Strata Florida Archaeology Field School

Location: Pontrhydfendigaid, Ystrad Meurig SY25, UK

Season: June 12, 2023 to July 10, 2023

Session Dates: 13th June - 9th July 2023

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Project Director:
Carys Aldous-Hughes

Project Description:

13th June – 9th July 2023
We have a range of 1-4 week courses and day courses.

Open to all, from beginners to experienced archaeologists. We aim to be the most inclusive field school in the UK, offering wellbeing and mental health support.

Strata Florida Abbey (Abaty Ystrad Fflur in Welsh) is a captivating, evocative and internationally significant site located in the heart of Wales. Known affectionally by some as the Westminster Abbey of Wales, it had its heyday in the 12th and 13th centuries and was once an important centre of culture, religion and trade, with connections spreading far across the Welsh landscape.

The school will offer a fully accessible training programme and include a wide variety of archaeological excavation and survey techniques; from understanding how to correctly use a trowel through to the collection of geophysical data for archaeological mapping. In addition to field-based learning, the school will have a weekly programme of field trips to local sites and monuments and talks from experts on topics of local historical and archaeological interest.

Our mission is to share Strata Florida’s unique history, archaeology, heritage and links to Welsh culture, with as diverse an audience as possible, including members of the public, students, volunteers, veterans and others.

The SFAFS will be delivered by the Strata Florida Trust in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, Allchurches Trust, Sacred Landscapes Research Project and the University of Wales Trinity St David.

Period(s) of Occupation: The site lies on the remains of the 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, and includes a 17th Century gentry house and associated farm buildings. Medieval 16th Century 17th Century 18th Century

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 day

Minimum Age: 18 (or 14+ if accompanied by participating adult)

Experience Required: No previous experience required. We aim to be the most inclusive field school in the UK, tailored to physical requirements and in support of mental health needs. Breaking Ground Heritage (BGH) is the SFAFS’s social inclusion partnet. BGH specialises in promoting well-being and rehabilitation through heritage based activities, specifically individuals with severe physical/psychological challenges (largely but not exclusively veterans). Operating on an inclusive mentoring model here at Strata Florida, BGH will be broadening their reach and engaging with people in civilian communities suffering from exclusion or mental/physical health issues. This proved incredibly successful in the first year with participant feedback such as: “I felt accepted and valued for what I was able to contribute rather than isolated because of what I could not” If you’ve always wanted to get involved in archaeology, but been held back by physical or mental challenges, then this is the place for you. The SFAFS aims to be the most open and inclusive field school in the UK. Please get in touch and we will work with you and find ways for you to get involved. In addition to archaeological skills training, we aim to harness the heritage of Strata Florida to encourage physical and mental well-being.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodation and catering is included in our residential fee. Non-residential options available. Accommodation and catering will be provided at Pantyfedwen Hall in the village of Bont one mile from Strata Florida. The venue has showers, a dining area, communal seating and work space areas, WiFi, laundry facilities and ample parking. The site is fully accessible with disabled toilet and shower facilities. You will need to bring your own tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, towels etc (or these can be rented from us). Local bus transfers for the two miles to and from site will be included. Included in the full residential package, our in house chef Steph will be providing a hot breakfast and a tasty packed lunch for you to take to site six days a week. In the evening there will be a choice of two meal options (including a vegetarian/vegan option), and dessert. We will be showcasing local produce wherever possible. “Food was delicious, plus plenty of choice” If you would like to arrange your own accommodation, there is a selection of B&Bs and self-catered accommodation in Bont and Tregaron, as well as a caravan and camping ground on the outskirts of the village. Please get in touch if you would like a list of providers. We recommend you book early to avoid disappointment.

Academic Credit:
The Archaeological Skills Passport training pathway developed by BAJR (British Archaeological Jobs & Resources) is also available to gain recognition for the skills gained at the SFAFS. The Archaeological Skills Passport lists many archaeological excavation and recording techniques and breaks them down into individual tasks and activities. When these elements have been completed in the field and observed by one of our fully qualified site supervisors, they will be signed off in your own Skills Passport. You will be given your passport on the first day of the course and the cost is included in the fees.

Contact Information:

Carys Aldous-Hughes

Y Beudy, Mynachlog Fawr


SY25 6ES

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