Cyfarthfa Park Roman Excavation – Volunteers needed!

Hi , we hope you are all having a great summer. Sorry for the lack of digs this year, but here is something that should hopefully whet your appetite, get your trowels a-tingling and your wellies a-wobbling.
We had news of an exciting event from Rodger (our Archaeologist) this week which we would like to share with you .

Would you like to be a volunteer on a major archaeological investigation, working with the Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust ?
The Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust are actively seeking volunteers to help with the excavation and trenching works on a Roman site in Cyfarthfa Park.
If you would like to be a part of this exciting project, further  details can be found here:
If you are wondering where Cyfarthfa Park is, here is a google map of the location
Registration to take part in the project is essential, If you are interested in attending please send your contact details to
Good Luck and Best Regards,
Nigel  Thomas
(ACS Social Media Officer and Web Site Administrator )
Please note that this is not an Ancient Cwmbran Society organised event , therefore we will be unable to assist or answer any questions you may have.

A tour of Roman Caerleon

IMG_0852On Saturday 30th April 2016 the ACS spent the day at Caerleon, with our venerable Archaeologist as a most knowledgeable and entertaining   guide.  We visited the Barracks , the Amphitheatre , the Baths and the Museum with a spot of lunch in the pleasant surroundings of the Hanbury Arms.

There was almost a modern day Gladitorial  contest within the Amphitheatre when a young father was politely requested to stop his small son climbing all over the  walls of the preserved monument.  The aforementioned (supposedly responsible)  adult took great offence at the request  ( it’s only a pile of old stones innit ? )  and  (what’s  it got to do with you , my kid can play where he likes ) before lumbering  off , his knuckles making little streaks along the finely mown grass  to continue  his football game within those ancient walls. The child was later seen still engaged in his mountaineering activities with his father looking on.

We cannot corroborate reports that a similar looking young man was later seen to be chased by an older somewhat agitated bearded gentleman wildly swinging a CADW sign in wide swinging chopping motions .

To see some photos of the trip , please click the link below which will take you to our Flickr photo album.

Good Friday Walk 2016

I have had so many emails this week , I thought it would be a good idea to let everybody know that

 The ACS will not be taking part in the Good Friday Walk this year

but the Twm-Barlwm Society and other groups will be making their way up there as usual.


Richard Davies


The Ancient Cwmbran Society holds a monthly Committee Meeting on the first Wednesday of every month.

During the meeting held in January, our good friend and Co-Founder of the Ancient Cwmbran Project, Richard Davies, tendered his resignation from the Committee.

A little history for anybody who may not be aware of our beginnings, it was due to the interest and determination to find out more about the local woods by local residents Richard Davies and Mike Price, that the Ancient Cwmbran & The Cistercian Project was created. A £48,000 grant was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore Greenmeadow Woods along with some other previously unrecorded sites of interest in the Greenmeadow and Thornhill areas.

This all happened way back in 2009, and the project really struck a chord with the local population ( and surprisingly with many others from outside the area) being a huge success with some 200 people showing interest in the Project. The work was carried out by volunteers from the local community and celebrated the medieval pilgrim heritage of the area through a complimentary art project, and produced a large carved effigy of St Derfel. A medieval crop growing project was established and circular heritage walk leaflet was produced for the area, along with a most informative publication entitled “Warriors, Saints and Lords”.

When the Project ended, it was mainly due to the drive and determination of Richard that the Ancient Cwmbran Society was founded, with its inaugural meeting held in Henllys Village hall on June 14th 2011.

It was with some reluctance that we accepted Richards resignation from the Committee, but please be rest assured that Richard will continue to remain a friend of the Ancient Cwmbran Society, and will continue to support the Society during the transition period and will continue to join our activities as a Friend of the ACS.

On a personal note, I, and probably many others, will miss Richard’s vast wealth of knowledge and boundless energy and enthusiasm that we have all been graced with over the past 8 years.

I am sure that you will join me in wishing Richard every success in his future endeavours.

Best Regards


On behalf of the ACS Committee.

2015 in review

Hello Dear Followers ,

WordPress has published a report about our “Latest News” blog  which I thought you may find interesting

( I did,  but then I write it all, so I would  )

Best Regards


Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Our Libraries Are Under Threat!

ACS public awareness campaign.

The Ancient Cwmbran Society tends not to become involved in political activism of any type, but recently we became aware of some proposed cut backs which would affect the very core of our existence,  namely the ability to gather and disseminate records and information held within the public library system.

Did  you know that many Public Libraries are under threat of closure ?

Yes, it’s true.

More than 500 out of the 4500 libraries in the UK are earmarked to close .

Many of us spare little thought for our local library services now that we have instant access to news, books and other media from our phones and other modern devices, but many people are still reliant on our Public Libraries, such as those of an earlier generation who may not feel to comfortable with our modern technology or those without internet access seeking employment.

The Government and Local Authorities have a legal responsibility to provide you with a quality library service that meets your needs. Please click the following link for an explanation of what will happen if these services are eroded by Local Authority cutbacks.

My Library By Right 

How can you help ?

If you feel as strongly as we do about the loss of this essential service , please join us in signing this petition

Petition to stop the cutbacks

Please click the following link to see a map detailing the current situation  closure map


Many Thanks


The Ancient Cwmbran Society.

2015 AGM

5983_1179677505380371_6470429848956748351_nOn Wednesday 16th December the Ancient Cwmbran Society held its Annual General Meeting at the Bush Inn ,Upper Cwmbran .

