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Nevern Castle 2009-10


Click here for the Dig Diary Summer 2010


Summer 2010 Excavation
The summer 2010 excavation will run from 21 June to 16 July. Daily tours of the excavation will be provided, except on Thursdays.

Nevern Castle is one of Pembrokeshire’s best-kept secrets. This quiet and atmospheric site, lying less than 2 kms from Newport on Pembrokeshire’s north coast, played a key role in the 12th century wars between the Welsh princes and English invaders. The original defences of the site are, however, believed to be much earlier, built as part of an Iron Age fort over 2500 years ago. Between the Iron Age and the 12th century it is likely that Welsh princes established a court or 'llys' in the castle. If so, the castle may have been in continuous use for almost 2000 years.

The Lord Rhys
Principal amongst Nevern Castle’s characters is the Lord Rhys. The Lord Rhys ruled the kingdom of Deheubarth (south-west Wales) and was the dominant Welsh leader for nearly four decades. However, he could not control his feuding sons, and in 1194 his own son imprisoned him in the tower at Nevern.

The project
The Nevern Castle project aims to find out more about this site through a programme of archaeological excavation. The excavation will run for three separate seasons over two years, and will look for evidence of building styles and techniques, and of day to day life in a 12th century castle. The dig will be open for the public to visit, and we welcome visits from groups including schools, history groups etc.

Afterwards, the project will improve access to the site, and present Nevern Castle as somewhere to come to enjoy the atmosphere and appreciate the history.

Aims of Excavation and Site History

The Site and Archaeological Excavations

Dig Diary Spring 2010

Dig Diary 2009



The team
Partners in this project include Nevern Community Council, the University of Durham and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Funding has been provide by Cadw. The Castle is owned by the Community Council.

The excavations

It is planned to excavate a series of 5 trenches over the forthcoming seasons. These have been located in order to investigate specific areas within the castle and to address specific archaeological questions.

Trench A – located within the interior of the castle bailey - to investigate remains of wooden buildings identified in 2008.

Trench B - located within the interior of the castle bailey – to investigate the extent of a masonry building identified in 2008.

Trench D – located across the defensive ditch and possible course of the entrance roadway

Trench E – located at junction between the motte and the defensive bank – to investigate which came first the bank and ditch or the motte.

Trench F – located on the top of the motte – to reveal the nature of the masonry structure


Find out more …
There are loads of ways to find out more about the Nevern Castle project!

· Go on-line – www.neverncastle.com
· Visit the site and take a free guided tour of the excavation
· Come and volunteer to take part in the dig
· Bring your school out to the site to see archaeology in action
· Arrange for someone to come and talk to your group or society
· Take a walking tour of Nevern, including the church, pilgrim’s cross and castle – free leaflets are available

For information about any of these options, call Duncan Schlee on 01558 825984 • Email




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