Brecon Beacons YAC digging at Ty Mawr
We were invited to visit Ty Mawr, to have a tour around the site and to do some digging. We were all there ready at 11am and spent the first half hour in the classroom where the owner of Ty Mawr, Nigel Gervis, gave us a talk on the history of the site and showed us some of the decorated plaster work found there.
There was a Tudor mansion on the site which is shown on a wonderful map from 1541 which we were able to see. The building was very highly decorated and we soon learned that we would be excavating on a high-status site. The mansion had been demolished by 1870 and it is believed that much of the stonework was reused on local farms.
Exploring Ty Mawr
We left the classroom and went out to look at some of the many finds from previous excavations. Everything from decorated stonework right down to buttons and a nit comb. Ty Mawr is situated on the shores of the beautiful Llangors Lake with wonderful views and on the day of our visit ... beautiful sunshine!
We walked from the site down towards the lake to view the crannog, a man-made island dating from the 10th century. We stopped briefly for a short history lesson about the crannog; it's the only one in Wales! Then our explorations took us onwards along the lake down to Llangasty Church and back through the fields stopping to look at pillow mounds and ridge and furrow. The area is packed with amazing archaeology!
After our walk, we definitely deserved our lunch, sitting in the sun on the lawns at Ty Mawr.
Excavating Ty Mawr
After lunch the excavating began. One of the leaders gave a short talk outlining our plan for the afternoon and we began work. The most exciting finds of the afternoon were three pieces of decorated wall plaster which joined together to make a rose. A beautiful find which Nigel assured us was from the original decoration of the house. Nigel took the plaster finds to add to the collection of items he shows to visitors. We were all very impressed.
Gallons of orange squash were needed on a hot afternoon with everyone working hard and taking it all very seriously.
We ended up with a "show and tell" session sitting in the shade after our sunny afternoon of digging.
Huge thanks to Nigel Gervis and his family for their welcome and hospitality.
Blog by Sue Ware, Brecon Beacon YAC Leader
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