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Cymdeithas Hynafiaethau Cymru - Cambrian Archaeological Association












Meetings and Events

The Cambrians’ Summer Meetings are justly famous for their combination of intellectual rigour and bonhomie and have even been the subject of a memoir Out with the Cambrians! The week-long meeting in the summer has now been joined by an autumn weekend and, every other year, by an easter conference. The aim is to establish a comfortable base and explore the historic sites of all periods in the region under expert guidance, covering all parts of Wales and occasionally venturing into England, Ireland and Europe. The weekends tend to be more concentrated in scope, usually pursuing a single topic, while the Conferences provide the opportunity to discuss academic issues of the moment.

'Out with the Cambrians’ – a visit to Strata Florida in 1847

A Cambrian’s visit to Rouen in Northern France



Yn anffodus, oherwydd afiechyd, ni fydd Dr Eurwyn Wiliam yn gallu rhoi'r ddarlith a hyssbyswyd
yng Nghaerdydd. Felly, nodwch y NEWID yn nhestun ac amseriad y ddarlith.

NAWR am 5.30 yr hwyr, dydd Mercher 8 Awst.
LLEOLIAD Cymdeithasau 1.
TEITL Y DDARLITH: 'Morgan Watkin (1878-1970); Lenin a Lloyd-George'.

Bydd Prys Morgan a Nia Watkin Powell yn cydgyflywno hanes cyfrinchacol eu henewyrth Morgan Watkin, Athro Ffrangeg yn y Brifysgol yng Nghaerdydd a Chofiadur yr Orsedd, a'i yrfa fel ysbiwr a dolen-gyswllt rhwng Lloyd-George a Lenin.



'SUMMER' MEETING  at  LECTOURE   April 21st - 28th  2018
This meeting is now fully booked

    This will be our second incursion into Gascony, concentrating this time on an area to the east of where  we were in 2011. The visit has been organised by  Marie Thérèse Castay and those who came to Condom will know how thoughtful she is as an organiser and how interesting as a guide; and how fascinating the towns, villages and castles are in that delightful countryside.  We will be slightly further east this time, in the Lomagne,  as this portion of Gascony is called.  It straddles the boundaries of three 'départements' ; Gers for its major part, but also southern portions of Lot-et-Garonne and  Tarn-et-Garonne which will give us the highlight of our visit, the Romanesque church and cloister at Moissac.
      In order to avoid the discomfort of too high temperatures , it has been decided that this so called 'Summer' meeting would take place from the 21st to the 28th of April 2018, the 'Spring' meeting being moved to July.
       The Cambrians will be met at Toulouse-Blagnac airport  on Saturday April 21st and taken back there the following Saturday. The various air lines seem to have cut down the number of their flights as from this coming January, and, for the dates concerned, the recommended  flights are:
    from Bristol departure at 10.40                              arrival at Toulouse-Blagnac at 13.25
    from Manchester departure at 06.45                    arrival at Toulouse-Blagnac at 09.45
    from London Gatwick departure at 08.25                         arrival at Toulouse-Blagnac at 11.10
 And for the return journey, the flights would be:
   departure from Toulouse-Blagnac  for Bristol  at 16.20               arrival at 17.10
     «          «               «                         Manchester  at 10.20               arrival at 11.35
     «         «              «                London Gatwick at 10.00               arrival at 11.50
The meeting itself will be based in Lectoure, in origin an Iron Age and Roman hilltop city, which became part of the Plantagnet inheritance, and by the end of the Middle Ages had become the power base of the Comtes d’Armagnac.  We will be staying at the Hotel de Bastard, an eighteenth  century town mansion close to the cathedral ; and to the bus stop for those wishing to come by train (which we would not recommend as it entails a train journey to Agen and a change there onto the bus for Auch, which stops at Lectoure).
       The programme booklet, which will provide you with a good historical and cultural introduction to the area, will be sent to the participants some three weeks before the meeting.
We anticipate that many members will want to come on this trip, so please send your forms early.  It will be first come, first served, but we will establish a Waiting List. 


SATURDAY April 21st
Arrive at Toulouse-Blagnac airport : the coach will be there to meet you and take you to Lectoure (90 minute journey).  Possibility of a comfort stop at Gimont, a bastide with a covered market.