After the obligatory reports from the Chairman and Treasurer were delivered and officers elected for the coming year,  it was time for a few drinks with old friends at our Christmas Social .

Wishing all our Members past and present and our Facebook and Twitter friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Nadolig Llawen


2015 Annual General Meeting.

We are holding our AGM and our Christmas gathering all at the same time this year.

The meeting will take place at the Bush Pub at 6:30pm on Wednesday 16th December.

At the Bush that night is music and a curry evening Lamb or Chicken £7.50 & £6:50 if you wish to have one please book it. the number for the Bush is 01633 483764.

For anyone who is doesn’t know the location of the Bush Public House, here is a google maps link. (the Bush is lovely cosy little pub with real coal fires when its cold)

Could I ask that if If you are planning come along to the AGM / Christmas gathering, please drop me a line  (Nigel) at so we can reserve another bench if numbers dictate. (it’s not essential since we know that AGM’s are not everybody’s idea of fun , but if everybody reading this post attends, we may need more room)

Many thanks for your support over the past year ,
and if we don’t see you at the AGM,
the Committee wishes you all
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Nadolig Llawen



The Red Red Robin goes bob bob bobbing along :-)

On Wednesday 17th June 2015, members of the ACS had a lovely day on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

Billed initially as a heritage trip – but once the sun rose over the yard arm and the ships grog ration was administered, any thoughts of heritage were soon forgotten as we all relaxed into a life on the water, chugging along at a sedate 3 miles per hour in the good ship “Red Robin”.

All safely delivered to the Wharf by Dave’s mini bus

Happy Cath !

Annie, Glen and Glyn ready to set sail , barely able to contain their excitement !

Some old bloke trying to hitch a lift – oops- sorry Richard – jump aboard !

Goytre Wharf is a 200 year old former industrial site, which, in later years transitioned into a Marina and Wharf for around 120 canal boats. There are some very impressive lime kilns at the site and a lovely cottage nestled down in the bottom of the area which, in days gone by, was the Weighman’s Cottage which housed the weighing machine used to weigh coal, limestone and other goods so that a Toll could be charged to the relevant company  for the use of the tramroad.
Nowadays the cottage is used as a rather picturesque holiday rental property .

This fact sheet about the canal is, although written for a younger audience, actually rather informative

And this link explains in a little more detail about the general history of the Wharf.

After some mandatory instructions about how to drive the boat safely from the team at the Wharf, ( “just give me the blooming keys will you, i’ve done it all before” )  we set sail, leaving behind the lovely setting that is Goytre Wharf.

Goytre Wharf
Goytre Wharf

“Machine Cottage” was formerly the  Weighman’s Cottage .

The “Dragon” on the slip way. No good to us though because it has no toilet

The Red Robin !
Ahh, here is our charge for the day – The Red Robin !

And we’re off !

In the capable hands of Captain Richard and First Mate Glyn, with navigator Dave, or Jack , or Phil – we never did get to the bottom of that one did we ?

What’s that up ahead ?

A Heron


Posing for the camera


Such a lovely setting.

Move to the right when passing is the law on the canal

All under control until Three Bells – then it was time for a change of Watch and it all went pear shaped  !
Able Seaman Annie threw us both overboard so she could have a go
And then all that
And then all that “Girl Power” stuff started ( yes of course you went through the bridge without touching the side dear – but the straight ones are easy, us men went through the ones on a bend)
And then it was a free for all .
Bosun Thomas managed to regain some control of the ship, and had the insurgents flogged to an inch of their lives
While Rodger the Cabin Boy proudly displays one of the shrunken trophy  heads from the Mutiny

By which time we had reached bridge 62 the mutiny had been quashed, all handbags had been retrieved and all heads returned to their rightful owners, it was time for dinner.

We did attempt to turn the boat around , but strangely enough- for some reason –  nobody could quite figure out how to do it any more …………..Best leave it till after dinner .



We managed to tie it up and all disembarked safely to walk the short distance to the Star Inn



Rectory Cottage sells some excellent honey

The Star Inn Mamhilad


After an excellent Dinner, it was time for an afternoon constitutional so a gentle amble around the churchyard of St Illtyd,s church yard.  St Illtyd’s church is thought to be of the 14th or 15th century but occupying the site of an earlier foundation church, possibly dating to the 6th century. The yew tree within it grounds is reportedly two to  three thousand years old.

Click this link to the Ancient Yew Web Page



Looking good for Three Thousand Years old .
Lovely Church – so tranquil

Sadly, it was time to return to the Wharf or risk losing our deposit on the boat if we did not return it before 5 PM,  so we weighed anchor, shivered several timbers, hoisted the Mizzen Mast and set out with a following wind to ye olde Goytree Wharfee, thankfully some of us had regained sufficient mental capacity to direct the pointy end of the boat  back in the general direction of Goytre by that time.

Tried to weigh Anchor but only had Stork unfortunately


Sitting in the front of the boat just listening to the steady chug chug chug of the engine – Superb !
yes dear, I did put that nice one in of us




So you managed to fish your hat out of the canal then Rich ?



Everybody enjoyed the day .
Sadly all too soon we were back at the boathouse
Cream tea is the order of the day

And with the Red Robin safely delivered back into the care of “Redline Boats” , it was time for a cream tea back at the Cafe.

Thanks all for watching- Till next year !