, ditches and banks of Pendinas Hillfort. UAV2020_001_001
© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW).
Aerial view showing the complex and impressive entrances, ditches and banks of Pendinas Hillfort. UAV2020_001_001
© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, (RCAHMW)

All online articles must include prominent links to the RCAHMW website (https://rcahmw.gov.uk) and the online database of the National Monuments Record of Wales (https://coflein.gov.uk).

27/02/2023

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