BBYAC – June 2015 – Extra Session – Visit to Caerau Hillfort, Cardiff

BBYAC had an extra session in June, so as well as learning all about Roman Cooking, we had another meeting a couple of weeks later as we had been invited down to Cardiff and take part in the CAER project at Caerau Iron Age Hillfort.  It is an amazing site that has been an important place in the landscape for thousands of years, it features, as well as a massive hillfort with a huge rampart that is 1/2 a mile long, also, a Medieval Church and an early type of Norman Castle, called a ringwork.

In the Iron Age, Caerau hillfort was the major power centre for the entire Cardiff region and is one of the largest and most impressive hillforts in south-east Wales.  The Caer project is investigating the site archaeologically, and helping the local communities living in Caerau and Ely to connect with this site’s fascinating history and take part in ground breaking research.  So, BBYAC were very lucky to be invited to take part in this very exciting project!

Some of us traveled down from Brecon by minibus, with others meeting us at the site, on a gloriously sunny Welsh summers day.  We met Project Director, Dr Oliver Davis from Cardiff University, who gave us a tour of  the site.

DSCF2001                          Looking at the huge rampart and clues to where the original entrance to the hillfort was – turns out we were standing in it!

DSCF2004                           The Ruins of the 13th century Church of St Mary’s that sits within the hillfort.

DSCF2005                            On the defensive bank of the Ringwork Castle, looking down on the hillfort rampart and a fabulous view over Cardiff.

DSCF2009                     Touring the trenches and looking at the archaeological features that had been revealed during the first week of the excavation.

After our site tour we split up into groups and tried our hands at different activities, including excavating the post holes from an Iron Age round house; sieving the soil excavated from archaeological features to look for finds; helping to wash and identify finds from the excavations and looking at the archaeological treasures found last year, and also making Iron Age style coil pots.  Here we are getting stuck in to the activities and getting our hands dirty…

DSCF2017   IMG_1525 IMG_1523

Excavating post holes from an Iron Age round house.


Sieving the soil.


Helping to wash the finds.

IMG_1540IMG_1539IMG_1538IMG_1541              Making our Iron Age coil pots.

A great big thank you to the CAER Project and Cardiff University for inviting us to get involved, we all had a great day and can’t wait to come back next year!  We are also looking forward to welcoming CAER Project volunteers and members of their local community to the Brecon Beacons National Park later in the summer to visit one of our fabulous Iron Age Hillforts.

For more information about the CAER Project you can check out the project’s website:


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