Excavations at the Mill Leat Cardiff Castle: 24/25th October 2013

Dr Amelia Pannett of Archaeology Wales led the team of volunteers.  On the Thursday there were four volunteers from The Friends of Bute Park, and four students from Cardiff University Archaeology Department.

The excavation team had discovered a variety of items which could have belonged to people living in Cardiff Castle during the period ca.1580-1650.  There were also items from various industries close to Cardiff Castle.

There were many fragments of pottery, including necks of  drinking flagons, bowls, dishes with a variety of glazes, and cooking pottery.  There were also a number of clay tobacco pipe fragments – the bowls of the pipes were very small as tobacco was extremely expensive at this time.  The findings included some pretty pieces of  patterned Venetian glass. The volunteers also washed a large number of animal bones, including some (very large) teeth.

By way of change, we then washed lumps of slag which had been deposited in the river from the industries operating there at the time – these will be analysed for their metal contents. Metal objects had to be dry dusted, to prevent them from corroding, and included dress pins which were very fiddly to brush clean.

At the end of the session we agreed that we had all had an extremely interesting and enjoyable day, and would be happy to volunteer again.

Elizabeth Pengilly

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