Two minutes into a meeting with Richard Davies and I’m wondering if the history syllabus in Cwmbran’s schools should be changed.
Our meeting point was Tesco Express in Greenmeadow. This isn’t the typical starting point for a history tour. As I watched people queuing at the cash machine and walking back to their cars carrying bread and milk I wondered if anyone had an idea of the history of Cwmbran beyond it becoming a New Town in 1949.
Did you go to school in Cwmbran? Remember learning about the New Towns? And for most of us, that’s where the history of Cwmbran started and ended.
Richard is a founder and vice-chair of the Ancient Cwmbran Society. In an update on the group’s website in September 2021 he said: “For over a decade we have been trying to understand the enigma of the walls, mounds of stone, walled well, stone lined springs and other large blocks of stone dotted across the woodlands and housing estates of Thornhill, Greenmeadow, St Dials and Fairwater.”
The group have asked for some stones to be tested using a technique called optically stimulated luminescence.
Richard wrote: “This technique can date within a range when a stone was placed on the ground. I know outstanding! isn’t it. the possibilities are endless. Anyway us ACS committee types thought we’ll have some of that, so we have commissioned Dr Tim Kinnaird of TV fame to come and do a bit of testing. We have already come up with some preliminary results of one area of walling which of course need to be confirmed with further testing. But wait for it, it is showing a date between 100 to 300 AD, or about 1,800 years old. WOW! I mean WOW!”
The group are waiting for a final report to be produced.
He added: “So watch this space people we may just be putting Cwmbran on the international Archaeological Map.”
Grab a cuppa and some biscuits and watch this video where Richard points out some of the sites and spots in the area that the society believes reveal the real history of Cwmbran.