SUNDAY  April 22nd
Visit of Lectoure : the Cathedral, the archaeological museum in the former Bishops' Palace near the Cathedral. Several options will be offered to the participants, either the walk round the full length of the walls encompassing the various places of interest (the medieval fountain, the Royal Tannery, the castle of the Counts of Armagnac and the Hangman's Tower) or short cuts to these places.
   Lunch and dinner will be provided at the hotel and there will be an introduction to the various sites to be visited during the week by M.T. Castay before dinner.

MONDAY April 23rd
09:30 leave for Aubiac – visit of the Romanesque church
10:30 leave for Layrac – visit of the Romanesque church and the town  
Lunch at the Restaurant des Allées
14:00 leave for Moirax – visit of the Romanesque Cluniac priory
15:30  departure for Sainte-Mère : visit of the Gascon castle (by kind permission of the owner)
16:30  return to Lectoure via the Roman road (12km stretch of straight road)
19:00   Lecture : Medieval fortifications of the villages of the Gers by Anaïs Comet

TUESDAY April 24th
09:30 leave for Lagarde Fimarcon
10 :15 leave for Terraube, walk through and round the village, visit of the outside of the château (by kind permission of the owner)
12:00  leave for the Auberge, Le Vieux Pressoir
14:00  leave for Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit, walk through and round the village
15:00  leave for Le Mas d'Auvignon, visit of the village and the castle (by kind permission of the owners)
16:30  return to Lectoure
19:00 : Lecture :  Lecture by Prof Prys Morgan


WEDNESDAY April 25th
09:00 leave for Monfort, visit of the village central square and the church.  Opportunity for those who wish, to go round the walls to the lavoir, watering trough and fountain
10:30 leave for Mauvezin (central square and covered market viewed from the coach) and then onto Cologne – Arrive at 11:15 walk through and round the village – packed lunch
13:15 leave for Sarrant which is a castelnau and not a bastide – visit of the village and the church –15:00  leave for Miramont-Latour – visit of the museum of rural life led by Count Patrick de Lary de Latour who is the owner of the château and creator of the museum, housed in 15 rooms of the château and its outhouses – glimpse at the 18th century dovecote (listed building) – visit of the chapel in the village with the Count.
18:30 return to Lectoure – In view of the long day there will be no lecture this evening

THURSDAY April 26th
09:30  leave for Saint-Clar, a slightly more complex bastide with remains of a former castelnau –
11:30   leave for lunch at the Auberge du Petit Feuillant at Gramont
14:00   visit of the château at Gramont
15:00  leave for the village and church of Lachapelle
15:45  leave for a brief visit to Dunes a small bastide with an attractive central square
19:00  Lecture :  The  Mediaeval  Gascon  Wine Trade  by Heather James


FRIDAY April 27th
09:00  leave for Moissac – visit of the famous Romanesque church and cloister .
Lunch  (own arrangements – there are plenty of eating places near the church)
15:00  leave for Auvillar – visit of the bastide, church and museum of earthenware
Arrive back in Lectoure about 18:00

SATURDAY April 28th
Return to Toulouse-Blagnac airport – departure time to suit the earliest flight departure.




Click here to download Booking Form


The 2018 Summer Meeting will be a little shorter than usual as we have a week- long spring meeting in Gascony as well as a weekend in late September in this three meeting year. The themes for the Summer Meeting and the places to be visited arose out of an invitation from our member Lawrence Banks to visit Hergest Court and Hergest Croft in Herefordshire. As in previous years Llandrindod Wells is a very convenient base and we will be staying at the Hotel Commodore (01597 822288) in the centre of town. Although a large hotel, July is a busy time and early booking is recommended. The meeting is being organised by our Secretary Heather James.

Members should make their way on Monday – by car, train or bus – to Llandrindod and after registration early in the afternoon (1.30-2.30 pm) we will have a perambulation around the distinctive ornate red brick houses shops, hotels and guest houses of this hugely popular Victorian and Edwardian spa town. After dinner (7 pm) Bill Britnell our editor and former director of the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust will give an illustrated lecture entitled ‘Llanelwedd Rocks, Radnorshire: Farming on the edge in the 17th to early 19th centuries’. This will be a public lecture hosted by the Association with a special invitation to the Radnorshire  Society.

