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Remains of Roman temple discovered in the Conwy Valley

15/08/2013

The remains of a unique Roman temple have been discovered by a film crew working on a new archaeology series for S4C.

Television Company Trisgell came across this historical treasure in the Conwy Valley whilst filming for a new archaeological series which will be broadcast on S4C next year.

The discovery has already changed the area's history and will change the way historians interpret Wales's early ritual sites from now on.

A team of archaeologists and volunteers have recently been digging in a field on Llwydfaen Farm in the Conwy Valley between 29 July and 2 August, looking for what was they assumed to be a lost Norman church. Baked remains became apparent during the hot summer of 2006, and were seen by Toby Driver of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, who strongly suggested that they were the remains of a medieval church hidden under ground. But having removed the turf and scratched the dust from the foundations, it was clear that this was a much older building.

By now, having inspected the findings and reviewed the evidence, specialists are convinced that this was once a Roman ritual site. Although there is a lot of work yet to be done to interpret the remains the building is similar to other Roman temples in England. This type of building is very rare in Wales.

The series producer and director of Trisgell Television Company Morgan Hopkins said:

"I was quite certain that we would discover a Norman church in Llwydfaen but it became obvious as we were digging and from the discoveries that this was a Roman building. We discovered six silver Roman coins, countless pieces of slate and Roman nails as well as pieces of Roman pottery. The most probable explanation is that there was a temple here, built in the fourth century, but it's definitely unique here in Wales.

"It's extremely important that this series is produced in Welsh, the first ever series of this kind. Our aim is to present our country's archaeological discoveries within a Welsh context, which will hopefully motivate people to take interest in the history that's unveiled here each year. If anyone has any feature on their land that they would like us to inspect, please get in touch with S4C or Trisgell."

Trisgell Television Company and it's group of volunteers will be digging new sites across Wales during the summer, and it's expected that further finds will be unearthed, enriching our knowledge and shaping our understanding of Welsh history.

The series, an exciting new venture for S4C presented by the actor and archaeologist Iestyn Jones, will be broadcast in 2014.

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