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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil Community archaeological field evaluation April 2017

A report for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council By Charlotte James-Martin BA (Hons) ACIfA and Paul W Huckfield BA (Hons)

GGAT report no. 2017/031 Project no. P1854 National Grid Reference: SO 04314 07751

The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd Heathfield House Heathfield Swansea SA1 6EL


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Contents

Page

Summary ........................................................................................................................ 2 Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... 2 Copyright notice............................................................................................................. 2 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 3 1.1 Project background ........................................................................................ 3 1.2 Location and geology..................................................................................... 3 1.3 Historical and archaeological background ..................................................... 4 2. Methodology ......................................................................................................... 7 3. Results ................................................................................................................... 8 4. Finds .................................................................................................................... 19 5. Volunteers ........................................................................................................... 20 5.1 Volunteering strategy ................................................................................... 20 5.2 Volunteer feedback ...................................................................................... 20 6. Conclusions ......................................................................................................... 25 Appendix I: Inventory of contexts ............................................................................ 27 Appendix II: Inventory of finds ................................................................................ 29

Figures Figure 1. Location of trenches (red) ..............................................................................6 Figure 2. Plan of trenches in Northern Area ..............................................................17 Figure 3. Plan of Trench 7 ...........................................................................................18

Plates Plate 1. Section of Trench 1, view to the south (Scale in 0.5m increments) ...............8 Plate 2. Section of Trench 2, view to the south west (Scale in 0.5m increments) ......9 Plate 3. Section of Trench 3, view to the north west (Scale in 0.5m increments) ......9 Plate 4. Section of Trench 4, view to the south west (Scale in 0.5m increments) ....10 Plate 5. View of excavated feature 402, view to the south west (Scale in 0.5m increments) ........................................................................................................ 10 Plate 6. Section of Trench 5, view to the north (Scale in 0.5m increments).............11 Plate 7. Features 502, 504 and 506, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments) ...12 Plate 8. Possible field boundary 511, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments) .12 Plate 9. Wall 603, view to the west. (Scale in 0.5m increments)................................13 Plate 10. Possible surface 612, view to the south. (Scale in 0.5m increments) .........13 Plate 11. Trench 6 extension showing deposit 605, view to the west. (Scale in 0.5m increments) ........................................................................................................14 Plate 12. Compact stone deposit 601, view to the south. (Scale in 0.5m increments) .............................................................................................................................14 Plate 13. Trench 7, view to the north. (Scale in 0.5m increments) ...........................15 Plate 14. Stone capped drain 702, view to the north. (Scale in 0.5m increments) ...16 Plate 15. Drain 703, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments) .............................16 Plate 16. Two examples of the publicity used to promote the project ......................21

Front cover: Photographs of the community excavation ďƒ“GGAT


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Summary The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust carried out an archaeological field evaluation of two areas within the grounds of Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil. The evaluation was carried out in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC) and Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust (MTLT) with the assistance of members of the public of all ages. The field work was undertaken from 22nd August to 4th September 2016. During the course of the evaluation structural remains of the Bryn-cae-owen Farm, noted on a 1766 estate plan, was revealed within the northern group of trenches. Additionally, a fruitful assemblage of multi-period finds was also recovered from all areas under excavation. Whilst one of the main objectives of the evaluation was to investigate the potential for Roman structural remains, no structural remains of this date were discovered. The archaeological work was carried out to the professional standards laid down by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Acknowledgements The project was managed by Richard Lewis BA MCIfA (Head of Projects). The fieldwork was undertaken by Charlotte James-Martin BA ACIfA (Project Officer), Paul Huckfield BA (Outreach Officer), Jon Burton BA MA PCIfA (Project Archaeologist), Sarahjayne Clements BA MA PCIfA (Project Archaeologist) Daria Dabal MA (Project Archaeologist) of GGAT Projects. The report was prepared Charlotte James-Martin and Paul Huckfield and the illustrations prepared by Charlotte James-Martin. Copyright notice The copyright of this report is held by Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd; GGAT has granted an exclusive licence to MTCBC and their agents to use and reproduce the material it contains. Ordnance Survey mapping is reproduced under licence (AL10005976), unless otherwise noted. Annotations are GGAT copyright. Abbreviations GGAT:

Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust

HER:

Historic Environment Record (curated by GGAT Curatorial)

HLCA:

Historic Landscape Characterisation Area (Cadw and ICOMOS UK 1998).

