08 July 2010>
Tony Robinson and his 'Time Team' crew have been digging up the past at Llancaiach Fawr Manor in Nelson.
The popular Channel 4 programme seeks to solve historical puzzles through archaeological excavation, scientific surveys and landscape studies.
Diane Walker, General Manager of Llancaiach Fawr and an archaeology graduate herself, invited Time Team to see if they could find a house marked as 'Faldray' on early maps. Previous small scale investigations and surveys suggested a moat and possible structures on land close to the Manor. Could it be an earlier house built before the imposing 16th century manor that can still be seen and visited today?
Presenter Tony Robinson, best known for his role as Baldrick in the Blackadder series, and the team of archaeologists spent three days excavating and looking for clues in and around the Manor and gardens.
Diane said, 'Together with Mike Anthony, local archaeologist and Buildings Officer for the Council for British Archaeology in Wales, I have spent 5 years looking at old documents to try and find out when the present Manor House was built and wondering about previous occupation on the site. With the help of Time Team we finally had a chance to get some answers. It has been a fascinating experience to be involved with the dig, as well as seeing how much goes on behind the scenes during the making of a TV programme. All the experts were so helpful and they all loved the Manor House!'
As for what they found - you'll have to wait for the full story until they air the programme next Spring but some tantalising information will be available when the Manor joins with the Council for British Archaeology and hosts an Archaeology Day on Sunday 18th July as part of the national celebrations. Tours and talks plus free practical activities for all the family will be available in the education block and the Manor House will be open as usual (charge applies).
For further information please go to the Llancaiach Fawr Manor website or contact Diane Walker on 01443 412248.
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