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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





Organised in conjunction with the Prehistoric Society

Saturday 6th APRIL 2019, 1.30-5pm

Jane Kenney : The Neolithic Period at Parc Cybi, Holyhead : A long house joins the tomb at Trefignath
Cat Rees : Excavations at Llanfaethlu Neolithic ‘Village'
Frances Lynch : A Mass of new Pottery in Puzzling Pits

Venue: Lecture Hall 2, Pontio Building, Bangor University
Pontio is in the centre of Bangor about 10 mins walk, straight down the road as you come out of the

Trains (c. 8.20-9.50am) from Cardiff, London, Birmingham and Manchester can get you there in time
– and return you!
By car, take the Bangor turn off J11 of A55 and follow A5 into town. Pontio is on the right, directly
below the university building on the hill; car parks on left (access ahead via Asda roundabout).
There are cafes and snack bars in the building.

There is a £5.00 fee, at the door
For further details and to register your interest, please contact

This is an afternoon of lectures organised in conjunction with the Prehistoric Society to showcase
the very important new evidence for Neolithic houses and pottery found in Anglesey over the last
decade. The work at Parc Cybi is part of a huge multi-period excavation just outside Holyhead, now
nearing publication. The Llanfaethlu site is a surprising discovery of no less than four rectangular
houses on the site of a new school on the north coast of the island. Both sites have produced a lot
of Early Neolithic pottery and also a great deal of Middle and Late Neolithic pottery from pits.



SUMMER MEETING Haverfordwest through History: Farmers, Merchants, Gentry and Canons  Sunday 30th June to Friday 5th July 2019

Venue: The Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest

The history of Haverfordwest and its hinterland makes a fascinating study. The wellpreserved prehistoric sites to the north attest to the importance of the area from earliest times, and recent discoveries of a Roman fort and road reveal how the long arm of Rome extended further west than hitherto realised.  Situated in the southern March, the town was especially important in the medieval period as its castles and churches demonstrate. The long estuary of the Cleddau was a vital point of entry to Britain both for the fishermen and merchants that made the town prosperous, but also for potential invasion through the ages, from Henry Tudor, the French in the interminable 18th and 19th century wars, to the world wars of the last century.     Sunday 30 June 12.30: Wolfscastle Country Hotel.  Lunch (own cost) and Registration 14.00: Walk (or private cars) to local sites: Garne Turne burial chamber, Treffgarne Hillfort and hut circles, Camrose motte and bailey, Rudbaxton Church.  Lecture: The First Farmers: Recent discoveries in the prehistory of Pembrokeshire

Monday 1 July

First Farmers   9.00   Coach departs to Carreg Coetan Arthur and Cerrig y Gof Neolithic burial chambers 10.30 Gors Fawr Bronze Age Stone circle 12.30  Castell Henllys Iron Age and Roman settlement with reconstructions of Roundhouses.  Picnic lunch 16.00  Rosemarket Rath, dovecot and church 17.30  Coach to Wolfscastle Hotel Lecture: Haverfordwest: buildings and harbours of the gentry, townsfolk, merchants, smugglers and pirates

Tuesday 2 July 

Lords, Canons, Merchants and Fishermen 9.00 Coach to Haverfordwest. Walking tour of town to include: Haverfordwest Castle and Town Museum, Site of Town Merchant's house (removed to St Fagan's), Priory and Haroldston Tudor house 13.00 Buffet Lunch – Bristol Trader Afternoon –Three  medieval churches, post medieval chapels, Foley House, Higgon's Well  18.00 Coach to Wolfscastle Hotel Installation of new President and Presidential Address:   Nancy Edwards

Wednesday 3 July

Incomers, Bishops and the Aristocracy  9.00   Coach to Wiston: Roman fort and road; Wiston Castle. 11.00  Llawhaden Castle and medieval hospital 12.00  Coach to Picton Castle  12.30  Buffet lunch at Picton Castle 13.30  Guided tour of Picton Castle, gardens and galleries 16.00  Coach to medieval and Tudor sites in Slebech – old church, Sister's House, Castell Coch  17.30  Coach to Wolfscastle Hotel

Lecture: The Augustinians in South-west Wales and Haverfordwest Priory excavations

Thursday 4 July

Seamen, Smugglers and Industrialists 9.00   Coach to Carew Castle, early medieval cross, church and tidal mill. 12.30  Lunch at Carew Castle (own cost) 13.30  Carew Tidal Mill 14.30  Cresselly House, Creswell Quay and Cresswell Castle 17.00  Coach to Wolfscastle Hotel AGM  followed by talk on the excavation, dismantling and reconstruction of the Haverfordwest Merchant's House to St Fagan's

Friday 5 July

Haverfordwest: Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors 9.00  Coach to Carew Cheriton WWI and II Airfield and Watch tower 11.30 Coach to Pembroke Dock 19th C Defensible Barracks, Martello Towers and Garrison chapel 13.00 Cross Cleddau Bridge with views over Haven 13.30 Coach to Wolfscastle Hotel and lunch Afternoon – optional visit to Scolton Museum, Haverfordwest. Conference disperses.