On Tuesday (leave at 9.30) we will go by coach to Hergest Court by invitation of Richard Banks. Cambrians will immediately think of the Vaughan family and the Red Book of Hergest,  a 14th c manuscript containing the key Welsh texts such as The Mabinogion  but all of this will be described and discussed in Tuesday evening’s lecture by Dr Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan. Hergest Court is a spectacularly beautiful late medieval moated manor house  - and still a working farm - with stone and half timbered build, under restoration and investigation by Richard Banks. Here we will be put fully in the picture by the Banks’ ‘history guru’ – Alan Lloyd. We will then proceed to Hergest Croft and its celebrated gardens, now under the direction of Edward Banks whose great grandfather W H Banks built the house in 1896 and founded the renowned garden which has no less than 90 ‘champion trees’ – more in fact than Westonbirt.  Here we can have lunch (own arrangements), view the gardens and, through the good offices of Lawrence Banks and the skilled interpretation of Heather Pegg, Hon Archivist at Hergest, divide into small groups and have special private guided tours of this remarkable family archive.  

On Wednesday (leave 9.30) we must take to minibuses to reach those sites that coaches cannot. So doing allows us to get on site without long or difficult walking. Driving to the valley of the River Lugg we will take the track up to Pilleth Church where the recently restored church (Friends of Pilleth) stands on the valley side above Pilleth Court. Here we will enjoy the church and also see the actual battle site and gain a real sense of how Owain Glyndwr won such a decisive victory over Edmund Mortimer in 1402. Parking alongside a minor road allows us easy access to an important and well preserved section of Offa’s Dyke. We will also take the very minor road to Cascob church ‘remote location , in a large churchyard grazed by sheep’ (Pevsner) but of course there is more to be revealed on the day. An extended lunch time (own arrangements) in Presteigne will allow for a group visit to the Judges Lodging – a Community Project interpreting a unique group of rooms that deserves the Association’s support. Then by minor roads and a roadside stop for more of Offa’s Dyke to Knighton and the Offa’s Dyke Centre for tea, and a talk by Jim Saunders, former Offa’s Dyke Footpath Officer.
After dinner we have the presentation of the GT Clark prizes, followed by the Presidential Installation and Lecture by Dr Mark Redknap and a wine reception.

On Thursday (leave 9.30) we go to Hereford – a guided tour of the Cathedral – a visit to the Mappa Mundi exhibition – a visit to the Cathedral Library – and finally a short guided walk around the historic core of this ancient city by Tim Hoverd of Herefordshire Archaeology . If you have never been to Hereford Cathedral before this will be an eye-opener – if you have, like me, you will know that that every new visit is a revelation. A simple lunch is available at College Hall for our group but those who have specific dietary requirements or wish to lunch elsewhere can use the cathedral refectory or venues in the city.
The AGM of the Association will be held at 8 pm after dinner at The Hotel Commodore.

On Friday we will return to exploring Llandrindod. The Museum is well worth a visit and the keen volunteers at the National Cycle Museum will give us an enthusiastic reception – and we will also visit Rock Park – part of the landscaping and enhancement of the spa town to attract the Victorian and Edwardian visitors. The meeting concludes around lunch time.


Based at The Plough Rhosmaen, nr Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire.

Still places available

Click here to download Booking Form


Our annual Autumn weekend is a week later than usual, due to the availability of the hotel. It is being organised by Heather James. The Plough, Rhosmaen, is a popular and comfortable new hotel with good food just 2 miles east of Llandeilo on the A40 and hopefully we will be able to fill it for the weekend.

The theme will be ‘The Physicians of Myddfai’ explored in a wide-ranging way. We will look at the historical evidence for the court physicians of Rhys Gryg, son of the Lord Rhys, prince of Deheubarth in the 13th century. They were supposedly the sons of a union between the
Lady of the Lake and a local farmer traditionally located at Llyn y Fan in the Black Mountain. After suffering three accidental blows from her husband she returned with her cattle to the Lake but appeared at times to advise her sons, the eldest of whom Rhiwallon, and his sons Cadwgan, Gruffudd and Einion were physicians to Rhys Grug.