LB:

Listed Building

MTCBC:

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

MTLT:

Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust

NGR:

National Grid Reference

PGW:

Registered Park and Garden in Wales (Cadw and ICOMOS UK 1998)

PRN:

Primary Record Number (HER - indicated by a letter suffix, in this case ‘m’)

SAM:

Scheduled Ancient Monument (prefixed by the letters MM) 2


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Introduction 1.1 Project background Evidence for Roman activity within Merthyr Tydfil was first discovered in 1786 during the construction of Penydarren House, when Roman bricks and a tessellated pavement were revealed. Further discoveries during limited excavations at Penydarren Park in 1902 – 4 and in 1957 confirmed the existence of a Roman fort. Discoveries outside the fort have been limited to three cremation urns, a tessellated surface and a Roman bath-house. Whilst Roman forts are frequently found with an associated civilian settlement nearby, no civilian settlement had ever been located until a local historian and metal detectorist noticed extensive, unusual-looking rectangular crop-marks on aerial photographs of Cyfartha Park. This information was brought to the attention of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust who confirmed that the crop marks had the potential to be Roman in origin. In March 2016 the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Projects Department (GGAT Projects) undertook a grant aided (Cadw, MTCBC, MTLT and Merthyr Valley Homes) community geophysical survey over the area of crop-marked fields amounting to 9.6 hectares within Cyfarthfa Park in order to establish the full extent and form of the potential buried features identified on the aerial photographs (Lewis and Roberts 2016). However, the results of the geophysical survey provided little supporting evidence for Roman settlement in the area, although it did identify the potential for features associated with pre-parkland landscape of the area, and features such as the early post-medieval dwelling at Bryn Cae Owenw. The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Projects Department were commissioned by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC) and Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust (MTLT) to carry out an archaeological field evaluation with the assistance of members of the local community to try and determine the origins of the crop marks and geophysical anomalies. The evaluation was carried out between the 22nd August and 4th September 2016. The social purposes of the project were to connect local residents with the archaeology of their area, while increasing general employability and engagement by providing them with new skills and the opportunity to take part in group activity. The project reflects a partnership with MTCBC, MTLT and Cyfarthfa Park, and is located within Communities First and a WG Pioneer Area. It will help to deliver certain objectives of the Historic Environment Strategy for Wales, notably in the areas of skills development in the community, interpretation and engagement, and volunteering and participation. The archaeological work was carried out to the professional standards laid down by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. 1.2 Location and geology 1.2.1 The area subject to the evaluation lay within the upper part of Cyfarthfa Castle Park (NPRN 301660; II* registered parks and gardens GM1) over an area of landscaped fields currently open to the public to the north east of the castle. The trenches to the north were centred at SO 04314 07751 and the trenches to the south were centred at SO 04674 07363 (Figure 1). The underlying geology is the Bishopston Mudstone Formation in the north of the area, and the South Wales Lower Coal Measures of sandstone in the south. These were overlain by a deposit of Devensian till (BGS 2016). 3


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

1.3 Historical and archaeological background The first evidence for Roman occupation in Merthyr Tydfil was noted in 1786 during the construction of Penydarren House for the ironmaster Samuel Homfrey when both Roman bricks and tessellated pavement were revealed. Later, between 1902 and 1904 during the preparatory groundworks for construction of the Merthyr Tydfil Athletics Club track and later football ground, the remains of a Roman granary, a building with a hypocaust system and a water-well were discovered. Following an analysis by Dr F Haverfield of Oxford University, it was concluded that the remains probably belonged to a Roman Fort (James 1906). Rescue excavations were later undertaken in 1957 in advance of housing development by Dr Brenda Heywood from the University of Cardiff, supported by university students and pupils from a local school (Heywood 1991). This revealed a corner of the fort’s defences, including a rampart consisting of an 8.25m wide clay and turf bank 8.25m, possibly standing at 1.6m above a stone base with two ditches, 3.96m and 3.05m wide respectively, separated by a berm 2.74m wide. In addition, a small section of possible via sagularis was found within the east rampart and evidence for two ovens in the intervallum (the area found between perimeter road and rampart). Civilian settlement in a vicus, including domestic and industrial activity, is often associated with forts of this type. However, with the exception of the remains of a bathhouse and three Roman cremation urns, little evidence of such a settlement had been discovered at Merthyr until recently. The excavated evidence suggested that the fort has two phases of building and was occupied until c.AD 140. However, there has recently been a substantial number of artefacts discovered in the Merthyr Tydfil area to suggest that the Roman occupation possibly continued there until at least the early 4th century. No confirmed civil settlement of Roman date has yet been identified within the vicinity of Penydarren Fort, or Merthyr Tydfil. The previous geophysical work was designed to investigate finds and features noted on aerial photographic images that were suggestive of potential buried Roman settlement remains. A recent archaeological evaluation and archaeological watching brief at Penydarren Park has found further material relating to the Roman fort, including pottery and structures, including a likely track (Hart and James, 2014; GGAT Forthcoming). Prior to incorporation within Cyfarthfa Park upon the construction of the Castle c.1824, the agricultural use of the land is recorded on an estate plan of 1766, which shows the area largely within the holding of ‘Bryn Kae Owen’ (Bryn Cae Owen) to the north and partly within that of ‘Gwyld y Du Garth’ (Gwaelod-y-Garth) to the south (Lewis and Roberts 2016). Below is a summary of Cyfarthfa Castle and Park from Historic landscape characterisation: Merthyr Tydfil: ‘The historic landscape area of Cyfarthfa Castle and Park is a nationally important 19th century historic park and garden, representing a mature designed landscape, graded as II* (GM1/301660/02442m) (Cadw/ICOMOS UK 1998, 95). The house (a Grade I Listed Building LB11396/18504/01089m) is an important example of an iron master’s seat within its parkland setting, with important historic and artistic associations. The house was commissioned by William Crawshay in 1825, and was designed by Robert Lugar as a mock castle’ (Roberts 2003).

