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Bronze Age burial found

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AN EVENT was held last month in Penparcau to celebrate new and exciting findings about Pen Dinas Hill Fort.

The two-day ‘never been done before’ geophysical survey took place on April 5-6, by a team of archaeologists from Archaeology Wales, Trysor and a number of local people from the Penparcau Community Forum.

The survey shows that much more archaeology survives within the hillfort than can be seen on the surface, increasing the archaeological potential of the site.

A number of probable hut circles, the sites of round buildings typical of the Iron Age, have been identified as well as evidence of small ‘quarry scoops’ along the eastern side of the fort.

Undoubtedly the most significant discovery, is the confirmation that a low mound on the hilltop is a Bronze Age round barrow. This is a grave site, where the cremated remains of an important figure would have been buried over 3500 years ago.

“This is the first Bronze Age monument to be recorded in Penparcau and Aberystwyth,” explains Dr Alan Chamberlain who is a local resident and trustee of the Penparcau Community Forum.

“Its discovery changes the way we look at Pen Dinas and its hinterland. Its presence means that the hill must have been a place of special importance long before the hillfort was constructed.”

He adds: “The Bronze Age inhabitants of the district would have been a sophisticated and well-organised community, farming the land around the hill.  Speculation surrounds the location of their settlements, but they must have looked up at Pen Dinas with a similar sense of wonder as modern people would.”

“To them it was a place to bury someone of importance, perhaps a sacred landscape, from where an ancestor could watch over them.  We can only wonder if the Iron Age inhabitants of the hillfort were aware of this ancient grave when they built their fortified settlement.”

“These findings are re-writing history for Penparcau, Aberystwyth and Wales.  It’s really exciting and nationally significant! It’s especially important, because the local community has made this happen – how amazing to think that Penparcau has its own ‘Time Team.”

John Davies, Chair of the Cynnal y Cardi Local Action Group (LAG), which is administered by Ceredigion County Council said: “The project aims to continue the good work already completed by all those involved, and add value to local identity by using digital technologies. We hope this will attract more visitors to the site for tourism and education and enhancing a sense of place.”

The survey is part of an innovative ‘grass roots’ community led bilingual heritage and environment project called ‘Pen Dinas Hill Fort: Exploring the Celtic Coast’, which was developed by Penparcau Community Forum History and Heritage Group.

The project received LEADER support through the Cynnal y Cardi Local Action Group (LAG), and funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. The project is also supported by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW).

The project is looking for more volunteers from the local area, so if you would like to get involved in this exciting project please contact: contact@Penparcau.cymru

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Man accused of sexually assaulting six-year-old girls

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A FORMER Penparcau man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting two six year old girls.

Raymond Albert Wardall, 55, now of Blaenllynant Lodge, Queens Road, Aberystwyth, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Wardall denied a total of eight charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.

He will stand trial on November 27 and was granted bail until then.

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Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian

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NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.

The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.

High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).

NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.

24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.

NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.

Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.

“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.

“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”

Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.

Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.

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​Major bequests for Aber research ​

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TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.

The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.

Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.

The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.

The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.

“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”

Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.

The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”

In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.

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