We invite members of the Society to suggest destinations for evening walks, full and part day visits or long weekend excursions to sites of archaeological, architectural or historical interest. Please contact Alice Bray
Society Excursions in 2018
Visit to the site of Aldford Castle, Sunday 21st October 2018
Dr Rachel Swallow has kindly agreed to lead a walking tour of the site of Aldford Castle. What appears to be a minor earthwork castle tucked in a field behind the church today, Aldford was in fact a significant castle in medieval Cheshire. While the first surviving documentary mention of the castle is late (1277), and previous archaeological excavation confirms this date, multidisciplinary and cross-period research points to a castle of a much earlier date for its foundation (12th century, at the latest), and to one that possessed a designed landscape of park, church and settlement – possibly established at the outset of the castle’s build.
Members should meet at 11am at the community car park off Church Lane, Alford opposite St John’s Church (CH3 6JD). After the visit there is the opportunity to visit the Grosvenor Arms for refreshments.
This visit is free of charge but booking would be appreciated, contact Alice Bray or phone 07920 483 438
Information about excursions to date in 2018
Visit to Oswestry Castle Community Research Project live dig at the Castle Mound, Oswestry, Sunday 16th September 2018
OCCRP have been excavating here seasonally since 2014 to investigate the largely buried remains of an Anglo-Norman keep probably dating from the mid-12th to early 13th century.
Eighteen CAS members and guests heard an introductory talk by Roger Cooper, site director, in the Guildhall before touring the excavation site on the Castle Mound.
Visit to Clwydian Range Archaeology Group live dig at Moel Arthur, Saturday 28th July 2018
This hillside site has produced evidence of human activity over the past 8,000 years, including a considerable assemblage of flint and other stone tools. The tour group saw that this year’s excavation was well underway. Ian Brooks explained the history of the site saying that early results looked interesting as Clwydian Range Archaeology Group (CRAG) members excavations follow up ring-shaped anomalies from the geo-physical survey.
CAS Tour of the Archaeology of the Vale of Llangollen, Saturday 28th April 2018
This tour was led by Professor Howard Williams, of the Dept. of Archaeology, University of Chester who has worked in and extensively studied the Vale of Llangollen archaeological landscape.
The tour group visited and discussed the iconic ancient monuments of the Pillar of Eliseg, Valle Crucis Abbey and Castell Dinas Brân.
More information about the sites can be found on Professor Howard Williams’ Archaeodeath Blog:
Information about excursions that took place in 2017
Visit to the Poulton Research Project Saturday 19th August 2017
Dr Kevin Cootes led a visit of 18 CAS members and guests to the Poulton Research Project, and gave a very comprehensive talk on the Project updated to discoveries of that very morning.
In fair weather we then toured the large site which has yielded evidence of human activity almost continuously from the Mesolithic period right up to modern times.
Finds excavated that day included a medieval arrow head and what is thought to be a bodkin, pending x-ray confirmation.
Thanks are due to Dr Cootes from CAS for a very interesting, thought-provoking and illuminating afternoon.
Guided tour of the Amphitheatre and Roman Gardens
As part of the Chester Heritage Festival Peter Carrington led guided tours of the Amphitheatre and Roman Gardens on Thursday 20th July and Saturday 22nd July 2017.
The site of Shotwick Castle
On Saturday 8th July 27 members and guests enjoyed a walking tour to the site of C12th Shotwick Castle led by Dr Peter Carrington
Peter Carrington writes:
For those who want to know more about the strategy behind Shotwick Castle and the other castles of W Cheshire I recommend Rachel Swallow’s article, ‘Cheshire Castles of the Irish Sea Cultural Zone’ in the Archaeological Journal vol. 173 (2), 2016. You can download this from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00665983.2016.1191279 (free, at least for the moment).
Nearby is one of John Douglas’s houses, Shotwick House (1872), now converted to apartments. For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotwick_House.
Shotwick village (SJ 337 718) is also interesting and there is some information at http://www.shotwick.org.uk/village.html.
Norton Priory and its new Museum
On 27th April 21 members enjoyed a special guided tour of Norton Priory which was led by Lynn Smith, Senior Keeper at the new museum.
Information about excursions that were organised in 2016
Live Dig Visit to Moel y Gaer, Sunday 24 July 2016
Professor Gary Lock of Oxford University hosted a field visit by CAS members at the ongoing dig at Moel y Gaer, Bodfari, now in its fourth year. The weather was fine and members found much to interest them on this large site.
Staffordshire Hoard Gallery, Thursday 14 April 2016
Twenty nine CAS members and guests enjoyed a visit to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Many thanks to Pieta Greaves & Kayleigh Fuller of the curatorial staff for interesting and informative talks on the Staffordshire Hoard www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk They provided us with a tour of their conservation labs as well as answering many questions from members on less well known aspects of their investigations.