The area is also characterised by its historical connectivity with the adjacent Cyfarthfa Ironworks (GM425/1169m) and the wider extractive landscapes beyond, strongly demonstrated by the paintings of Penry Williams and photographs of the mid-19th century. 4


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Initially, the surrounding parkland was Romantic and informal, but by the late 19th century a more formal layout as a landscape park had developed. There were two entrances, the southwest entrance originally had lodges but these had gone by 1873. The areas behind the house, to the east and north, have developed as mixed woodland. The 1875 6-inch OS map indicated an Ice House adjacent to the boundary wall of Castle Wood, north of the house (405524/06428m). More recently, following the sale of the park to Merthyr Tydfil Council in 1910, the area has been developed for a range of later recreational and educational uses; including tennis courts, and a bowling green. Cyfarthfa Castle until recently performed the dual function of school and museum, however following the closure of the school in now exclusively in use as a museum.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Trench 5 Trench 6 Trench 4

Test Trench 1

Trench 7

Trench 3 Trench 2

GRID N

0

Based on the Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Landplan with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Š Crown Copyright, Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd, Licence number AL10005976 100m

Trench 1

200metres

Figure 1. Location of trenches (red)

6


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

2. Methodology The trenches were set out using a Leica GPS SmartRover to the positions agreed in the project design (James-Martin 2016). The evaluation consisted of eight trenches, six initially measuring 20m by 2m with some extensions to investigate features of further interest. The seventh measured 2m by 2m and the final test trench measured 1.2m by 1.5m. The initial excavations of Trenches 1-6 were conducted by machine to remove any turf and topsoil deposits. When archaeologically significant deposits were encountered, they were then excavated by hand. Trench 7 and Test Trench 1 were excavated entirely by hand Trenches 1-6 were grouped over two primary areas of interest identified by the previous geophysical survey. The trenches to the north (Trenches 4-6, centred at SO 04314 07751) were over the Bryn-cae-owen Farm which appears on a 1766 estate map. This farm is thought to have medieval or early Post-medieval origins. The trenches to the south (Trenches 1-3, centred at SO 04674 07363) were sited over an anomaly picked out by the geophysical survey. Trench 7 and Test Trench 1 were located over an area highlighted by local metal detectorists as the position of a wall briefly exposed during their activities. The work was undertaken to the standard required by The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Excavation (2014). A full written, drawn and photographic record was made of all archaeological contexts, in accordance with the GGAT Manual of Excavation Recording Techniques. Contexts were recorded using a single continuous numbering system, and are summarised in Appendix I. All significant contexts were photographed using a Sony Cybershot DSC – H300 (20mp) digital camera. An archive of records relating to the preparation of the reports has been prepared to the specifications in Management of Archaeological Projects (English Heritage, 1991) Appendix 6 and ICON’s and CIfA guidelines Standard and guidance for the creation, compilation, transfer and deposition of archaeological archives (2014). After an appropriate period has elapsed, copies of the report and archive index will be deposited with the regional Historic Environment Record (HER). A copy of the report and archive index will also be deposited with the National Monuments Record, RCAHMW, Aberystwyth.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

3. Results Trench 1 Trench 1 measured approximately 20m by 2m and was aligned north to south (Plate 1). The basal deposit of consisted of an orange yellow natural sandy clay (103) with subangular stones of all sizes. It was excavated to a maximum depth of 0.75m, although this deposit was not bottomed. This was overlain by a deposit of light brown sandy clay (102) that had a depth of 0.19m and contained a moderate amount of variously sized stones. The uppermost deposit encountered was the dark brown sandy clay loam topsoil (1001) which had a depth of between 0.1m-0.29m.

Plate 1. Section of Trench 1, view to the south (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Trench 2 Trench 2 measured approximately 20m by 2m and was aligned northwest to southeast (Plate 2). The basal deposit encountered was a yellow orange natural sandy clay (202) which was excavated to a maximum depth of 0.7m but not bottomed. Overlying the natural was a light grey deposit of sandy clay (201) which had a depth of 0.2m. Deposit 201 contained inclusions of coal. The uppermost deposit encountered was again the sandy clay topsoil (1001).

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Plate 2. Section of Trench 2, view to the southwest (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Trench 3 Trench 3 measured approximately 20m by 2m and was aligned northeast to southwest (Plate 3). The basal deposit encountered was an orange brown sandy clay (302) which was excavated to a maximum depth of 0.4m but not bottomed. This was overlain by a deposit of mid brown silty clay subsoil (301) which contained isolated sub-angular and subrounded stones. Deposit 301 measured 0.15m in depth. This was overlain by topsoil deposit 1001.

