17 October at 6.30pm. A Tour of the National Roman Legion Museum Caerleon with curator Dr Mark Lewis.
Mark will show us the museum exhibits and tell us about the latest research concerning the Roman soldier who was born and grew up in our area. Mark will also tell us about the future plans for the museum.
Sat 13 July 2013: Day trip by coach to Montgomery with Jeremy Knight. There will be a coffee and comfort stop on the way.
The Castle: Jeremy excavated Montgomery Castle in the 1960s. Entrance to the castle is free. The castle stands on a rocky promontory above the town of Montgomery. Precipitous slopes to the north and east made this an excellent defensive site. It was built by Henry III in 1223 and given to Hubert de Burgh in 1228. Held by the Mortimers in the fourteenth century, it was later demolished on the order of Parliament after the Civil War. There is a steep climb up to the castle which is situated overlooking the town. The views are stunning. For archaeological excavations see Archaeologia Cambrensis 1992, 97-180.
Montgomery Museum: The Old Bell, a 16th century inn, has been converted into a local history museum by Montgomery Civic Society. Run by volunteers, it is the winner of a Prince of Wales Award. There is an entrance fee of £1.
St Nicholas’s Parish Church: The parish church was founded in the first half of the 13th century and has an ornate rood screen, misericords and stalls. In the south transept is the Elizabethan monument to Richard Herbert of Montgomery Castle, father of poet and Anglican divine George Herbert, Richard’s grandson, the last Herbert to have lived at Montgomery Castle, was buried in the church in 1655.
Lunch can be taken at the Dragon Hotel, but there are cafés and restaurants in this small town, or you can bring sandwiches.
On the way back we will stop at Ludlow where you can wander around and have tea.
Tues. 18 JUNE 2013: A visit to Cineworld, Newport to see ‘Pompeii Live’ a film produced by the British Museum for Cinemas.
You can visit Cineworld, Newport at 7pm to see ‘Pompeii Live’ a film about the wonders of the exhibition from the comfort of the cinema, based on the ‘Life and Death in Pompei and Herculaneum’ exhibition at the British Museum. The address of the cinema is Newport Retail Park, Spytty Road. ACTION: To book at Cineworld, tel. Newport on 08712002000. It is expensive at £12.10 for a senior ticket as compared with £15 entry to the actual exhibition.
Sat. 2 May 2013.
Eighteen members travelled to Gloucester Cathedral by coach for the Stained Glass Window Study Day. The weather was superb, but some members forgot that the inside of a cathedral can be very cold and one member was found warming her feet under the hand dryer – quite a physical feat!
After tea and coffee the lectures began and were of a very high standard. In the morning we looked at the medieval glass in the cathedral which contained more white than the contrasting brightly coloured Victorian glass which we studied in the afternoon. Lunch was in the Parliament room which allowed us to sit at circular tables, each one hosted by one of our guides.
By the time the tours were over we felt that we had learned a great deal and had also very much enjoyed each other’s company. After the study day ended, we spent an hour in the sun walking around Gloucester before leaving for home at 5pm. The information we had acquired would be useful when viewing stained glass in the future and we all agreed that the day had been most enjoyable. This was very much Keith Underwood’s day, as it was his suggestion that we took advantage of the study day and on the way home lectures continued as Keith gave us a talk about what could be seen from the bus windows. For him it was a well worn trail and we all benefited from his knowledge.
The Annual General Meeting took place on Sat 27th April at Caerleon Endowed Junior School Hall at 2pm. The 2013 journal was available for collection at the AGM. The speaker, Dr Madeleine Gray, gave a talk entitled -
‘Memory and Mortality: the Medieval Tombstones of Monmouthshire?’
Fri. 6 December 2013: Social at our Secretary’s and Treasurer’s home
As usual we finished the year with a social and the members who attended not only had a pleasurable evening, but helped raise money for the association.
Saturday, 23 November: A Local Archaeological/History Day, in conjunction with the local history and archaeological societies.
More details will become available later and letters/emails will be sent to out to historical and archaeological societies. Please contact us if you are a member of a society that would like to take part.
This is a new venture for the MAA. The aim is to provide a venue for local societies to meet and exchange information which adds to our collective historical knowledge. Needless to say the day will be reported in the events section of The Monmouthshire Antiquary and displayed on the MAA website.
There will be two anchor lectures concerning Caerleon.
Dr Peter Guest, of Cardiff University will give an update on the on the recent Caerleon excavations
Dr Mark Lewis curator of The National Roman Legionary Museum will talk about the recent facial reconstruction of the Roman soldier’s skull which can be viewed in the museum on the same day.
