EISTEDDFOD GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU – MALDWYN
A'R GORORAU 1-8 AWST 2015
GALW'R HOLL EISTEDDFODWYR!
Mae'r Gymdeithas yn parhau â'i thraddodiad
hir o noddi darlith yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Eleni
bydd y Parch Clive Hughes (a anerchodd ein Cyfarfod Hydref
yn 2014) yn siarad ar y pwnc “Byddino Cymru-Recriwtio gwirfoddol
yn 1914 – 1916”.
Fel arfer, bydd y ddarlith ar y dydd Mercher,
a'r dyddiad fydd y 5 o Awst, a hynny ym Mhabell y Cymdeithasau
rhwng 3 a 4 y prynhawn. Ein cadeirydd fydd yr Athro Prys
Morgan. Mae'r pwnc yn amserol, a gobeithio y cawn y math
e gefnogaeth frwdfrydig gan ein haelodau sy'n mynychu'r
NEWSLETTER FOR 2015
Our President-elect this year is Prof David Austin ,
recently retired from the Chair of Archaeology at the University
of Wales Trinity St Davids – or as it was when he first came to
Wales – the University College of Wales Lampeter. It is fitting
that our Summer Meeting this year will be based at Lampeter and
we will be looking at some of his more notable projects. Prof Austin
is a well-known medieval archaeologist and he set up a department
which specialised in that period, a new departure for the Welsh
universities, and also became known for promoting theoretical approaches
to the past.
This year 23 individuals have joined the Association, several
of them joining at the highly successful Easter Conference where
the Cambrians' traditional mix of scholarship and friendliness
was much to the fore. Sadly we have lost many old friends who will
be known to all members. Three distinguished members from Penarth
have died this year, Prof Peter Thomas, Anthony Packer and Miss
J.M Good; and Roger Davies who was a great help to the Association
in the administration of our Eisteddfod lecture when he retired
from Flintshire County Council. We have also lost Cllr Huw Bevan
Jones and Miss Valentine da Costa from Ceredigion; Mrs Anne Maby
of Penrhyndeudraeth and Peter Leyshon of Tonypandy.
You will have already read in your copy of Arch. Camb .
of the death in June of Hugh Morgan of Swansea . Hugh was our legal
adviser for many years but was our benefactor in many other ways
as well. He was our 'remembrancer' because he always had the documentation
at his fingertips, and a meticulous organiser of many events for
us, particularly in Pembrokeshire where he had a much-loved holiday
Members will be saddened to hear that the death occurred just
before Christmas of Mrs Nansi Mascetti. Nansi had been very ill
for the last few years, but her determination to continue an active
participation in Cambrian affairs brought her obvious joy and gained
her the admiration of everyone who saw how much she could contribute
to a meeting and to a party despite her frailty in the last years.
She and her late husband Keith gave a great deal to the Cambrians;
she in particular was a most efficient and unflappable organiser,
a solver of crises and a smoother of ways. She was a most valued
Trustee and a much loved friend.
This month we have also lost a well-known Cambrian, former Trustee
and President in 1998, Dr Lawrence Butler. Lawrence had worked
for many years at the Royal Commission in Aberystwyth before going
to the University of Leeds , and later of York . He was a noted
historian and excavator of medieval buildings – castles and churches.
Particularly important was his work on Dolforwyn. Many members
will have benefited from his clear expositions of complex structures,
and many organisers will have blessed him for his ability to pull
a fact-packed card from his pocket to fill any embarrassing gaps
in a programme. His great learning was always available to everyone
with great generosity and charm. He will be sorely missed.
MEETINGS HELD IN 2014
THE EASTER CONFERENCE on CHURCH
MONUMENTS IN WALES was based at The Wild Pheasant Hotel,
Llangollen, 11-13th April 2014 . The Conference had been planned
by Dr Lawrence Butler who was sadly not able to attend, but his
deep knowledge and many contributions to the subject were frequently
The meeting started with a visit to St Collen's Church in the
centre of Llangollen to see the great 15 th century ceiling and
the memorials to the Ladies of Llangollen.
After dinner, Dr Rhianydd Biebrach opened the Conference lecture
programme with a sparkling and erudite lecture on ‘Effigies
of Bishops in south Wales ' ,
concentrating on the six medieval Episcopal monuments in Llandaff
Cathedral and the difficulty of their accurate identification.
This was a problem shared by other Welsh Cathedral s and effigies.
