The Project

Following survey and excavation of a paper about the site in 1950/51 by David Cathcart King and Clifford Perks, Cadw scheduled the site as an ancient monument. In the early 1980’s Nevern Community Council acquired the site of Nevern Castle to ensure that it was available for the community and was not built on. They put in access to the site and some basic information about the castle and its earthworks. The local community have continued to maintain the site until the present day, though since 2008 this burden has been increasingly shouldered by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. In 1985 following the completion of his research and excavations at Dryslwyn Castle as part of his research into the origins and nature of Welsh castles Dr Chris Caple approached Nevern Community Council and Cadw for permission to undertake a geophysical survey. This was undertaken by Dr Caple and Will Davies in 2005 and subsequently published in Archaeology in Wales Vol. 48 (C1).

In 2008 Dr Caple carried out a small excavation (6 people for 3 weeks); which revelled that there were still substantial stratified archaeological remains on the site. A partnership was formed between Nevern Community Council, The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Durham University, Dept. of Archaeology to research and excavate Nevern castle. In 2009 this partnership obtained a 2 year grant, from the Welsh Assembly, using European SCIF funding, which was overseen by Cadw and managed by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, to excavate, research, conserve and display the archaeological remains at Nevern Castle. This has funded 12 weeks of archaeological excavation and associated post excavation work which will be written up and published in 2011. Interim archaeological reports have been produced at the end of every season of excavation and the work undertaken on the castle up to the end of 2009, was published in British Archaeology No. 109. Some of the stone building uncovered on excavation are being conserved and displayed, others have had to be reburied in order to preserve them (C2-4). Information panels are being created to guide visitors around the site. It is hoped/anticipated that further seasons of excavation, planned to continue until 2018, will uncover the origins, extent of this castle and reveal details about life in this 12th century castle.

The excavation and research work is being undertaken in 3 phases:

Phase 1:

2005-8, geophysical survey and initial excavation to ascertain the nature of the remains present on this site.

Phase 2:

2009 & 2010, through the Welsh Cultural Heritage Initiative, conduct excavation to reveal the 12th century masonry remains on the site, increase the access to the site and ascertain the full chronology of the site.

Phase 3:

2011 on, continued excavation to reveal the detailed nature of the archaeological past of the site, and through the attendant publicity maintain a high public profile and increase visitor awareness about the site.

Also see Research Aims