Plate 3. Section of Trench 3, view to the northwest (Scale in 0.5m increments)

9


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Trench 4 (Figure 2) Trench 4 measured approximately 20m by 2m and was aligned northwest to southeast with an extension along the northwest edge (Plates 4 and 5). The basal deposit encountered was a light brown silty clay (401), possibly the natural clay deposit. This measured 0.2m in depth and contained a moderate amount of angular stones. It also contained flecks of charcoal.

Plate 4. Section of Trench 4, view to the southwest (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Cutting deposit 401 along the north western edge of the trench was a sub-circular feature (402), possibly a pit or post-hole (Plate 5). It measured 0.57m by 0.52m and was 0.29m in depth. The fill of this feature was a dark brown silty clay deposit (403) containing charcoal and a single piece of ceramic. The uppermost deposit was a dark brown silty clay loam topsoil with an average depth of 0.3m.

Plate 5. View of excavated feature 402, view to the southwest (Scale in 0.5m increments)

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Trench 5 (Figure 2) Trench 5 measured approximately 20m by 2m and was aligned east to west with extensions along its northern, southern and eastern edges. The basal deposit was a light brown silty clay (510) with occasional angular stone of various sizes (Plate 6).

Plate 6. Section of Trench 5, view to the north (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Deposit (510) was cut by multiple features: The first feature (502) was a possible posthole that measured 0.18m by 0.2m. The fill of this feature was a deposit of grey brown silty clay with flecks of charcoal and coal (503). To the south of 502 were two more possible post-holes also cutting deposit 510 (Plate 7). Both features (504 and 506) measured 0.1m by 0.18m and contained fills of grey brown silty clay (505 and 507). At the far western end of the trench was a possible pit (508) which measured 0.4m by 0.24m and was sub-rounded in shape. This feature contained deposit 509 which was a dark brown silty clay.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Plate 7. Features 502, 504 and 506, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Overlying deposit 510 was the remains of a possible field boundary constructed of sparsely laid stone of varying sizes, up to 0.5m by 0.5m (511). This was excavated for a length of 3.0m with a maximum width of 1.6m (Plate 8). Overlying features 502 to 508 and 511 was a light brown silty clay subsoil with a maximum depth of 0.2m (501), the uppermost deposit was the topsoil (101).

Plate 8. Possible field boundary 511, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Trench 6 (Figure 2) Trench 6 measured approximately 20m by 2m with an extension along its western edge and was aligned north to south. The basal deposit was a natural orange brown silty clay (611). This was excavated to a maximum depth of 0.4m. Overlying this deposit was a stone built wall (603) aligned east to west, which was exposed for 2.0m (Plate 9). The wall measured 0.5m in width and had a remaining height of 0.23m. The wall was situated within a dark brown silty clay which included high quantities of mortar. Adjoining the wall to the south was a possible floor surface (612). The exposed area of these irregular flat stones measured 2.0m east to west by 1.2m north to south (Plate 10).

Plate 9. Wall 603, view to the west. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Plate 10. Possible surface 612, view to the south. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Overlying surface (612) was a deposit of heat affected clay (605). It was an orange and black silty clay deposit containing coal and charcoal fragments with undefined limits (Plate 11). The thickness of the deposit varied up to a maximum of 0.1m.

Plate 11. Trench 6 extension showing deposit 605, view to the west. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Plate 12. Compact stone deposit 601, view to the south. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Overlying deposit 605 was a layer of redeposited clay (609). The extent of this deposit remains unknown, although it was found to have a maximum depth of 0.14m. Overlying deposit 609 was a grey brown silty clay loam (602) which was in turn overlain by a deposit of stony material (601). This deposit measured up to 4.0m in length north to south and 14


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

comprised frequent sub-angular stones up to 60mm in diameter held in a matrix of dark grey brown silty clay (Plate 12): This could possibly represent a floor surface. To the north of the wall was a deposit of grey brown silty loam exposed for 7.0m in length (604). This directly overlay the natural clay (611). The uppermost deposit was the topsoil (101). Trench 7 (Figure 3) The location around Trench 7 was originally investigated by the hand excavation of two 1m by 1m test trenches. Following the discovery of stonework, Test Trench 2 was expanded to 2m by 2m (becoming Trench 7). The basal deposit was the orange brown silty clay natural (704). Cutting this deposit were the construction cuts (705 and 706) for the construction of stone drains (702 and 703). Cut 705 contained stone drain 702 (Plates 13 and 14). Drain 702 was exposed for a length of 1.2m north to south, it was 0.55m in width externally, 0.15m internally and had a depth of 0.15m. It comprised two side walls and a stone capping. The cut 706 measured 0.8m in depth, 0.7m in width. The stone drain (703) contained within this cut (706) was exposed for a length of 2.2m north east to south west, was 0.6m in width externally, 0.28m internally and was 0.8m in depth (Plates 13 and 15). This drain had a similar form to 702 at the base however the upper part of the structure comprised irregularly laid stone. It is unclear whether drain 702 fed into 703 or if the construction of 703 truncated 702. Overlying both stone structures was the mid brown silty clay subsoil (701), up to 0.2m in depth, which was overlain in turn by topsoil deposit 1001.

