New Life for Nevern Castle and its Remains

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Nine men’s morris board

 

Mae castell hynafol yng ngogledd y sir yn mwynhau dadeni o ganlyniad i gydweithrediad rhwng cyngor cymuned leol, Prifysgol Durham ac Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro.

Mae Castell Nanhyfer yn eistedd ar fryn ychydig y tu hwnt i lwybr enwog y pererinion sy’n arwain i Dyddewi. Daeth y Castell i fodolaeth ar ddechrau’r 12fed ganrif, pan adeiladwyd castell tomen a beili a thref fach ar y safle gan yr Arglwydd Normanaidd, Robert FitzMartin.

Dechreuodd y gwaith o ailadeiladu’r safle gyda llechi yng nghanol y 12fed ganrif. Yn ôl pob tebyg arweinydd Cymru, yr Arglwydd Rhys, oedd yn gyfrifol am y gwaith ac mae’n bosib ei fod wedi sefydlu llys neu gwrt yma hefyd. Ond roedd y degawdau nesaf yn eithriadol o gythryblus. Yn 1195, cafodd y castell ei losgi a’i ddymchwel, gan gladdu tystiolaeth o fywyd yn y 12fed ganrif a gadael castell Nanhyfer yn enghraifft barhaol brin o ddechrau proses lle gwelwyd castell pridd a phren yn esblygu i fod yn un wedi’i wneud o garreg.

Mae’r Castell yn Heneb Restredig erbyn hyn a chafodd ei brynu gan Gyngor Cymuned Nanhyfer yn 1980 er budd y gymuned leol ac ymwelwyr. Yn ystod blynyddoedd diweddar, mae gwaith cloddio helaeth wedi datgelu tystiolaeth brin o fywydau pobl yn y 12fed ganrif; esgid ledr, lamp glai, blaenau saethau haearn a sawl bwrdd Chwarae Nawtwll (Nine Men’s Morris).

Dangoswyd rhai o’r eitemau hyn i’r Tywysog Charles yn ystod yr ymweliad Brenhinol diweddar â Nanhyfer, ynghyd â phanel dehongli yn dangos y gwaith a’r canfyddiadau sydd wedi’u gwneud ar y safle hyd yma.

Dywedodd Tomos Ll. Jones, Archeolegydd Cymunedol Awdurdod y Parc : “Mae sawl cynllun cyffrous ar y gorwel ar gyfer yr adfail hwn a arferai fod yn ysblennydd, yn enwedig o ran hyrwyddo cyfleoedd i gynyddu ymwybyddiaeth a dealltwriaeth y cyhoedd.

“Mae aelodau Cyngor Cymuned Nanhyfer wrthi’n gweithio gyda staff yr Awdurdod i ddatblygu strategaeth ddehongli ar gyfer y safle pwysig hwn a’r dirwedd o’i gwmpas. Mae gwefan newydd yn cael ei datblygu hefyd, ynghyd â chanllaw gan Dr Chris Caple o Brifysgol Durham.”

“Mae angen rhywfaint o waith cadwraeth hefyd ar y tŵr sgwâr, sef yr enghraifft gynharaf o waith adeiladu o’r math hwn ym Mhrydain.”

Mae safle Castell Nanhyfer ar agor i’r cyhoedd drwy gydol y flwyddyn gyda rhywfaint o le parcio ar gael ger y safle. Ni chodir tâl mynediad, ond gwahoddir ymwelwyr i gyfrannu i Apêl Tŵr a Chlychau Sant Brynach, sydd wedi adfer set gyfan o glychau i’r eglwys ac sy’n parhau i gyflwyno gwelliannau. Mae rhagor o wybodaeth am hyn ar gael yn www.nevern-church.org.uk/appeals-projects.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am hanes a chwedlau Castell Nanhyfer, ewch i www.neverncastle.wales

Cresset lamp

An ancient castle in the north of the county is enjoying a renaissance as a result of a collaboration between a local community council, Durham University and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Perched on a hillside just beyond the renowned pilgrims’ route to St Davids, Nevern Castle began its existence at the start of the 12th century, when an earth-and-timber motte and bailey castle and small town were built on the site by Norman lord Robert FitzMartin.

Work began to rebuild the site in slate in the mid-12th century, probably by the Welsh leader The Lord Rhys, who may have established a llys or court here, but the decades that followed were particularly turbulent. In 1195, the castle was burnt and demolished, burying evidence of life in the 12th century and leaving Nevern Castle a rare surviving example of the start of the evolution of an earth-and-timber castle into one made from stone.

Now a scheduled monument, the castle was purchased by Nevern Community Council in 1980 for the benefit of the local community and visitors. In more recent years, extensive excavations have unearthed rare evidence of the lives of people in the 12th century: a leather shoe, pottery lamp, iron arrowheads and several nine men’s morris boards.

Some of these excavated items were shown to Prince Charles during a recent royal visit to Nevern, along with an interpretation panel showing the work and findings at the site so far.

The Park Authority’s community archaeologist, Tomos Ll. Jones, said: “Several exciting plans are on the horizon for this once-grand ruin, especially when it comes to promoting opportunities for increased public awareness and understanding.

“Members of Nevern Community Council are currently working with Authority staff to develop an interpretation strategy for this important site and its surrounding landscape. A new website is also being developed, along with a guidebook by Dr Chris Caple of Durham University.

“Some conservation work is also required on the square tower, which is the earliest example of this kind of construction in Britain.”

The Nevern Castle site is accessible to the public all year round with limited parking near the site. There is no charge for entry, but visitors are invited to donate to St Brynach’s Tower and Bells Appeal, which has restored a full set of bells to the church and continues to make improvements. More information on this can be found at www.nevern-church.org.uk/appeals-projects/.  

To discover more about the history and legends of Nevern Castle visit www.neverncastle.wales.

Leather shoe

 

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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