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DOCUMENT NO 261 Jan 2015

A.P.A.C. Ltd.
Archaeological Perspectives Analysis Consultancy

REPORT

ARCHAEOLOGICAL WATCHING BRIEF

Planning Application No: 12/07988FUL

Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte

Prepared for:
Mr D. Kemeys

By: Dr N Phillips.
A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Summary

This document comprises the report for an archaeological watching brief


undertaken during ground work at a site identified as having potential
archaeological resources that may be impacted by any development.

The development of concern is reinstatement of a former agricultural building for


residential use.

A planning application was submitted to Brecon Beacons National Parks (BBNP)


and as part of the planning process, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT)
advised the planning department that the proposed work at the site could likely
impact on archaeological resources.

The client acting on the guidance from (BBNP) Heritage initiated a program of
archaeological work to be undertaken during any groundwork.

The watching brief did not disturb any archaeological resources and found no
evidence to support the interpretation that the barn had an original attached
dwelling to the north

Copyright Notice:
A.P.A.C. Ltd. retains copyright of this report under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

The Ordnance Survey has granted A.P.A.C. Ltd a Copyright Licence (No. 100046577) to reproduce map information; Copyright remains
otherwise with the Ordnance Survey.

Cover Photograph: DSC07450. Site, prior to excavation.

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Contents

Summary .........................................................................................................................................1
Figures.............................................................................................................................................3
Plates ...............................................................................................................................................3
Introduction .....................................................................................................................................4
Site Location and Description .........................................................................................................4
Geology and Topography................................................................................................................4
Brief archaeological and historical background..............................................................................5
Aims and Objectives .......................................................................................................................5
Methodology ...................................................................................................................................5
Data Presentation.............................................................................................................................6
Watching Brief Results ...................................................................................................................6
Finds ................................................................................................................................................6
Discussion and Interpretation..........................................................................................................7
Archive ............................................................................................................................................7
Staff .................................................................................................................................................7
Acknowledgements .........................................................................................................................7
Bibliography and References: .........................................................................................................8

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Figures

01 Site Location map


02 Map progression
03 Ground plans

Plates

01 East elevation [101] over [102] with some [103] at door. Note ‘tooth outs’ which
seem too regular and bottom corner stone which is flush to the edge of the building
02 Initial clearing, [100], [101] bank deposit right, [102] centre. Note remains of
western enclosure top centre.
03 Initial clearing through soft brown topsoil [100], Soft dark brown soil with
masonry [101] onto orange sandy clay [102]
04 Section through bank to north west. [100] 80mm [101] 65mm [102]
05 Detail NW gable end foundation 200mm beneath surface on to [102]
06 Long view of NW gable foundation. Note 1 no ‘Tooth outs’ at ground level. Note
2 bottom opening is probable later door. The arch is a façade not structural.
07 View along east elevation. Contexts [100] over [102] in foreground with [101]
tapering to the ranging rod. [103] against wall and around door
08 Shallow scrape along SE of barn revealing [102] with a small lens of hardcore to
the right [104] and lens of dark brown soil at door [103]
]

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Introduction

A planning application was submitted to Brecon Beacons National Parks Planning (BBNPP) by Mr A. Bevan
(agent) for Mr D. Kemeys (client) for the proposed ‘conversion of a barn to one dwelling 12/07988/FUL.

The former building is a barn Nanty-y-Carad Barn, Ystradfellte, Aberdare CF44 9JF, located at NGR 292214
211926, fig 01.

BBNPA were advised by Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust,(CPAT) of the building’s inclusion on the 1st edition
Ordnance survey map of the area; in a configuration that suggested a former dwelling attached to the north of the
barn.

As a result, they advised that any ground disturbance should be watched by an archaeologist

The decision cited Planning Policy Wales 6th ed 2014:

The developer shall ensure that a suitably qualified archaeological contractor is present during the
undertaking of any ground works in the development area, so that an archaeological watching brief
can be conducted. The archaeological watching brief will be undertaken to the standards laid down
by the Institute of Field Archaeologists. The local Planning Authority will be informed in writing, at
least two weeks prior to the commencement of the development, of the name of the archaeological
contractor.
CPAT. 27/06/2012 in BBNPA Delegated decision Report

At the client’s request, a program brief was prepared and submitted to BBNPA prior to the commencement of
ground disturbance work.