Plate 13. Trench 7, view to the north. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Plate 14. Stone capped drain 702, view to the north. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

Plate 15. Drain 703, view to the east. (Scale in 0.5m increments)

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Trench 6 604

603

Trench 5

510

502 511

508

510

504

605

506

601

Trench 4 401

GRID

0

5.00

402

10.00metres

N

Figure 2. Plan of trenches in Northern Area

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

702 704

702 704

703

704

GRID

0

0.5

Figure 3. Plan of Trench 7

18

1.00metres

N


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

4. Finds A sizeable assemblage of finds was recovered during the course of the evaluation. The vast majority of assemblage consisted of Post-medieval and Modern pottery and glass, mostly recovered from the topsoil. Perhaps surprisingly, the only Roman material recovered was a single Roman coin and two sherds of Roman pottery from subsoil 701. As this context also contained significant amounts of Post-medieval and modern finds, it is evident that this deposit has been disturbed or redeposited, probably with farming activity and or the later landscaping of the park. Similarly, although two fragments of medieval pottery were also found (one each from contexts 501 and 602), these contexts contained substantial amounts of Postmedieval and Modern material, again indicating that these subsoil deposits had been disturbed or redeposited. On the other hand, during the course of the evaluation, no fewer than 17 separate worked flints were recovered from trenches 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7. The majority again were found either in topsoil contexts or in contexts where Post-medieval finds have also been discovered, although this could be due to disturbance relating to farming or the later landscaping of the park. Nevertheless, the number of flints is suggestive of some prehistoric activity nearby. Additionally, a large number of undated finds, mainly iron, were also discovered during the course of the work. An inventory of these finds has been included in Appendix II.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

5. Volunteers Merthyr has seen a number of community projects over the past few years. In 2015 the Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association funded the Redhouse (Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall) Youth Forum with support from GGAT, targeting young people aged 14 to 18 years old in order to promote the past life of the town and to foster a sense of community responsibility for the areas heritage. More recently, the Trust undertook a community geophysical survey within the park (Lewis and Roberts 2016), which formed the precursor to the present project. 5.1 Volunteering strategy The recruitment for the project was carried out by Merthyr Leisure Trust and was through local historical societies, social media and existing electronic circulation (Plate 16). The Leisure Trust consulted with GGAT concerning a volunteering strategy and timetable. The rota allowed the volunteers to have a short experience of the archaeological process. One of the main aims of the project was to engage and recruit significant numbers of new volunteers with no previous experience. For the purposes of planning the project, figures of skilled: unskilled volunteers were projected of 40%:60%; this closely mirrored the actual outcome (see Table 1 below). It was also considered that as the project was located within the centre of the Merthyr Tydfil Communities First Cluster, this would allow us to deliver our goal of upskilling participants and address a number of objectives in the Cadw Community Archaeology Framework Action Plan. Archaeological activities undertaken by the volunteers include: 

Use of Global Positioning System survey equipment

Basic archaeological excavation techniques

Levelling using an automatic level

Basic sampling

Photography

Archaeological recording (both drawing and written context sheets)

Finds washing/processing

5.2 Volunteer feedback Feedback forms recording the success or failure of the event and level of training provided were provided each day, the results of which are included in a table below (see table 2). Also depicted are the geographic location of the volunteers to better understand the demographic of volunteers attending.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Plate 16. Two examples of the publicity used to promote the project

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Table 1: Percentage of New and Returning Volunteers to the Project.

Table 2: Fieldwork Feedback (Data taken from feedback forms).

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Merthyr

Aberdare

Caerphilly

Pontypridd

Blackwood

Swansea

Cardiff

Rhondda

Neath

Newport

Other

Table 3: Geographic location of adult volunteers (taken from registration forms)

Powys

Carmarthenshire

Kingston Upon Thames

Canada

Table 4: Geographic location of volunteers from outside of the GGAT area

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Overall the feedback from those attending were very positive with a healthy percentage of those that filled in the feedback forms stating that they would happily attend another event. Below is a sample of the feedback recorded.

