Nevern Castle (G-B) : Intriguing Finds Unearthed


Intriguing Finds Unearthed At Nevern Castle

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Pieces of inscribed slate unearthed during an archaeological dig could reveal fascinating information about the people who built and lived in Nevern Castle.

That's the belief of archaeologists involved in a recent excavation on the site of the castle in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Headed by Dr Chris Caple of the University of Durham, and Pete Crane from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, the team of experts, students and volunteers descended on the site for three weeks in the summer.

It is the fourth year that the site has been excavated in a partnership project between Dr Caple, the National Park Authority, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and Nevern Community Council which owns the site.


This year's dig revealed fascinating finds, including slates – from an impressive late 12th century cut-stone entranceway – with stars and other designs scratched on them.

Lead archaeologist Dr Chris Caple said: "These inscribed slates are really interesting. They were found in only one place in the castle and were probably intended to ward off evil."

Phil Bennett, the National Park Authority's Head of Archaeological Heritage, added: "One of the nicest things about these slate pieces is that we are hoping to be able to keep them in Nevern, eventually, in the care of the Nevern Community Council."

Work is underway, cleaning, revealing and recording the images scratched on the pieces of slate.

Dr Caple added: "In the late 12th century, Nevern would have been an impressive looking castle and entrance, especially from the south side, and it was clearly visible to all passing along the road between St Davids and Cardigan.

"The work underway on the slates will no doubt provide more fascinating information about the beliefs and ideas of the people who built and lived in the castle in the late 12th century."

The dig also unearthed information about the phased building of parts of the castle and revealed that a Round Tower, thought to have imprisoned the Lord Rhys in 1194, was also the quarters of high status members of the castle household.