Friday, May 08, 2009

Archaeologists find ‘lost’ church

Lampeter archaeologists have discovered a ‘lost’ Medieval church near the village of Swyddffynnon, Ystrad Meurig.

The church was discovered by staff and students of the Department of Archaeology during a two week field project in April. The foundations of the church were revealed by a geophysical survey of an empty field near Ty Mawr Farm since no remains are visible above ground. The church is believed to be Capel y Groes, a Medieval church last recorded on maps in the 1840s, and the investigations will continue through the summer.

Historical research undertaken as part of the Strata Florida Landscape Project directed by Professor David Austin and Dr Jemma Bezant has revealed that Swyddffynnon was the site of a medieval village, granted to Strata Florida Abbey in 1165. Dr Bezant explained that the church was probably a grange chapel built by the monks who went on to develop the village as a grange centre.

The field project has also revealed an enormous number of other archaeological sites that have never before been recorded. This includes two possible prehistoric enclosures, two Bronze Age burnt mounds, house platforms, ruined buildings, trackways and quarries. The team also investigated the site of a medieval corn mill at Ty Felin in the village.

The new information generated by the project will be entered onto the Historic Environment Record database which is managed by Dyfed Archaeological Trust. In partnership with the University, the Trust will conduct a full-scale survey of Cors Caron along with the farms and villages that fringe the bog. "We would like to thank the Countryside Council for Wales along with all the locals and landowners who have been very supportive of this project and would encourage more people to get involved during the summer," added Dr Bezant.