‘We thoroughly enjoyed the experience myself and my 4 year old son and my son is now more interested in archaeology than ever…’ ‘Thoroughly impressed, we were made to feel very welcome and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely’ ’Both children, aged 9 and 5 years, really enjoyed the experience they are requesting to return again tomorrow’

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

6. Conclusions The main aim of the project was to investigate the possibility of Roman activity in the vicinity of Cyfartha Park, north of the known fort at Penydarren. However, despite the large number of Roman discoveries by metal detectorists in the vicinity and the aerial photography analysis, no features of Roman date were discovered during the course of the evaluation, the recovered Roman material being limited to a single coin and two sherds of pottery (See Appendix II). The trenches in the southern area (Trenches 1-3), positioned to investigate a cropmark feature, revealed only natural stratigraphy. It is likely that the features originally highlighted on the aerial photographs could be explained by more recent superficial features, such as the cricket square identified on the geophysical survey report (Lewis and Roberts 2016). The trenches in the northern area (Trenches 4-6) showed great potential for the survival of buried structural remains relating to the farm buildings which once stood here. The wall and possible internal flooring in Trench 6 align with the 1766 estate plan as does the possible field boundary in Trench 5. Further investigation of the features exposed during the evaluation may reveal more information for dating these buildings, as would expanding the areas of investigation to uncover more of the structures associated with the farm. It appears after analysing the recovered artefacts that the wall (603) and the possible floor surface (612) were of Post-medieval date. Trench 7 showed well-made stone drains. However, these cannot be linked to other features in the area without further investigation to expose more of their routes or potentially any dating evidence held within. A number of flint artefacts were recovered, predominantly from the northern site (ten from the northern group of trenches and seven from the southern). Therefore, the potential for prehistoric features in the immediate area is an avenue worth investigating for future projects.

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Bibliography Cadw, 1998, Welsh Historic Monuments, Part 2.1: Landscapes of outstanding historic interest (Landscapes of historic interest in Wales. Part 2 of the Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in Wales) Sponsored by Cadw: Welsh historic monuments, the Countryside Council for Wales and ICOMOS UK Heywood B, 1991, The Roman Fort at Penydarren, Glamorgan, Bulletin Board of Celtic Studies 38, 167-91. James FT, 1906, Roman Remains: Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil, Archaeologia Cambrensis 6 (6th series), 193-208 James-Martin, 2016, Community Excavation at Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: archaeological field evaluation project design, GGAT Report no: 2016/048 Lewis S and Roberts R, 2016, GGAT 143: Community Survey at Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil, GGAT Report no: 2016/015 Roberts R, 2003, Historic landscape characterisation: Merthyr Tydfil/Merthyr Tudful Part 1 and 2: landscape characterisation and management, GGAT Report no: 2003/009 Websites: http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/ British Geological Survey accessed 21/09/2016. Documentary & Cartographic Sources Edward John Eyre, 1766, Plymouth Survey Estate Map Ordnance Survey 1:2500, 1875, First Edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500, 1904, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500, 1919, Third Edition

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Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Appendix I: Inventory of contexts Context 101 102

Type Deposit Deposit

Trench 4, 5, 6 1

103 201

Deposit Deposit

1 2

202 301

Deposit Deposit

2 3

302 401 402

Deposit Deposit Negative Feature

3 4 4

403

Deposit

4

501

Deposit

5

502

Negative Feature

5

503

Deposit

5

504

Negative Feature

5

505

Deposit

5

506

Negative Feature

5

507

Deposit

5

508

Negative Feature

5

509 510 511

Deposit Deposit Structure

5 5 5

601

Deposit

6

602

Deposit

6

603

Structure

6

604

Deposit

6

605

Deposit

6

606

Natural feature

6

Description Dark brown silty clay loam topsoil Light brown sandy clay subsoil contained occasional stone and coal inclusions Orange yellow sandy clay natural Light grey sandy clay subsoil with stone and coal inclusions Yellow orange sandy clay natural Mid brown silty clay subsoil with stone and coal fragments Orange brown sandy clay natural Light brown silty clay natural Cut for a possible post-hole or pit. Sub-oval in shape. Contains deposit 403 Dark brown silty clay fill of feature 402. Contained charcoal and a single piece of ceramic Light brown silty clay subsoil. Contained coal, charcoal and numerous artefacts Possible post-hole. Has a stone on the boundary. Feature could not be fully excavated due to the Trench becoming waterlogged. Grey brown silty clay fill of feature 502, contained flecks of coal and charcoal Possible post-hole. Feature could not be fully excavated due to the Trench becoming waterlogged. Grey brown silty clay fill of feature 504, contained flecks of coal and charcoal Possible post-hole. Feature could not be fully excavated due to the Trench becoming waterlogged. Grey brown silty clay fill of feature 506, contained flecks of coal and charcoal Possible pit, sub-oval in shape. Feature could not be fully excavated due to the Trench becoming waterlogged. Dark brown silty clay fill of feature 509. Light brown silty clay Probable field boundary, exposed for a length of 3.0m with a maximum width of 1.6m. It was constructed of sparsely laid stone of varying sizes up to 0.5m by 0.5m. Compact stony material held in a dark grey brown silty clay matrix. Grey brown silty clay loam The lower courses of a stone wall, comprised angular stone held in a dark brown silty clay matrix with frequent pieces of lime mortar. Grey brown silty loam subsoil north of wall 603. Heat affected clay. Black and orange mottled deposit containing frequent coal and charcoal fragments A small stone linear feature (natural)