The following day the President, Dr Sian Rees, who chaired all
the lectures, pointed out that whilst V. E. Nash-Williams' The
Early Christian Monuments of Wales (1950) and Colin Gresham's Medieval
Stone Carving in North Wales (1968) remain seminal works,
research had moved on, as the following lectures would show. First Dr Mark
Redknap of National Museum Wales spoke of the just-completed
project to revise and update the Nash-Williams Corpus. New
interpretations laid greater stress on the survival of Christianity
from Roman Britain than the influence of missionaries from Gaul
and new technical aspects had been added. He was followed by Brian
and Moira Gittos speaking about Gresham 's work, expanding
their article in Arch Camb vol 161. Moira Gittos discussed
in particular the dating of the ‘Princess Joan' slab in Beaumaris
and Brian Gittos concentrated on knightly effigies identified by
Latin inscriptions, their numbers perhaps due to the Welsh love
After coffee Dr Maddy Grey of the University of South Wales spoke
about Catholic Symbols on some Post-Reformation grave slabs. The
discovery of several quasi-Catholic symbols in Monmouthshire suggested
a stubborn liking for the older ways in this region. After lunch
the party went by coach to Valle Crucis Abbey ,
the Pillar of Eliseg and Corwen .
At the abbey one of the trap doors covering medieval grave slabs
built into the vaulting of a passage below had been opened at the
request of the President, providing a rare opportunity to examine
them. Professor Howard Williams of Chester University spoke about
the recent excavations in the Eliseg mound on which the cross stood,
confirming its Bronze Age origin. At Corwen Church Bob
Silvester spoke about its high status as Mother Church of the district
in the Middle Ages. In the graveyard is a 10 th century cross shaft
originally similar to Eliseg. Members were sceptical about the
identification of a Runic inscription on it. However they were
impressed by the quantity of 18 th century graves and memorials
and saw the medieval grave slab of a priest under the guidance
of the Gittoses.
After dinner Andrew Davidson of Gwynedd Archaeological
Trust spoke about the patronage exercised by the descendants of
Ednyfed Fechan in the late 14 th /early 15 th centuries. He discussed
Penmynydd church and the four alabaster chest tombs in NW Wales,
all of which commemorate members of this same family.
On Sunday morning Bob Silvester of Clwyd Powys
Archaeological Trust spoke on The Brute Family and other
country masons in 18 th century Brecknock, demonstrating
that this distinctive style of monument was not the product of
only one family.
Unfortunately Ned Scharer was unable to attend due to illness
and his place was taken by Prof Howard Williams who
spoke about the Pillar of Eliseg, visited the
previous afternoon. He briefly outlined its history, but mainly
discussed the setting of the monument, on an earlier mound, beside
a crucial route close to the border of Mercia and Powys, it was
a statement of power and territorial control, designed to be prominent
within the natural amphitheatre of the valley, perhaps a focus
The final lecture was Richard Haslam on Baroque tomb
sculptors – the Myddleton monuments at Chirk which
were visited in the afternoon. He explored the background of
the artists who had mainly trained in Rome but worked in London
. The Myddleton family, wealthy London merchants, were typical
patrons. Their memorials, some of the best in Wales , record
the family from 1660s to 1718 when the original line died out.
The first two are by John Bushnell (1636-1701), the third by
Robert Wynne of Ruthin. During the visit there was discussion
of the likely original location of the monuments and the party
also saw a small effigy which commemorates a heart burial, dated
stylistically by Maddy Grey and the Gittoses to c.1340.
A fuller account of this meeting and the text
of the last lecture can
be found here in PDF format.
Longer accounts of the other meetings are also available on the
SUMMER MEETING IN DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY
The meeting had been planned and prepared by Mary Dodd and David
Longley. It was based at Barony College , an agricultural college
outside Dumfries town. 46 members attended. Every day was dry and
sunny – which must be a record!
On Sunday the first site visited was Caerlaverock Castle , famous
because of its triangular plan, notorious siege by Edward I and
the Renaissance house built within by the Maxwell family in 1630,
only to be destroyed by Covenanters in 1634. After lunch in the
castle cafe the party drove to Ruthwell to see
the famous 8 th century cross where Jeremy Knight described its
Anglo-Saxon cultural context. From Ruthwell we went to Lochmaben Castle ,
a complex of earthworks and late stone structures on a peninsula
in the Castle Loch. Its history involved both the family of Robert
the Bruce and Edward 1.
That evening Heather James showed a DVD on the Reivers and the
turbulent history of the Scottish/English border, the context for
many of the sites we would see later.
On Monday we visited sites on the west side of
the Nith estuary under the guidance of Adrian Cox of Historic Scotland.
