We have stalled really with getting the work at St Beuno’s done. We have put in for a grant with Engage Mutual. The success of our application is based on people voting for us. Please could you spend a couple of seconds and vote here: https://www.engagemutual.com/foundation/projects/wirral-north-wales-field-archaeology/
Also, please pass this on to all your friends?
At the moment not a lot is happening in the way of excavation at the well. The last visit was last week when Martin and I uncovered what could well be a path that probably ran around the edge of the well. This consisted of stones laid on top of a clay surface. We can date this to around the 18th century because of the number of clay pipes (broken I hasten to add) and some slipware pottery. Beneath the clay layer were some more bits of clay pipe, so we are pretty certain that the clay is not natural. The same sort of pattern is in Trench I, although because of the very wet conditions no work has been done on Trench I.
As the trees have lost their leaves, and all the vegetation has died back, it has been possible to see a lot more features relating to the site. In order for us to investigate these features properly I think it will be necessary to do a lot more clearance around the well. Also, it is important to be able to put the well into proper context with St. Winifride’s and all the surrounding area. To do this properly all the trees surrounding the well to the east, and south should be cleared. This would provide a clear view down the hill to St. Winifride’s and across the River Dee. To the south there are a lot of features and also the entire shape of the hillside needs looking at. I have tried to contact Hywel of the BTCV to no avail, our secretary Julie has also tried. She is now going to contact the BTCV directly. Failing that, we could get permission from Transitions Towns Holywell to see if the Army Cadets could possibly help us. Any more ideas?
We also have a bit of a problem with access at the moment. The school has changed the locks on the school gates. (Nothing to do with the loss of the key I promise), and at the moment they only have keys for the staff. The secretary has told me that she will do her best to get one for us, but at the moment we can only go during the week. Unless anyone wants to brave the steps with the gear.
I am going to contact CWPT to see if they have access to LIDAR. I think that this would be very useful to us to get a clearer picture of the well area. They may be able to lend us the facilities to use it.In the meantime, we will attempt to go to the site every Thursday. If another day would be more convenient for people, just let me know.
Please try to come to Wetherspoons on the 16th, we can all be sociable together.
Also, if you would like to come to Stonehenge in April, please book your room at the Travelodge, Amesbury. The coach is booked and the more we can fill it, the cheaper it will be.
Also, it is the Wrexham Science Festival 19th – 27th July. As part of this Felicity is giving a talk – “From the Flintstones to the modern age”.
Around 4,000 years ago the life of the ancient peoples of Britain was transformed with the arrival of the Bronze Age. Find out what life was really like during the Stone Age with this hands-on workshop.
Learn about the use of stone, with demonstrations from our very own flintknapper, and discover how the arrival of the new technology of metal working forever changed the way our ancestors lived.
To book FREE tickets for this event you will need to call Box Office 01978 293293
This coming fortnight is the “Festival of Archaeology”. There is a website which lists what is on here: http://festival.britarch.ac.uk/
We are hoping to have a visit to the most local (to us) place in Caerwys, the Hen Caerwys Excavation. the details for this are:
Hen Caerwys excavation
Sat 21, Sun 22 & Sat 28 July; 10.00-16.00
A chance to take a tour around the excavation of a medieval site, learn about the monument & surrounding woodland, & talk to the archaeologists. …
Come and visit Cadw and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust on a working archaeological excavation at the deserted medieval village of Hen Caerwys and talk to the archaeologists about their work. Open days and guided tours of the monument and woodlands will take place on the 21st, 22nd and 28th, 10am to 4pm. This is a woodland site so sturdy footwear advised. Directions and parking arrangements to be posted soon. Free Event
Location: Hen Caerwys. Please contact Will Davies for directions.
Name: Will Davies
Tel: 01443 336000
If you fancy going along on Saturday morning we may well see you there!
Just tolet everyone know, we shall be digging this weekend. We shall be meeting at about 10.30am in the school car park. Hope to see lots of you there!
The next instalment from St. Bueno’s Well.
What an adventure we had finding it! It felt as though we were trying to find lost Aztec temples in the rainforests of Central America at times fighting our way through the undergrowth. We did find some interesting ruins but then we heard a hail from afar that the well was discovered. My first reaction when we first beheld it was “oh gosh what have we let ourselves in for”, but after a couple of hours of hacking and ripping this reaction was modified to “perhaps”. Its fair to say that there is a lot of work to be done. However, we have been promised the help of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, so hopefully they will be able to help with the clearance work.
Looking at the way the bushes have grown around the Well, I believe that they have been planted deliberately probably about 50 or so years ago which would fit with the departure of the Jesuit mission at St. Winifride’s Well. Possibly therefore the Well was intentionally closed to pilgrims at this time.
There are several safety factors which need consideration when excavating such a site as this. We need ropes and planks – floorboards would be good if anyone has any lying about, also extreme care needs to be taken as the sides of the Well are quite steep and footing is uncertain. So exciting!!!!
There is a variety of pyramidal orchid growing in profusion around the site. These need digging up and moving out of the way, also I think we may have a family of badgers living in the vicinity of the ruins we discovered, so we need to find information on the life style of badgers as we don’t want to disturb them any more than is needful.
Attached are a couple of photos of the Well.
If you would want to come and visit and/or work with us directions are:
From the car park of St Winifride’s Roman Catholic Primary School. Go in through the gates and across the playing fields to the left hand corner. There is an open corner of the surrounding fence. Follow the cleared path right, through the trees and over a little stony stream bed (dry). The path is beaten through the grass and you should hear us. If not shout and someone will come and guide you.