27

Depth 0.3m 0.19m

Period Modern Modern

0.75m n.b 0.2m

Natural Modern

0.7m n.b 0.15m

Natural Modern

0.4m 0.2m n.b 0.29m

Natural Natural Unknown

0.29m

Unknown

0.2m

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown 0.1 n.b 0.2m n.b

Unknown Unknown Postmedieval

0.1m

Postmedieval Postmedieval Postmedieval

Unknown 0.23m

Unknown 0.1m

-

Postmedieval Postmedieval -


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation 607

Deposit

6

First thought to be the fill of feature 608, further investigation revealed this to be part of 605. An apparent sub-rounded cut in 604, containing fill 607. However, fill 607 later proved to be part of 605, and the cut caused by overenthusiastic excavation. Layer of redeposited yellow brown silty clay which partially overlay heat affected clay deposit (603) Same as deposit 605 Orange brown silty clay natural Possible rough floor surface to the south of wall 605. Underlay heat affected clay deposit (603) Mid brown silty clay subsoil with stone, slag and coal fragments Stone capped drain, aligned north to south, exposed for a length of 1.2m

608

Negative Feature

6

609

Deposit

6

610 611 612

Deposit Deposit Structure

6 6 6

701

Deposit

7

702

Structure

7

703

Structure

7

704 705

Deposit Negative Feature

7 7

Stone drain, similar to 702 with a mass of stone on top, exposed for a length of 2.2m, possibly truncates 702. Orange brown natural clay deposit The construction cut for drain 702

706

Negative Feature

7

The construction cut for drain 703

1001

Deposit

1, 2, 3, 7

Dark brown sandy clay topsoil

28

0.15m

-

0.15m

-

0.14m

Postmedieval

0.4m n.b Unknown

Natural Postmedieval Modern

0.2m 0.15m

0.8m

Unknown 0.15m

0.29m (max)

Unknown/ Postmedieval? Unknown/ Postmedieval? Natural Unknown/ Postmedieval? Unknown/ Postmedieval? Modern


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

Appendix II: Inventory of finds Context

Type

Description/Detail

Weight (Kg)

Period

Quantity 4

0.012

101

Flint/Chert

Scraper, Part of hand axe and core?

Prehistoric

101

Pottery

Red fabrics, some glazed/unglazed. Brown/green glazes, Blue/white glaze

Post-medieval

250

1.241

101

Coal

U/D

121

0.463

101

Glass

Fragments of brown, clear and green

Modern

33

0.089

101

Modern synthetics

one spoon end, one toy army man leg, one spectacle arm

Modern

4

0.009

101

Pottery

Fragments of clay pigeon

Modern

48

0.196

101

Other metal

Includes 2 buttons

Modern

56

0.1.282

101

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

14

0.224

101

Brick/Tile

Modern

2

0.162

101

Clay pipe

Post-medieval

18

0.034

101

Slag/Other industrial

Post-medieval

79

1.598

102

Coal

U/D

98

0.151

102

Flint/Chert

Prehistoric

1

0.001

102

Slag/Other industrial

Post-medieval

4

0.011

102

Pottery

Clay pigeon fragment

Modern

3

0.009

102

Clay pipe

Stem fragment

Post-medieval

1

0.001

102

Glass

Clear piece

Modern

3

0.009

102

Iron

Includes nails

U/D

8

0.062

102

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

1

0.001

102

Pottery

Glazed/unglazed, red fabric, Blue/white/black glaze

Post-medieval

18

0.052

301

Flint/Chert

One blade and one flake

Prehistoric

403

Coal

403

Pottery

Blue and white glazed

501

Iron

Includes nut and bolt

501

Coal

501

Glass

Clear

Modern

501

Pottery

Dark brown/green glaze, some unglazed, coarse fabric, Blue/white/brown glaze, red fabric

501

Bowl and stem fragments

Possible blade

2

0.004

12

0.020

Modern

1

0.001

Modern

5

0.168

45

0.105

1

0.001

Post-medieval

15

0.020

Brick/Tile

Post-medieval

1

0.056

501

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

1

0.001

501

Pottery

Green glazed

Medieval

1

0.001

510

Flint/Chert

Worked

Prehistoric

2

0.003

510

Coke/Clinker

U/D

1

0.011

510

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

510

Pottery

White glazed

Modern

2

0.001

601

Iron

Peg/nail

U/D

1

0.005

U/D

U/D

29

1

0.016


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation 601

Glass

Dark green bottle glass

Post-medieval

2

0.058

601

Glass

Green bottle glass and clear window glass

Modern

3

0.020

601

Pottery

Clay pigeon

Modern

1

0.003

601

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

2

0.024

601

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

1

0.003

601

Clay pipe

Post-medieval

2

0.001

601

Pottery

Brown/green glazed, red fabric,white glaze

Post-medieval

27

0.044

602

Flint/Chert

Worked

Prehistoric

1

0.001

602

Animal Bone

Two small fragments

U/D

2

0.001

602

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

4

0.030

602

Pottery

Medieval

1

0.003

602

Pottery

Blue/white glaze, cream glaze, green/brown glaze and unglazed. Coarse fabric. Large vessel red fabric