The first was Sweetheart Abbey , a late Cistercian
house founded by the Lady Dervorguilla, heiress to the Lords of
Galloway who married John Balliol. Leaving the abbey we drove down
the coast to Rockliffe to look at the site of Mote of Mark, the
6 th century fort on the shore of the Water of Urr where excavations
have revealed a significant trading post. After lunch in Dalbeatie
we visited Orchardton Tower , an unusual circular
tower house probably built by the Cairns family in the late 15th
century. We then continued along the coast to Dundrennan
Abbey another Cistercian Abbey which had had a huge church
and some impressive sculpture. On the return journey to Barony
we passed the Tongland Bridge , an early design
by Telford , and the site of the crannog in Milton Loch .
In the evening David Longley lectured on the excavations
at More of Mark, those of Alexander Curle in 1913 and
his own, with Dr Lloyd Laing, in 1973 and 1979. Many of these
finds were exhibited in Dumfries Museum and at Whithorn seen
later in the week.
The whole of Tuesday was devoted to Dumfries town .
The first visit was to Lincluden College , then
to the Museum which also includes the only surviving
totally authentic camera obscura which fascinated everyone.
After this visit everyone was free to explore the town in the footsteps
of Robert Burns.
That evening saw the Installation of the President ,
Professor W. H. Manning whose Presidential Address: Roman Wales:
Past, Present and Future will be published in Arch Camb
The first visit of Wednesday was to the Twelve
Apostles Stone Circle but most of the rest of the day
was spent on the estate of the Dukes of Buccleuch ,
at Drumlanrig, at the mausoleum at Durisdeer and in their estate
town of Thornhill .
At Drumlanrig , a great Renaissance
house of pink sandstone built in 1673, the Cambrians took the very
good official tour and after lunch explored the extensive gardens.
The site of Durisdeer church is an old one,
as befits a church on a Roman road, but its main interest lies
in the Queensbury Aisle, the Douglas family mausoleum.
The exceptional monument to the 2nd Duke, is very reminiscent
of the Middleton monuments seen by the Cambrians at Chirk this
Easter. At Thornhill the first visit was to the 9
th century cross, later than Ruthwell, but very similar
in shape when complete.
The lecture that evening was by Dr Adrian Maldonado Ramirez of
the University of Chester . He spoke about current views on the
role of Whithorn and St Ninian ( or Uninniau ) in
the establishment of Christianity in Scotland . He
based himself on the study of the inscribed stones and gravestones
at Whithorn and Kirkmadrine and on the results of excavations at
Whithorn in the 1990s.
On Thursday we went west to the two famous megalithic
tombs at Cairnholy, described by Frances Lynch who
explained that the analysis of their structural development,
and that of other Clyde tombs in the region, had been very influential
in megalithic studies. The next visit was to the modest Tower
House at Carsluith which had the added attraction of
a small café and a smokery. Carsluith is a small square
14th century tower with a first floor hall, and bedrooms and
a corbelled wall-walk above. The Tower House or Castle
at Cardoness was next visited. This was a larger establishment,
a seriously defensible castle.
The afternoon was spent in the Artists' Town of Kirkcudbright .
The town had much to offer: a good lunch; another impressive Tower
House; elegant houses, beautiful gardens, an idiosyncratic museum
and a very fine art exhibition.
The 161st Annual General Meeting of the Association
was held on this evening.
On Friday we took a beautiful drive through moorland
and forest around New Galloway to Whithorn at
the mouth of the Solway Firth where we were welcomed by Julia Muir
Watt of the Whithorn Trust. We watched the new video on the site
and its history. There were also two very good exhibitions: one
a new display of finds from the excavations placed within the context
of the early and later medieval historical sequences revealed by
recent work. The other contained the crosses and grave slabs found
around the church at Whithorn, which provide the most tangible
evidence for the importance of the site.
In mid afternoon we took the bus to look briefly at the Isle
of Whithorn , and several prehistoric sites, notably
the Torhouskie Stone Circle . Dinner that night
was in the Imperial Hotel in Castle Douglas .
This gave an air of celebration to our last night in Galloway.
AUTUMN MEETING: ASPECTS OF THE FIRST WORLD
WAR IN WALES
Thirty-two members assembled at the Faenol Fawr Hotel, Bodelwyddan,
on September 19th for a weekend of talks and visits relating to
the First World War in Wales in a spot where some notable physical
remains of that war could be still seen on the ground.
The meeting opened with an illustrated lecture before dinner by Medwyn
Parry of RCAHMW who provided an
overview of 20th century military remains from both World Wars.
This lecture provided a useful introduction to a wide range of
physical remains of both world wars, some of which were dealt
with in greater detail in later talks.
