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Road improvement works on the A4226 Five Mile Lane near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan have revealed what was later described as “surprising” and “significant” Roman and Medieval remains.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council contracted-in Rubicon Heritage Services, who conducted an archaeological excavation of three sites resulting in the finds of a Roman mercenary buried with his sword, Iron Age farming tools, ancient burial sites and the remnants of roundhouses.

Bronze Age Burial site at Five Mile Lane © Rubicon Heritage Services

The site has been described as a “ceremonial and funerary landscape in the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, through to farming in the Iron Age and being part of a wealthy Roman farmstead, to a Medieval burial ground which reused the earlier burial mound, and finally to the post-medieval agricultural landscape we see today”.

Roman Villa at Five Mile Lane © Rubicon Heritage Services

Other agencies assisting in the excavation included the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff University, Cadw and the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust.

Following proper analysis, all the artefacts will be placed into safekeeping with the National Museum of Wales.

Medieval Burial at Five Mile Lane © Rubicon Heritage Services

Mark Collard from Rubicon Heritage Services, said: “We’re very pleased to be able now to share the results in such an accessible format with the communities of the area.”

Rubicon Heritage Services’ have produced a fascinating e-book detailing the excavation entitled ‘Guide to the excavations at FIVE MILE LANE – 6,000 Years of Life in the Vale of Glamorgan’. It is available as a free PDF download from the Rubicon Heritage Services website. There is also an explanatory ‘map story’ that can be accessed here.

With thanks to Myghal Map Serpren

Britain’s biggest metal detecting event will be in Cambridgeshire in September.

It will be held on 1000 acres and over 700 people have expressed an interest so far (and previously over 1,000 have attended).

Here’s what they are charging …

Looks like the takings will exceed £110,000 (and perhaps more than £160,00, plus rents for numerous trade stands).

For what benefit to heritage and science?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting

A comparatively simple puzzle this month. Yes, it’s a screenshot of a hill figure. But which one?

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the ever-popular Pathways to the Past event held by the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network (CASPN) returns next month.


The confirmed timetable for this year’s event is as follows:

Saturday May 28th:

  • 10.00-12.30pm A New Bosiliack Trail Guided Walk, visiting Bosiliack settlement, Lanyon & West Lanyon Quoits.
  • 2.00-5.00pm Where The Spirits Dwell, a guided walk visiting Zennor Quoit, Sperris Quoit and Sperris settlement. (small charge)
  • 7.30-9.00pm Investigating Archaeology & Astronomy at The Hurlers, an illustrated talk with archaeologist Jackie Nowakowski & Carolyn Kennett looking back at the excavations.

Sunday May 29th:

  • 11.00-12.30pm From Prehistory to Present – the remarkable story of ‘King Arthur’s Tombstone’. Archaeologist Ann Preston-Jones tells an intriguing story about the site at Slaughterbridge.
  • 2.00-5.00pm A Megalithic Meander in the Shadow of Carn Galva, a guided walk visiting barrows, a circle, an entrance grave and a menhir.
  • 7.30-9.00pm King Arthur in Cornish folklore. A talk by folklorist Steve Patterson, looking at how Arthur has appeared in myth, history, literature, mysticism and popular culture.

All events are free to CASPN members. All walks (for CASPN members only) have to be booked in advance, as places are limited (and going fast!) The three talks, which will be held at the Old Town Hall, St Just TR19 7HT are also open to the public @ £5 each. Full details, including how to become a member, can be found on the CASPN web site.

Dear Fellow Landowners,

According to detectorist Charliechap this week the way to ask us for permission is to …

Call in the farm in person , dressed smart , be polite , never mention money,contracts,pas,treasure trove,insurance,50/50 split…or anything like that, that can come later… mention history is your interest. All your wanting is to make a good impression and secure the permission . And leave it as that . Shake his hand, thank him and go home . Once this is done, you can bring in the other things on future meetings”.

So don’t tell them what you’re after. Or anything to do with responsible detecting.

And his colleague chips in …

You have to be a “salesman”.
Approaching that farmer can be tricky, they don’t tend to suffer fools gladly and their initial impression of you is critical. Big beaming smile like your a long lost pal, no awkward girly steps across the farmyard, you need to look like you belong in the country, if you look like the environment is alien to you, the farmer won’t want you there.
I always find downplaying the area helps too. The farmer will naturally be on his guard as some randomer approaches wanting something from him. You’re don’t expect to find anything in such a place you just thought you’d ask as you where passing. This can be a moment to try and pull at the heart strings, that you have this harmless little old hobby and nobody will let you play

Once you’ve been given the go ahead, don’t let the farmer see you digging every time he passes, start your hunting where you know he’s least likely to spend time his time. You start making plug holes near his house while imposing yourself in his immediate vicinity and he might tell you today is just a one off.
Basically you kiss his arse until you become more acquainted and a regular sight on his land without him knowing your doing it.

You might consider if you want anyone like that on your land.


Silas Brown, Grunters Hollow, Worfield


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting

As another deadline for the future of the Stonehenge WHS approaches, we have received the following communication from the Stonehenge alliance:

Dear Supporter,

This is a reminder to let you know that the deadline for comments on submissions by National Highways is nearly upon us. 

We are most concerned that, once again,  National Highways is lobbying hard for its discredited Stonehenge road widening scheme to be approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.   
We believe our list of points make a compelling case for a re-examination of the scheme BEFORE the Secretary of State redetermines a re-application for the very same road scheme.

Comments must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate  by 23:59, MONDAY, 4 APRIL 2022
Please email:
Western tunnel entrance and cutting | Photo and image credit: National Highways 2019.  More images of the Stonehenge road scheme can be found here.
Thank you so much to all our supporters who have sent comments to the Planning Inspectorate. 

Several of you have pointed out that if you did not register as an “interested party” for the Examination in 2019 you might receive a bureaucratic reply from the Planning Inspectorate as per the graphic below.

DO NOT be discouraged!  Your comments will be read, they will make a difference and, we sincerely hope, will be published by the Secretary of State for Transport along with all the others.  One of our supporters who took exception to the irksome reply, elicited an informative response from the Planning Inspectorate. The exchange can be read here.
ABOUT THE STONEHENGE ALLIANCE: The Stonehenge Alliance is a group of non-governmental organisations and individuals that seeks enhancements to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and opposes development that would cause it significant harm.


April 2022

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