Time Team: Penparcau

04 May 2017

“It is really exciting. It is especially important because the local community has made this happen. How amazing to think that Penparcau has its own ‘Time Team’.”

Residents involved with the Local Conversation in Penparcau have found themselves at the heart of a major historical discovery that could re-write the history of Aberystwyth. It is hoped that the discovery could boost tourism in the area.  

The Penparcau Forum History and Heritage Group - the town’s very own ‘Time Team’ - commissioned a survey into a much-loved local landmark that has revealed significant evidence of a settlement in the area much earlier than historians previously thought.

The geophysical survey found a burial mound (a ‘barrow’) and a number of other interesting formations that appear to be a number of roundhouses that can be dated back to the Bronze Age.

Last month, local people, a team of archaeologists from Archaeology Wales and archaeological consultants Trysor carried out the first comprehensive geophysical survey of the interior of Pen Dinas, the huge Iron Age hillfort overlooking Aberystwyth on the Ceredigion coast of west Wales.

The survey was part of a project called Pen Dinas Hill Fort: Exploring the Celtic Coast, by Penparcau Community Forum.

Dr Alan Chamberlain, a resident of Penparcau who has been heavily involved with the project, said:

“It is really exciting. It is especially important because the local community has made this happen.  How amazing to think that Penparcau has its own ‘Time Team’.”

Dr Chamberlain said the results of the survey will help to decide whether it is feasible to carry out more archaeology on the site, and it is hoped the discoveries could boost tourism and allow the site to be promoted as a place of myth and legend.

Pen Dinas, which is described by the St Fagans National History Museum as “one of the largest and most important hillforts in west Wales”, is designated a scheduled ancient monument by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

Pictured: Penparcau Forum History and Heritage Group's unveiling of the first ever geophysical scan of the South Fort of Pen Dinas.

Penparcau Forum History and Heritage Group invited local residents along to join them at the unveiling of the exciting results of the first ever geophysical scan on the South Fort of the famous Iron Age Hill Fort, Pen Dinas. The event took place on Saturday 29 April at Neuadd Goffa, Penparcau.

As well as sharing the promising results of the geophysical scan of Pendinas, they also hosted a RCAHMW exhibition, a drones and hillfort exhibition, archaeological activity and a creative writing workshop.

Bryn Jones, from Penparcau Community Forum, said:

“This is a momentous occasion for the village of Penparcau and a great opportunity to get together and celebrate our incredible community.

“This is a very exciting and significant, historical find. It also changes the way we now see
Pendinas. We now must place it as the home of a community not only in the Iron Age, but also in the Bronze Age. Not a bad find for our little Penparcau Forum history group!

“Thank you to everyone who joined us and has supported us with this project, there are some very, very exciting Pendinas projects in the pipeline so watch this space.”


The Penparcau Forum History and Heritage Group is part of Penparcau Community Forum’s wider work on the Local Conversation project, which is funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthDiverse through The Health Lottery.

The History and Heritage Group were funded for this activity by 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.


To read more news from the Trust, click here

To read more about the Local Conversation in Penparcau, click here

To read more great ideas funded by the Trust, click here.


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