A succession of herbal physicians in the area traced their descent from them. One of a number of medicinal manuscripts survives in The Red Book of Hergest, subject of a lecture at our Llandrindod Meeting.
The Plough, Rhosmaen has promised to hold all of its 23 rooms for this Cambrians weekend through January and February. After that, understandably, they will have to release any unbooked rooms to general booking. So early booking is advised. Please ring 01558 823431 or email info@ploughrhosmaen.  There are some B&B’s and other hotels in Llandeilo itself.
The rates are £137 per day D, B&B for a double or twin room and £93 D, B&B for a single.
Dinners for non-residents will be at £18.50 per head. Please advise Heather of your booking.

Friday 28th September:
Registration 1- 2 pm (guests can arrive early in time for lunch).
2-4 pm Using our own cars, visit Dynevor Park and walk up to the castle for a talk by Dr Sian Rees.
Depending on time & weather we will have short presentation on The White Cattle of Dynevor,  either at Newton House or back at The Plough.
After dinner keynote lecture by Dr David Stephenson on ‘The Physicians and the Family of the Lord Rhys’

Saturday 29th September
9.30-11.30 talks by Dr Don Williams on the ‘Continuing medical tradition of the  Physicians’ remedies’; Prof David Thorne on the ‘Place-name evidence for the medieval Physicians in Deheubarth’;  V A Grant on ‘Liminal Lakes in South West Wales’
11.30 Coach to Myddfai for buffet lunch at the new community centre and view the ‘Physicians’ display and a short talk on the centre.

After lunch visit Myddfai Church for talk by Thomas Lloyd, Wales Herald, followed by a coach trip to Carreg Cennen Castle (talks by Dr Sian Rees & Heather James) and tea at the Farmhouse café.
8 pm Evening lecture by Morfydd Owen on ‘The Medical Books of the Physicians of Myddfai’.

Sunday 30th September
10 am: Coach to the National Botanic Garden, Llanarthne for a viewing of the Apothecaries shop, garden and informal talks with volunteers.
Lunch available at the Botanic Garden (own arrangements)
1.30 Coach returns to Rhosmaen (and can go via Carmarthen Station).


Reports of Previous Meetings
(These are all in Adobe Acrobat format and open in a new window)

Report of the CAA Summer Meeting 2017 - Ironbridge

Report on the CAA Autumn Meeting 2016 - The City and Cathedral of Exeter

Report on the CAA Summer Meeting 2016 - Vale of Clwyd

Report on the CAA Autumn Meeting 2015 - Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute

Report on the CAA 162nd Summer Meeting 2015 - Lampeter

Report on CAA Meeting in Dumfries and Galloway Summer 2014

Meeting Report on CAA Easter Conference 11th-13th April 2014 in Llangollen

Llangollen Meeting Easter 2014 - An introduction to the Myddelton monuments in St Mary’s
Church, Chirk by Richard Haslam

Report on CAA Meeting in Brittany Summer 2013

Report on CAA Summer Meeting in Anglesey July 9th -14th 2012

Report on CAA Visit to Birmingham : Friday September 21st to Sunday September 23rd 2012

Report with images on the Spring Meeting in Llangollen 20-22 April 2012 by Dr Sian Rees

Report on the Autumn 2011 Meeting in Tenby 23rd - 25th September 2011

Report on the Summer Meeting in Gascony 25th June - 2nd July 2011

Report on the Summer Meeting Canterbury and East Kent 18 - 24th July 2010

Report on the Easter 2010 Conference

Report on the Autumn 2009 Meeting

Report on the 156th Annual Summer Meeting in the South Wales Valleys

Report on the 155th Annual Summer Meeting in the Conwy Valley

Report on the Easter Conference 2008 held at the Llety Parc Hotel in Aberystwyth on March 28th -30th

Report on the Autumn Meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, Paris, September 23-26th 2007

The 154th Annual Summer Meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, Carmarthen, August 12th - 18th 2007

Report on the Cambrian Archaeological Association Easter Conference April 8-9th 2006

Notes About the Status of Local History Societies in North Montgomeryshire