The following morning the Rev Clive Hughes spoke
on Recruitment in North West Wales 1914
-16 before conscription was introduced. He traced the
rise and fall in enthusiasm for involvement in the war by the people
of north Wales , the subtle difference in attitudes between Anglicans
and Non-Conformists and the role played by celebrity recruiters.
He was followed by the Rev David Williams speaking
about Brigadier General Horatio Evans and the Battle for
Mametz Wood. General Evans, a professional soldier
of long standing, was the Commander of the Welsh Brigade at the
notorious defeat at Mametz Wood. His life and attitudes were outlined
with sympathy. Due to a family bereavement Jonathan Berry of Cadw
could not be with us to speak about Trench Warfare ,
but Clive Hughes , at very short notice, took
his place and provided us with a valuable background briefing on
the practice trenches we would see in the afternoon.
The party then left for Bodelwyddan Castle where a buffet lunch
was arranged in the Castle tearooms. After lunch Dr Kevin
Mason , Director of Bodelwyddan Castle, showed us the
exceptionally well-preserved practice trenches in
the parkland. These were some of the first trenches to be scheduled
as Ancient Monuments. Members then returned to the castle to view
the state rooms of the castle before going down to the Bodelwyddan
estate church of St Margaret 's where
Frances Llewellyn outlined the events of March 1919 in nearby Kinmel
Camp where Canadian soldiers rioted because of delays
to their repatriation. This event became the subject of myth and
of re-evaluation in studies of failed leadership.
The Cambrians then returned to Faenol Fawr where Jeff
Spencer of Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust spoke
about the World War I Aerodromes in North
Wales . The two main sites were Llangefni
(now called Mona), which was the base for very large airships
protecting shipping in the Irish Sea , and Sealand at Queensferry
which was a training and maintenance base. The only surviving
WWI hangars in Britain are at Sealand.
Jeff later showed the small stone found during recent
excavations at Pen y Cloddiau hillfort on which an American
serving in the Canadian army, Carlyle D. Chamberlain, had scratched
his name and address in 1919. By an extraordinary coincidence
the same man was the author of a long note about America and
the British Empire found in the 1920s pushed into the wall of
the tower on Moel Fama. Jeff showed a copy of this note.
On Sunday morning members attended a short service of remembrance
devised and led by the Rev David Williams in St. Margaret's Church.
After returning to the hotel for coffee Iain Wright of
RCAHMW described his work for Cadw in photographing
war memorials around Wales . This was in association
with the War Memorials Trust and their campaign to ensure that
the condition of all memorials should be improved at this time.
Dr Gethin Matthews of Swansea University the
author of a study of South Wales Chapel involvement in the war
effort spoke next. He described a project in Caersalem Newydd Baptist
Chapel which focussed on the Roll of Honour which recorded all
those that enlisted (with regimental details). These memorials,
usually framed paper lists, were not previously well known and
not officially noted. They are increasingly at risk as chapels
After the official lectures were over individual Cambrians gave
some personal reactions and those who had records of their family
involvement in the war spoke about their relations. Mary
Dodd read extracts from the diary (1914-18) of her father,
Prof A.H.Dodd; Nick and Eva Moore brought memorials
of Eva's grandfather, a surgeon in the Austrian army, and of Nick's
father who had fought in the Salonica campaign; Mrs Wendy
Camp recalled three relatives who had had very different
experiences of the war, one a prisoner from the first week, another
a Conscientious Objector and a third, a medical orderly who went
on to study and became a distinguished Royal surgeon.
GRANTS FOR RESEARCH AWARDED IN 2014
Seven applications were received this year and hard choices
had to be made since the Treasurer advised on a slightly reduced
amount available to disburse owing to low returns and reductions
in the value of the investments that sustain the fund. The Friends
of Court Farm (Pembrey, Carmarthenshire) are a hard-working local
group seeking to consolidate the ruins of an important 17 th
century mansion and investigate its site. We were able to contribute £500
towards the costs of geophysical survey of a possible Elizabethan
formal garden. Andrew David, now retired from English Heritage,
has made a lifelong study of mesolithic Pembrokeshire and we
awarded £1000 towards geophysical survey at Cutty Bridge
near Haverfordwest. This is an inland area (far less well-studied
than coastal sites) where the distribution of surface flint finds
suggests buried deposits in palaeo-channels. The Association
has supported the work of Margaret Dunn, leader of the North
West Wales Dendrochronology Project and now the Dating Old Welsh
Houses Group, in previous years and this year granted £500
towards a joint project with Conwy Borough Council to date selected
houses. We have supported Gary Lock's excavations at the hillfort
of Moel y Gaer, Bodfari, Denbighshire from their inception and
this year made a grant of £1000 for the 2015 season. A
final Report is promised for Archaeologia Cambrensis. Three
young archaeologists, Andy Seaman, Tudur Davies and Oliver Davis
working at Canterbury Christ Church , Cardiff and Sheffield universities
have taken a number of sample pollen cores close to Iron Age
and Early Medieval sites in the Vale of Glamorgan. These have
the potential to throw light on the environment in the Vale in
these periods and the Association's grant of £1560 will
allow 5 AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) radiocarbon dates
to be secured from the cores.
