Pen Dinas to form part of new collaborative project

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Monday 28th March 2022 9:41 am
@ChrisABetteley
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The dig on Pendinas last summer

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THE historic Pen Dinas hillfort in Penparcau will join other communities living near iron age hillforts for a new collaborative project to help “thousands of people learn more about its history”.

The CAER Connected project builds upon the award winning archaeological and historical co-research partnerships developed by the CAER Heritage Project (CAER) and its community partner Action and Caerau in Ely (ACE) over the past decade, and will expand this year to include the work undertaken at the historic Pen Dinas hillfort in Penparcau.

To date, CAER’s initiatives have focused on the communities of Caerau and Ely in Cardiff and involved more than 19,000 participants of all ages in discovering the story of Caerau Hillfort - and now the project is teaming up with community organisations in Penparcau and Oswestry following a series of exchange visits and events.

Dr Oliver Davis, based at Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for the CAER project.

“All three CAER Connected communities face different social and economic challenges, but they are all joined together by a shared heritage of stunning prehistoric hillforts that provide striking landmarks in their local landscape.

“Strong relationships already exist between community action heritage groups at each site.

“CAER Connected will build on these existing friendships and partnerships by developing and delivering a range of artistic and creative responses that reflect on the similar experiences, and embrace the different challenges faced by these communities. In doing so, we will develop confidence and skills, create peer-support networks, share expertise and, crucially, explore how local heritage can benefit people through creating visions of both past and future.”

Dr Alan Chamberlain, who is a Senior Research Fellow and a member of the Penparcau History and Heritage Group said: “Being able to engage with other communities outside of Penparcau who have had different experiences and who can share their expertise is invaluable.

“Pen Dinas is an amazing site, which goes back beyond the Iron Age, with a Bronze Age burial mound situated on the summit of the site.

“There are also myths and legends about Maelor Gawr the giant king and his sons who lived on Pen Dinas.

“The site is hugely important to the local community.

“It’s the biggest local nature reserve in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere and is a place that people can go to walk their dog, relax or learn about the history and culture of the area.

“The views out to Cardigan Bay and the Llyn Peninsula are astounding.

“As part of this project we’re hoping that we’ll be able to develop a range of activities that link archaeology and art, which will support the wellbeing of the community.”

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. (AHRC).

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