Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology and Religion is working with the Vale of Glamorgan Council on an exciting project to increase community awareness and access to learning about Cosmeston Medieval Village and the surrounding area.
Initially discovered in 1979 by local archaeology company GGAT, University excavations since 2007, involving students and the local community, have advanced our understanding of this complex medieval settlement.
With excavations now having completed their fifth year this blog will provide you the inside track with the exciting discoveries and finds as they come out of the ground.
About the site
Founded by a Norman family (the De Costentin’s) in the 12th Century, Cosmeston was a small medieval village in South Glamorgan near Cardiff.
It is traditionally regarded as a deserted medieval village; a place where the inhabitants met a grizzly end during the black death.
Our excavations have helped us understand that this is not strictly true. The manor remained standing until the 15th century and pottery indicates continued activity across the site. After this date the village changed, the manor was demolished and the village reduced in size.
Even then the story of Cosmeston was not over, with a series of large post-medieval farmyards surrounding a large rectangular building (likely a farmhouse) in the area where a reconstructed Tithe Barn now stands.
Cosmeston is still alive, with Lower Cosmeston Farm and a new housing estate (Upper Cosmeston) constituting a vibrant community with 1000 years of history. The excavations over the last 30 years along with the reconstructions, museum and ‘living’ interpretation (provided by permanent village staff) have enabled the local community to directly engage with their past.
Can I get involved?
Yes! There are often opportunities for members of the public to dig at Cosmeston or help with post excavation. If you are interested then please contact the Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology and Religion community engagement co-ordinator Dr David Wyatt.
If you are considering studying archaeology at Cardiff it may be worth applying for one of the University’s fully funded ‘taster’ excavation placements. For further details please see here.
The recently formed Cosmeston Medieval Village Trust are also seeking to recruit volunteers over the age of 16 to help out with various activities, including:
For more details see the Trust’s volunteering page.
The project is managed and directed by Professor John Hines, for enquiries relating to the excavation please contact him directly.
For information and contact details regarding this site (and it’s related Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Storify and Google+ accounts) please see about the blog.
The official Cardiff University project webpage is available here.
Please note that opinions expressed on this site are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Cardiff University, Cosmeston Medieval Village or any former, current or future organisation with which an author may be affiliated.