Lunch can be taken in the many Caerleon hostelries and morning coffee and afternoon tea and cakes will be available at a small charge in the Endowed School.
Societies will be invited to book a table for the day at a cost of £5 and display information about their association. This cost is aimed at covering the hire of the hall for the day. Societies can also book a period of time to give a short talk about their association and discuss any projects they have undertaken that year.
Saturday 5 October: A Tour of Newport Museum with curator, Oliver Blackmore. 2pm and 3pm There will be two tours as Oliver feels 15 at a time is best. Please indicate which tour you want to take part in, by contacting us. The museum holds the finds of the Caerwent excavations some of which were undertaken by our Association. The museum needs your support so please join us on the day.
September date to be arranged: Day visit by coach to Malmesbury and Badminton House. (Only 30 people): If you are interested could you please let us know. We will then advise you of the details as soon as they are finalised.
Malmesbury: Here we will view the Abbey which dominates the town. Only a third of the abbey has survived, but in the Middle Ages the building had a spire which was higher than Salisbury Cathedral’s. Malmesbury was founded as a Benedictine monastery around 676 AD by the scholar-poet Aldhelm. In 941 AD, King Athelstan was buried in the Abbey. By the 11th century it contained the second largest library in Europe. Malmesbury is the oldest borough in England, with a charter given by Alfred the Great around 880.
Lunch: There is plenty to see in this attractive town and many places to have lunch.
Afternoon Badminton: Arrive at 2pm at Badminton where we will be shown round the house and see documents in their collection that are relevant to Monmouthshire. This is a very special visit and they have gone to a lot of trouble to provide a viewing of relevant documents. Please inform us if you want to be placed on the list – remember only 30 can be accommodated. We will contact you about cost when we have the details.
Wednesday 14 August, 11am: Early medieval site of Dinas Powys, with Dr Alan Lane from Cardiff University (Map Reference ST17SW)
Dinas Powys is a key site in south Wales, and an example of a court or Llys which were often placed within former hill forts. Dinas Powys hill fort was the seat of minor Welsh kings of the 5th-7th centuries. Leslie Alcock excavated the site in the 1950s but more recently it has been excavated by Alan Lane and Andy Seaman. Finds include large amounts of pottery-wine amphorae and fine table wares from Greece, Turkey, Syria and France plus evidence for fine metalworking. This was quite unexpected for a period thought to be one of isolation after the end of Roman rule, but which has since been illuminated by archaeology. There are substantial complicated earthworks on the site.
Please let us know if you are coming as so that we will know if we need to wait for you at the assembly point. The access is by a footpath from the south-east. Park on or near Millbrook Road. We will assemble at the junction of Millbrook road and Pen y Turnpike Road. The footpath runs from this junction north-west. There is a 10/15 minute walk past the castle to Cwm George at the western side of the hill. There is a short sharp climb up a wood revetted path – which can be slippery when wet. The first part of site at the top of this path encompasses Tyn y Coed enclosure (Alcock’s ‘Southern Banks’). Then we will walk for 5 minutes (normal fit adult) along flat path to the main hillfort site – Alcock’s Dinas Powys fort.
Directions to meeting place: Come off the M4 Motorway at junction 33 and take the A 4232 which goes past St Fagans and merges into the A 4050 Port Road on the way to Cardiff Bay. 6 miles from the motorway take the turn off to Cardiff City Stadium, and follow the signs around the roundabout, with Asda is on your left, for Dinas Powys. You go left back under the Port Road and up Leckwith Hill. After about a mile up Leckwith Hill there is a turning right to Dinas Powys, but unfortunately it is not sign posted. 1½ miles along this road called Pen-y-Turnpike you come to a road on the left called Millbrook Road, just before St Peter’s Church which is on the right. Park where you can and just opposite Millbrook Road you will see us gathering at the start to the foot path that leads up to the site. We will provide a map if you need one.
Lunch: We can lunch in Dinas Powys. There are several eating places such as The Star, The Three Horseshoes, The Crosskeys and The Huntsman restaurant.
At 2.00pm we will assemble in Llandough Churchyard where Jeremy Knight will talk about the site and the tenth-century pillar cross. We will provide directions on the day.
The Church of St Dochwy was rebuilt in 1865 and stands on an elevated site near Dinas Powys. A Roman Villa was found close to the churchyard 2nd-4th century. The church site was probably the site of St Dochwy’s monastery and is a text book example of the relationship between a high status secular site such as Dinas Powys and an ecclesiastical site such as Llandough. The tenth-century pillar cross in the churchyard is identical to the cross found at Llandaff and so relates to the rise of Llandaff as a monastery and the eclipse of St Dochwy’s monastery. These two sites illustrate the development of society following the decline of Roman control.