Wales-wide drought reveals further lost archaeological monuments

As the drought across Wales continues, new and long-vanished archaeological sites continue to appear in fields of ripening crops and parched grassland. Attempting to survey and photograph all the different regions of Wales requires long hours in the cockpit for Toby and the pilot. All flights start at Haverfordwest Airport in Pembrokeshire with stopovers made for fuel at Caernarfon, Welshpool or even Gloucester airports to extend sorties to the corners of Wales.

Parts of north Wales are exceptionally dry, yielding wide-spreading cropmarks of Bronze Age barrows and prehistoric settlements across the Llyn Peninsula. A newly discovered early medieval cemetery of square barrows seen in south Gwynedd is a very rare monument type for Wales.

In south Wales early crops of wheat are nearly fully ripened meaning archaeological marks seen a week ago have nearly vanished. Elsewhere later crops still have a couple of weeks to ripen but are already showing ‘green on green’ cropmarks of prehistoric settlements. There was a surprise in the Vale of Glamorgan where severe drought at a known prehistoric settlement showed new cropmarks of a Roman villa within its modified ramparts; we know of Roman villas built within prehistoric settlements elsewhere at Whitton Lodge and Trelissey but this is a new example.

Dr Toby Driver, Senior Aerial Investigator, said; ‘I’ve not seen conditions like this since I took over the archaeological flying at the Royal Commission in 1997. So much new archaeology is showing it is incredible; the urgent work in the air now will lead to months of research in the office in the winter months to map and record all the sites which have been seen, and reveal their true significance.’

STAY UP TO DATE WITH HERITAGE NEWS IN WALES

Join the e-mailing list to receive regular updates.. It’s free!

Click here to search Coflein for cropmarks in Wales

 

1 – Desert-like colours along the Menai Strait near Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

1 – Desert-like colours along the Menai Strait near Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

Cropmarks Gallery: Clues under the Landscape

 

2 – Cropmarks of a large Bronze Age barrow cemetery on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

2 – Cropmarks of a large Bronze Age barrow cemetery on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

3 – Parchmarks of Roman buildings showing at Caerhun Roman fort in the Conwy Valley (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

3 – Parchmarks of Roman buildings showing at Caerhun Roman fort in the Conwy Valley (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/95640/details/canoviumkanovium-roman-military-settlement-caerhun

 

4 – Extensive cropmarks of prehistoric enclosures in parched grassland on the Llyn Peninsula (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

4 – Extensive cropmarks of prehistoric enclosures in parched grassland on the Llyn Peninsula (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

5 – Faint but unmistakable cropmarks of newly-discovered early medieval square barrows, south Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

5 – Faint but unmistakable cropmarks of newly-discovered early medieval square barrows, south Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

6 – The parched landscape of Bardsey Island (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

6 – The parched landscape of Bardsey Island (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/402783/details/bardsey-islandynys-enlli

 

7 – Cropmarks of a large prehistoric enclosure in the Vale of Glamorgan, with the faint footings of a probable Roman villa within (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

7 – Cropmarks of a large prehistoric enclosure in the Vale of Glamorgan, with the faint footings of a probable Roman villa within (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

8 – An Iron Age farmstead near Whitland in Carmarthenshire (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

8 – An Iron Age farmstead near Whitland in Carmarthenshire (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

9 – A newly-discovered Iron Age farmstead in coastal Ceredigion (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

9 – A newly-discovered Iron Age farmstead in coastal Ceredigion (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

10 – Stopping for fuel and lunch at Caernarfon Airport in the FlyWales 4-seater Cessna aircraft (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

10 – Stopping for fuel and lunch at Caernarfon Airport in the FlyWales 4-seater Cessna aircraft (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

 

In pictures: A Collection of 28 Fascinating Drawings of Historic Monuments

 

July 11, 2018

Leave a Reply

16 Comments on "Wales-wide drought reveals further lost archaeological monuments"

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Jeanie Delgado
Guest

This is so interesting! I live in the US! We are finding many ruins and artifacts here. nothing like these.

Alan David JAMES
Guest

To the east (about 300mtrs) of the firing points on the target range between the Cynon and Clydach valleys (above Mountain Ash) there is a small ruin which, when I was a kid, was purported to be an iron age site. It would be interesting to find out if there is anything else there. Especially since historical sites are so sparse in the area.

reid
Guest

here is a possibly useful tip re doing aerial photography from a C-172 or 182: if you remove the screw that attaches the bar that limits the swing of the door window frame, the slipstream will hold the window against the wing and fully open. this will allow increased freedom of movement of camera when taking photos through the open window. and you won’t need to be concerned about smudges of dirt on the plexiglas.

tim jones
Guest

has anyone flown a drone over Bodfari/St Asaph area to try to discover the lost Roman fort of Varae?!

Tom Pert
Admin

Hi Tim, we did survey over St Asaph in the aircraft in July with just that purpose in mind, but failed to see any evidence of the Roman site.

A Saakes
Guest

Please come to Holland and make photos of limburg, that would be great !
Just to see the roman sites.
And because Holland does not do anything like this
You are doing excellent work !!

Gen
Guest

Recruit some drone enthusiasts, pronto!

Emily Horton-Jones
Guest

Would like to see a picture the shadow of a castle ruin near Twyn.

Alan
Guest

and the Roman watch tower. Romans in Tywyn I cannot believe it!

Faith Fhain
Guest

Nice… Thanks for sharing,

Rich Bowyer
Guest

Fabulous

Bev Reaney
Guest

Can’t seem to find on the site any photos of the Roman site between Caerwent and Caerleon?

Toby
Guest

The photo of the fortlet between Caerwent and Caerleon was in the earlier post about cropmarks

Carolyn Hunt
Guest

Fascinating discoveries – great work. It’s a pity that there weren’t the opportunities to explore further up some of the major rivers, e.g. the Towy and Teifi, the latter having many known sites near its banks, where others must surely exist.

Anthony Hanna
Guest

This is fantastic information, adding to the story of Wales and Britain. Great work.

Anthony Hanna
Guest

This is fantastic stuff, well done.

STAY UP TO DATE WITH HERITAGE NEWS IN WALES

Join the e-mailing list to receive regular updates.. It's free!

Latest tweets