Download booking form here.


AUTUMN WEEKEND in SOUTH MEIRIONYDD : September 27- 29th 2019

This coming year we are virtually replicating the meeting held in 1866 when, amongst other things the Cambrians became the first human cargo on the Tal y Llyn Railway.  Less auspicious was the fact that the President failed to show up!  But apart from that, we hope, we will, like them, be going to Castell y Bere, to Peniarth, to Llanegryn, to Towyn church and its important but virtually illegible inscribed stone, to Pennal and its Roman fort and we will be taking a trip on the railway.  We will be taking a bus, whereas in 1866 I think they walked from Aberglynolwyn to Castell y Bere and back!

We will be based at Plas Talgarth Resort, Pennal, where we will occupy 6-8 person lodges gathered around the 19th century mansion where we will eat in the restaurant (2 course meal) and have our lectures in the ‘Village Hall'.  These lodges have bathrooms (with bath and overhead shower) and fully equipped kitchens with tea/coffee etc .  The ingredients of Breakfast are brought to the door.  Each lodge has a master bedroom (double or twin beds) a second /third room with twin beds, and a double sofa bed.  The cost per lodge is £210 for the 2 nights + £30 a day dinner and breakfast.  If you want a room to yourself it will be £105 + £60.  If you share a room it will be £52.50 + £60.  Do please find someone to share with and perhaps even make up houses.   We have booked 15 lodges so please book early to get a bed.  Late bookers will get a sofa bed!  Level-entry showers are available in the Spa which is part of the complex. There are no lifts and some short flights of steps around the site.  Everyone should bring a walking stick – for Castell y Bere if nothing else!



Arrive at Plas Talgarth Resort late morning :  Registration  Visit Aberdovey in private cars (15 mins away).  There is a large carpark near the harbour and another at the east end of the town.  The streets of the town are narrow and steep, but there is a good deal of interest in the lower town and very fine views. Return to Plas Talgarth for lecture and dinner in Y Garth Restaurant


Take private cars to the large car park close to the Tal y Llyn Railway station in Tywyn.

Take the train to Aberglynolwyn  where we will be met by a 29 seater coach  (or 2) We will look at the quarry town of Aberglynolwyn; use facilities and pick up picnic boxes at the Community Centre's Caffi'r Ceunant .  Visit Castell y Bere and eat picnic.  Castell y Bere is quite dangerous in places.  The church down at Llanfihangel  y Pennant is open and has an interesting exhibition about the valley and Mary Jones. There are lavatories there.  Those who do not want to risk the castle can be taken there. Peniarth    William Williams Wynne, the present owner, is happy to receive us.  The house is notable architecturally, as well as for its previous library belonging to W E Williams Wynne, President of CAA in 1856.  The house contains many family portraits and Gilray cartoons.  Llanegryn  Church  — very  fine rood screen and Wynne monuments Towyn Church — 12th century monastic church and early Welsh inscription. Regain cars and return to Plas Talgarth for lecture and buffet dinner in the Village Hall.


Morning  Visit in private cars to Hall House at Rhownair .  It is just N of Aberdovey Pennal Church and memorial garden to Owain Glyndwr  (The Pennal Letter)  There are interesting 18th century memorials in the church – English invasion from Shropshire. Cefn Caer house and Roman Fort   We will certainly see the site of the Roman fort but the 16th century house may not be accessible. Return to PlasTalgarth for lunch (own cost) or Riverside Restaurant  Pennal if preferred. Disperse after lunch.  You might like to visit MOMA in Machynlleth or the Centre for Alternative Technology on the road to Corris on your way home.


Download booking form here.



Sat. OCTOBER 19th 2019, 9.15am – 5.00pm

Venue : St Fagans National History Museum , Cardiff

We were asked to help the Society for Landscape Studies to develop this Day School in association with their AGM in Cardiff in October. The SLS would be delighted if lots of Cambrians were to join them in St Fagans at the newly re-designed National History Museum.

0910-0940 Registration

0940 Welcome and administrative issues.

0950 Bill Britnell : Location, Location, Location: Neolithic monuments in the Walton Basin

1030 Dr. Peter Guest & Leah Reynolds : The impact of the Roman Army on the Landscape of Wales

1120 Light Refreshments

1140 David Austin : Strata Florida: the Sacred Landscapes Project

1220 Evan T. Jones University of Bristol : The Severn Sea in the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries

1300 Buffet Lunch and Society for Landscape Studies AGM

1400 Shaun Evans (ISWE) and Philip Nanney Williams (author) : Estate landscapes in Wales

1450 Speaker from CPAT : The Minera Project. (TBC)

1530 Light Refreshments.

1550 Dr Eurwyn Wiliam : Building a house on sand

1630 – 1700 Further questions and discussion

The cost will be £32.00 for CAA members and £35.00 for others. This includes lunch and refreshments. Please fill in the Booking Form below and send it to:

Brian Rich (SLS), 11 Adams Grove, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 8NX

Any enquiries: please email


Download booking form here.

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