The brief was approved as fit for purpose by the BBNPA Heritage Officer and the resultant watching brief was
undertaken on the 4th of December 2014 during which all ground disturbances was completed.

Site Location and Description

The property, Nanty-y-Carad Barn, Ystradfellte, Aberdare CF44 9JF can be reached from the A465, Heads of the
Valley road by turning north onto the A4059 at Hirwaun towards Brecon.

After about 2 miles, take the left turn to Ystradfellte followed by the three left turns encountered to reach the Afon
Melte River.

Continue over the bridge and up the incline taking the left at the ‘T’ junction and continuing for about a mile after
which Nant y Carad is on the left with the barn at the end of a private unmetalled track.

Approached by an unmetalled track from the North West it is bounded to the south east by an old track and ford
which is listed on the 1st edition Ordnance survey map, fig 02a.

At the beginning of the watching brief, the site to be excavated was under grass; partially flat and partially mounded
with some rubble exposed.

Geology and Topography

1:50 000 scale bedrock geology description: Bishopston Mudstone Formation - Sandstone. Sedimentary Bedrock
formed approximately 313 to 326 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period. Local environment previously
dominated by swamps, estuaries and deltas. (www.bgs.ac.uk 2015).

The site is on the western ridge above the narrow valley cut by the Afon Mellte.

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

At present, part of a farm complex of enclosed fields, the barn is on the south west bank of a small stream which
drains south east.

Brief archaeological and historical background

The area in which the barn is situated has little in the way of recorded points of historical or archaeological interest;
indeed a 500m diameter HER search area around the site produced only a Core Record of a Post Medieval Lime
Kiln PRN 7930 and 2 Event Records: Tir Gofal HE1 assessment Nant y Carred Farm PRN 51077 and the
photographic survey of the barn PRN 129479; a precursor to the current watching brief.

Extend the search an towards the north at around 2 miles and there are a few structures of medieval origin whilst a
little further north and north east are some Bronze Age listings for Bronze Age influence.

The above would therefore not exclude the potential for human influence within the area although it would suggest
that it is likely to be sparse.

The reason for the archaeological condition on this work, as advised by CPAT was: ‘Information in the application
details and on the first edition OS mapping indicates that there was originally a northern upslope extension to the
barn which may represent the location of a former dwelling attached to the barn’, (BBNPA p3. 2012).

A portion of the 1st edition map is given in fig 02a to illustrate the detail:

The plan shows a roughly 400m portion of the 1888, 6”: mile Brecknockshire Sheet XLVI.NE, centred on the barn
site, which is inscribed with a 100m diameter circle.

The contents of the circle have been enlarged and redrawn to clarify the detail in inset 1.

The site shows an enclosure to the left of the path (green dashed line) and a building with a partial enclosure wall to
its northern end which in the CPAT interpretation may have been an earlier dwelling.

When the map was revised in 1903, fig 02b, the 1905 published version, fig 02b, showed that the barn was still a
building (hatched shading), with enclosures; inset 2

The configuration continued through the 1914 revision; was still in place on the 1953 map fig 02c and corresponded
with the barn during the present watching brief.

At the commencement of the work, there were no visible signs of the northern enclosure wall with the possible
exception of the ‘tooth outs’ to the north of the barn, Plate 01.

The enclosure to the left of the path was more apparent, surviving as a low wall buried under recent spoil Plate 02.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the watching brief was to preserve by record, within the resources available, any archaeological deposits
uncovered during groundwork.

The watching brief also ensured that: in the event of archaeological resources of significance, being discovered and
requiring treatment beyond the remit of the watching brief, that steps would be implemented to ensure that their
treatment would be undertaken within the standards recommended by the CIfA.

Methodology

Groundwork at the site involved excavation by mechanical digger to reduce and level a section of ground to the
north of the present standing barn.

During excavation, the stratigraphic record and initial contexts were noted, with a brief description given where
appropriate.

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Measurements were taken using a steel hand tape and a Leica Disto 510.

Photographs were taken throughout the watching brief and recorded with a unique number in the appendix.

A full set of photographs are included in the archive and selected illustrative images appear in the plates
accompanying this report.

There were no finds of any archaeological significance.

Data Presentation

Data referred to within the text is illustrated in figs #, and Plates PL # with stratigraphic contexts identified in
brackets [].

