Archaeoleg Ucheldir Gwent - The Archaeology of Upland Gwent

Archaeoleg Ucheldir Gwent - The Archaeology of Upland Gwent

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This is a bilingual book.

The south Wales valleys and their communities have a special character formed by a combination of landscape and history. The uplands here are a treasure house of archaeological monuments, which show how people have lived, worked and farmed from earliest times to the recent past.

This book by renowned local author Frank Olding takes the reader on a journey from the flint tools and hillforts of prehistory to the Chartist uprising and the industries of the twentieth century.

Richly illustrated with specially taken aerial and ground photographs, maps, plans and historic images, and with box features offering expert insights, the book celebrates the archaeology and history of upland Gwent and its neighbouring regions.


  • Foreword by Professor William Manning
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface

Chapter 1:

  • Introduction
  • The Upland Landscape
  • The Gwent uplands in history
  • Box Feature 1: Antiquarians and Archaeologists (Frank Olding)

Chapter 2:

  • Prehistoric Upland Communities
  • Box Feature 2: Twmbarlwm (Ray Howell)

Chapter 3:

  • The Romans in Upland Gwent
  • Box Feature 3: Gelligaer Roman Fort (Richard Brewer)

Chapter 4:

  • The Early Medieval and Medieval Periods
  • The Early Medieval Period: Inscribed Stones and Cross-ridge Dykes
  • Box Feature 4: Upland Churches – Bedwellty and St Illtyd’s, Llanhilleth (Edith Evans)
  • Medieval Upland Settlement
  • Box Feature 5: Castell Meredydd, Machen (Jeremy Knight)

Chapter 5:

  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Early Industry
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Iron and ironworking
  • Box Feature 6: Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (Peter Wakelin)
  • Limestone
  • Coal and iron extraction
  • The developing transport infrastructure
  • Box Feature 7: Clydach Gorge Industrial Landscape (John van Laun)
  • Fire and iron
  • The growing labour force
  • Box Feature 8: Cefn Golau Cholera Cemetery (Frank Olding)
  • The Chartist Uprising – protest and protection
  • The Coal Industry

Chapter 6:

  • The Present and the Future


  • Gelligaer Common – An Archaeological Treasure House
  • Bibliography and further reading
  • Finding Out More
  • Index


Author Frank Olding, 2016
Cover Softback
Size 216 x 229mm
Pages 160
Illustrations 91
ISBN 9781871184570