BLODWEN JERMAN PRIZEWINNERS
The Cambrians School prize of £250, now administered with
many others, by the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative (see http://www.whsi.org.uk )
was won by Glynhafod Junior School , Rhondda Cynon Taf for their
project on Welsh Music. They researched the history of the Welsh
National Anthem and other iconic songs, such as Calon Lan,
Sospan Bach and Cwm Rhondda, finding several local composers
and visiting their monuments and graves, such as that of Caradog
(Griffith Rhys Jones) in Aberdare.
Although 3 entries were received for the senior prize the judges
did not think that any of them were of sufficient standard to
win the prize.
WEBSITE, WIKIPEDIA AND CAA ARCHIVE.
Full accounts of recent meetings and conferences can be found
on our website with many photographs of members both listening
intently to speakers and exploring on their own. Gastronomic
delights, unsurprisingly, feature in the account of the 2013
Brittany Meeting. The Secretary appeals once again for a volunteer
or volunteers to help with the website where much more could
be done to publicise the Association's work past and present.
The AGM at Barony College , Dumfries , provided the opportunity
to formally thank Nick Moore for all his work in compiling entries
on the Association for Wikipedia. These bear worthy comparison
with similar accounts of other national societies in England
, Scotland and Ireland . After the AGM , Barony College 's computer
was fired up and Nick gave a fascinating presentation of his
work and the great potential Wikipedia has in reaching global
audiences. He said that it reinforced his view on the importance
of the Association's historiography and you will find links to
many of the Association's influential members – but much more
could be done and work on Wikipedia is a democratic and collaborative
effort. You will find the account under ‘Cambrian Archaeological
Association' and also ‘ Archaeologia Cambrensis'. Nick
has also digitized many out of copyright images from 19 th Century Arch
Cambs on Wikimedia Commons. Anyone interested in contributing
should contact Nick on email@example.com .
The links to the Wikipedia entries are:
In the general discussion which ensued, the Secretary expanded
on her Report of archiving CAA material from the 1980s and 1990's,
now deposited in the National Library of Wales. She appealed
for members to submit any memoirs, short or long, and other material
relating to their membership and experiences of the Cambrians.
Members may be interested in a recent article by Professor Nancy
Edwards ‘From Antiquarians to Archaeologists in Nineteenth-Century
Wales: The Question of Prehistory' on the often heated debates
and opposing camps in the Cambrians in the second half of the
19 th century. It is in Writing a Small Nation's Past: Wales in
Comparative Perspective 1850-1950, 2013, Eds Neil Evans & Huw
Pryce, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
‘THE SPEECH HOUSE LAWS ' – THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE CAMBRIANS.
Many members will recall that this revised Constitution, embodying
much work by the late Hugh Morgan, was unanimously adopted at
an Extraordinary General Meeting in 2001 at the Speech House
Hotel in the Forest of Dean and printed in Arch Camb Vol
151 (2002). The Trustees will be reviewing the Constitution through
2015, seeking advice if necessary from the Charities Commission
to see what, if any, changes need to be made. Members' views
Meanwhile, as required by the Constitution, we give notice here
that the Trustees wish to propose the following two amendments
at the Annual General Meeting in Lampeter, Thursday
9 July 2015 :
‘That under section F Executive Officers, the offices of Membership
Secretary and Programme Secretary be added to those of Chairman,
Secretary, Treasurer and Editor'.
‘That under section H Executive Committee, (1) shall be changed
to ‘The Executive Committee shall consist of fourteen members'
(replacing twelve members). ‘
EISTEDDFOD LECTURE Wednesday
August 5th 2015
The Eisteddfod is in Montgomeryshire this year, near Meifod,
and the Cambrian Lecture will be given by the Rev Clive Hughes
on local experiences of the First World War. The exact title
is not yet available but it will be in the Societies Tent. Those
who heard Clive Hughes lecture in Bodelwyddan in September will
know that it will be a very interesting talk.