602

Clay pipe

Stem

Post-medieval

1

0.001

602

Glass

Clear window glass

Modern

3

0.001

602

Coal

U/D

3

0.003

603

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

14

0.169

603

Pottery

Post-medieval

15

0.159

603

Coal

U/D

2

0.003

603

Iron

Nails

U/D

4

0.042

603

Glass

Thin green glass

Post-medieval

7

0.013

604

Coal

U/D

5

0.080

604

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

13

0.245

604

Iron

Includes nails

U/D

13

0.140

604

Clay pipe

Stems and bowls

Post-medieval

6

0.006

604

Glass

Dark green

Post-medieval

2

0.015

604

Glass

Clear

Modern

3

0.002

604

Flint/Chert

Flake

Prehistoric

1

0.001

604

Pottery

Blue/white/brown glaze, brown/green glazed, redware

Post-medieval

35

0.098

605

Iron

U/D

2

0.012

605

Flint/Chert

Core

Prehistoric

1

0.001

605

Clay pipe

Stem

Post-medieval

1

0.002

605

Pottery

White glaze/blue and white, redwares

Post-medieval

10

0.064

607

Iron

large iron object

Post-medieval

1

1.442

612

Iron

U/D

1

0.003

Brown/green glazed, Blue/white/one black

30

Post-medieval

18

0.152


Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil: community archaeological field evaluation

612

Pottery

701

Coal

701

Flint/Chert

701

Blue/white glazed and unglazed teracotta type, red fabric and black glaze, yellow glaze, unglazed.

Post-medieval

11

0.092

U/D

58

0.162

Prehistoric

1

0.007

Coin

Roman

1

0.001

701

Clay pipe

Post-medieval

1

0.001

701

Lead

U/D

6

0.060

701

Iron

U/D

1

0.015

701

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

10

0.022

701

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

8

0.046

701

Glass

Clear/green bottle glass

Modern

17

0.090

701

Modern synthetics

Battery core

Modern

1

0.002

701

Pottery

Dark brown glazed and unglazed, redware, blue/white glaze

Post-medieval

12

0.025

701

Pottery

Roman

2

0.008

701

Brick/Tile

Post-medieval

1

0.018

702

Pottery

Post-medieval

1

0.001

703

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

1

0.005

1001

Iron

25

0.595

1001

Coal

U/D

143

0.364

1001

Slag/Other industrial

U/D

7

0.142

1001

Mortar/Plaster

U/D

2

0.019

1001

Clay pipe

19

0.046

1001

Flint/Chert

Prehistoric

4

0.005

1001

Lead

U/D

1

0.020

1001

Glass

Waste or blown fragment

Modern

30

0.055

1001

Pottery

Blue/white/brown glaze, red fabic with brown green glaze

Post-medieval

139

0.262

1001

Pottery

green glaze, Black glaze red fabric

Medieval

2

0.015

U/S

Glass

Clear

Modern

2

0.003

U/S

Animal bone

Pigs tooth 3rd Molar

U/D

1

0.002

U/S

Stone object

Broken whet stone

U/D

1

0.314

U/S

Iron

U/D

1

0.009

U/S

Clay pipe

Bowl fragment

Post-medieval

1

0.003

U/S

Pottery

White glazed, redware, brown glazed, cream fabric

Post-medieval

13

0.067

U/S

Mortar/Plaster

4

0.186

Scraper

Includes toy gun

Post-medieval

Includes 'WC' stamped heel

Post-medieval

U/D

31


Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd

QUALITY CONTROL Report Title: Cyfartha Park, Merthyr Tydfil: Community archaeological field evaluation Report Date: April 2017 Report Number: 2017/031 Report prepared by:

Charlotte James-Martin

Position:

Project Officer

Date:

18/04/2017

Illustrations prepared by:

Charlotte James-Martin

Position:

Project Officer

Date:

18/04/2017

Illustrations checked and authorised by:

Martin Tuck

Position:

Senior Project Manager

Date:

18/04/2017

Report checked and authorised by:

Martin Tuck

Position:

Senior Project Manager

Date:

18/04/2017

As part of our desire to provide a quality service we would welcome any comments you may wish to make on the content or presentation of this report.

Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd. Heathfield House, Heathfield, Swansea, SA1 6LE Tel. 01792 655208; Fax. 01792 474469 Registered Charity no. 505609 Web: www.ggat.org.uk e-mail: projects@ggat.org.uk

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Cyfartha Park Community Evaluation  

The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust carried out an archaeological field evaluation of two areas within the grounds of Cyfarthfa Park, M...

Cyfartha Park Community Evaluation  

The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust carried out an archaeological field evaluation of two areas within the grounds of Cyfarthfa Park, M...

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