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Excavations at Rhuddlan, Clwyd: 1969-73 Mesolithic to Medieval

Henrietta Quinnell and Marion R Blockley, with Peter Berridge

CBA Research Report No 95 (1994)

ISBN 1 872414 40 0


Title page of report 95

Five seasons of excavation, mostly on the fluvio glacial sand ridge above the Clwyd, revealed complex multi-period activity from the Mesolithic onward.

The preservation of features from so many periods had been made possible by a gradual build-up of soil, partly caused by sand blown from dunes when the coastline was close to Rhuddlan. This stratified occupation makes Rhuddlan arguably one of the most important archaeological sites in Wales. It will one day yield enormous quantities of data.

This report has been finally completed 23 years after the strategy for the initial excavation was planned. Inevitably, over such a lapse of time, methodology has advanced and much of the work done will appear deficient by the standards of today. Some reparation is made by the inclusion of specialist reports prepared comparatively recently, but there are bound to be areas of record or comment which will be viewed critically. With the advance of time goes increase in costs, and full coverage of every aspect of the excavation results has not been attempted. Instead the report has been planned to bring to the notice of those interested in the various periods, structures and artefacts, the full range of data available for study.


  • Title Pages
  • Contents, (p i)
  • Preface, (p ii)
  • List of contributors, (p iii)
  • List of figures, (pp iv-vi)
  • List of plates, (pp vi-vii)
  • Summaries, (pp viii-x)
    • Introduction and background, (pp 1-6)
    • Historical summary, (pp 7-10)
    • Site A, Abbey Nurseries, Abbey Road. On the line of the Norman Borough Defences, (pp 11-26)
    • Site T, Ysgol-Y-Castell, Lôn Hylas. On the line of the Norman Borough Defences, (pp 27-46)
    • Site V, Area behind the Norman Borough Defences, Ysgol-Y-Castell, Lôn Hylas; Medieval pottery kiln, (pp 47-56)
    • Site E, Ysgol-Y-Castell, Lôn Hylas. On the line of the Norman Borough Defences, (pp 57-71)
    • Site M, Ysgol-Y-Castell playing fields. The Norman Church and prehistoric sequence beneath, (pp 72-83)
    • Site D, Gwindy Street. The Edwardian Borough Defences, (pp 84-91)
    • Minor Sites including Site S, Princes Road, (pp 92-94)
    • The lithics, Peter Berridge, (pp 95-114)
    • The Mesolithic decorated and other pebble artefacts: synthesis, Peter Berridge with Alison Roberts, (pp 115-131)
    • Between the Mesolithic and the Iron Age with a study of a Bronze Age pottery group in Pit C46, Peter Berridge, (pp 132-139)
    • Iron Age and Romano-British artefacts and synthesis, (pp 140-146)
    • The veterbrate remains, Bruce Levitan, (pp 147-159)
    • Botanical remains, T G Holden, Graham Morgan with G Hillman and P Moore, (pp 160-163)
    • Coins, (George C Boon), and medieval small finds, (pp 164-177)
    • Ironwork and metallurgy. Iron artefacts, Ian Goodall with Blanche Ellis. Metallurgy and the use of coal, (pp 178-190)
    • Medieval and post-medieval pottery, Wendy Owen, (pp 191-207)
    • Rhuddlan during the early Medieval period and the location of Cledemutha, (pp 208-213)
    • Rhuddlan between AD 1070 and 1277, (pp 214-218)
    • Rhuddlan under Edward I and after, (pp 219-226)
  • Bibliography, (pp 227-237)
  • Index, Peter Gunn, (pp 238-248)

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