PRESS RELEASE – Announcing the publication of an attractive new book about the archaeology and history of Gwent

Thursday 4 August will see the launch of The Archaeology of Upland Gwent expertly written by the Chair of this year’s Eisteddfod, Frank Olding in Y Lle Hanes at 2pm. 

The south Wales valleys and their communities have a special character formed by a combination of landscape and history. The uplands here are a treasure house of archaeological monuments, which show how people have lived, worked and farmed from earliest times to the recent past. The author, Frank Olding, the Heritage Officer for Blaenau Gwent, a member of Y Gorsedd and the chair of this year’s National Eisteddfod’s Steering Committee, takes the reader on a journey from the flint tools and hillforts of prehistory to the Chartist uprising and the industries of the twentieth century. This book is richly illustrated with nearly one hundred images drawn from the Royal Commission’s archive including specially taken aerial and ground photographs, maps, plans and historic images. There are special box features offering expert insights into specialist areas, such as the Cefn Golau Cholera Cemetery, the upland churches of Bedwellty and Llanhilleth, and the Gelligaer Roman Fort.

The Archaeology of Upland Gwent is the latest volume celebrating the archaeology and history of Welsh Uplands by the Royal Commission. It draws on the Royal Commission’s twenty-five year commitment to intensive archaeological survey of the uplands of Wales.

Frank Olding said:

“It is wonderful to present this book to the world at last. Hopefully it is a fitting tribute to the unique upland archaeology of Gwent. As someone who was born in the area, it was a huge privilege to be invited to write this book and I am very grateful to all the Commission staff for their support and dedication.”

The Royal Commission, founded in 1908, is the national body of survey and record for Welsh archaeology and buildings. It maintains the National Monuments Record of Wales, which is the largest visual archive in Wales, with over 2 million photographs and 125,000 drawings as well as many other records.

The book is priced at £14.95 and available from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and all good bookshops.

 

ENDS

For further information or images, please contact Nicola Roberts, nicola.roberts@rcahmw.gov.uk . Tel: 01970 621200.

 

Editor’s Notes

The Archaeology of Upland Gwent by Frank Olding, with a foreword by Professor William Manning, published by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 2016, 160pp, 91 illustrations, size 216 x 229mm.

The Royal Commission is the investigation body and national archive for the historic environment of Wales. It has the lead role in ensuring that Wales’s archaeological, built and maritime heritage is authoritatively recorded, and seeks to promote the understanding and appreciation of this heritage nationally and internationally.        www.rcahmw.gov.uk

Captions:

  1. Rhymney Valley landscape: New Tredegar with Phillipstown to the right, looking north-west towards Rhymney and the peaks of the Brecon Beacons beyond. (AP_2010_1229)
  2. Crug Hywel Hillfort. The impressive defensive earthworks of Crug Hywel hillfort crown Table Mountain to the north of Crickhowell. (AP_2009_2003, NPRN 92128)
  3. Inscribed stone of the post-Roman period on Gelligaer Common, on the site of a prehistoric burial mound. (DS2015_143_001, NPRN 305944)
  4. Ynys Bwlc, Llangorse. This is the only known example of a crannog in Wales. (AP_2013_0329, NPRN 32997)
  5.  Sultan the pit pony, Penallta, is a 200 metre long landscape sculpture by artist Mick Petts on the site of Penallta Colliery, raised in homage to pit ponies, which were used to haul coal in underground mines. (AP_2014_4974, NPRN 402672)
  6. The Guardian of the Valleys sculpture, Six Bells Colliery, Abertillery, was designed and created by artist Sebastien Boyesen and was constructed from over 20,000 strips of steel welded together. (DS2015_131_006, NPRN 421326)
  7. Front cover of The Archaeology of Upland Gwent
Fig 11 - Rhymney Valley landscape with New Tredegar and Phillipstown AP_2010_1229 cmyk

Rhymney Valley landscape: New Tredegar with Phillipstown to the right, looking north-west towards Rhymney and the peaks of the Brecon Beacons beyond. (AP_2010_1229)

 

Figure 19 AP_2009_2003 Crug Hywel Hillfort

Crug Hywel Hillfort. The impressive defensive earthworks of Crug Hywel hillfort crown Table Mountain to the north of Crickhowell. (AP_2009_2003, NPRN 92128)

 

Figure 33 DS2015_143_001 Inscribed stone Gelligaer Common

Inscribed stone of the post-Roman period on Gelligaer Common, on the site of a prehistoric burial mound. (DS2015_143_001, NPRN 305944)

 

Figure 35 AP_2013_0329 Llangorse Crannog

Ynys Bwlc, Llangorse. This is the only known example of a crannog in Wales. (AP_2013_0329, NPRN 32997)

 

Figure 84 AP_2014_4974 Sultan Pit Pony Sculpture

Sultan the pit pony, Penallta, is a 200 metre long landscape sculpture by artist Mick Petts on the site of Penallta Colliery, raised in homage to pit ponies, which were used to haul coal in underground mines. (AP_2014_4974, NPRN 402672)

 

Figure 88 DS2015_131_006 Guardian Statue pro

The Guardian of the Valleys sculpture, Six Bells Colliery, Abertillery, was designed and created by artist Sebastien Boyesen and was constructed from over 20,000 strips of steel welded together. (DS2015_131_006, NPRN 421326)

 

Gwent Cover

Front cover of The Archaeology of Upland Gwent.

08/03/2016

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