Appendix I presents a list and description of stratigraphic contexts revealed and recorded during the excavation.

Appendix II presents in spreadsheet format, details of all the photographs, including those not used in the text.

Watching Brief Results

Soils and ground conditions

Weather and site conditions during the excavation were good and caused no problems.

Description

(refer to fig 03) and appendices I & II

Excavation began close to the northern gable end wall, reducing the overburden by pulling towards the west before
digging into the bank to the north, Plate 03.

The cut revealed a shallow 80mm deposit of soft brown sandy soil, [100] under the grass which overlay a deposit of
darker brown sandy soil with masonry rubble and rounded stone [101].

Context [101] varied in depth from around 100mm close to the barn, rising to over 800m some 6m north where it
made up a mound of clearance material from which surface stone had been visible before the work started, Plate 04.

Beneath [101] was the natural sandy clay [102] into which the shallow foundation of the barn had been set, Plates
05 & 06.

Only two areas produced additional contexts; east and west elevations had a darker humic lens around the door ways
[103] , Plates 07 & 08 and there was a spread of bedding material, of grey chippings at the south corner of the west
elevation, [104], Plate 08.

Finds

The entire excavation produced no finds.

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Discussion and Interpretation

The stratigraphy of the site was very straightforward sequence; landfill/levelling over natural deposits of sandy
clay.

The mound to the north of the excavation area including its slope, which was cut into by the excavation, yielded a
high concentration of rough squared masonry which may be the former enclosure noted on the OS maps.

However, there was no indication that any structure had stood within the excavated area, but it should be noted that
the foundation of the barn is shallow and it would be unlikely to have left any traces if it had been removed.

The current owner expressed a belief that the bottom opening in the north gable was a chimney, possibly relating to
the former supposed dwelling.

Close inspection however, revealed no flue behind the façade of the flat arch; itself of no structural use and no
evidence of burning or of a hearth.

It would seem from the results of the watching brief and from close examination of the available information that
the barn has always been an isolated structure with a enclosed area to the north rather than an attached dwelling.

The work covered by this watching brief had no impact on any archaeological resources.

Archive

The original archive consisting of all original records, documentation including the Design Brief, processing and
any relevant correspondence will be retained by APAC Ltd with a complete copy digitised onto a DVD and also
backed up on two separate hard drives

A secondary digitised archive will be deposited with Powys Archives as an accompaniment to a hard copy of the
report.

A copy of the final report & project design will be deposited with CPAT HER.

Staff

Dr. Neil Phillips, CAIfA.

The copyright for this report shall remain with the A.P.A.C. Ltd.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mr Kemeys and his contractor for their careful and efficient handling of the work.

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A.P.A.C. Ltd Nant y Carad, Barn, Ystradfellte. WB/YST/14

Bibliography and References:

APAC Ltd DB:WB/CDU/14. Design for an Archaeological Watching Brief, Nant y Carad Barn,
Ystradfellte

British Geological
Survey. http://mapapps2.bgs.ac.uk/geoindex/home.html

BBNP 12/07988/FUL. Delegated Decision Report. Conversion of barn to one dwelling at Nant-
y-Carad, Ystradfellte

14/10369/FUL. Notice of Decision. Conversion of barn to one dwelling at Nant-


y-Carad, Ystradfellte

12/07988/FUL & 14/11273/DISCON. 10 November 2014

CPAT HER Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, Historic Environment Record Enquiry Report:
Event Records Ref: E5771, 11/02/2015
Core Records Ref: E5771, 11/02/2015

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

CIfA Standard and Guidance an Archaeological Watching Brief. 2014.

Samuel, R., Proposed Conversion Of A Barn To A Dwelling And The Construction Of A Two
Vehicle Garage At Nant Y Carad, Ystradfellte.

Drawing DK/01 Existing Barn And Block Plan


Drawing DK/01 Proposed Plans And Elevations

Ordnance Survey. MAGIC 2014. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendata/viewer/index.html


Brecknockshire Sheet XLIV NE 1888
Brecknockshire Sheet XLIV NE 1905
Brecknockshire Sheet XLIV NE 1953

A.P.A.C. Registered Address: 36 Hatherleigh Rd, Abergavenny Monmouthshire NP7 7RG.


Tel: 07734962919. Mobile: 07734962919 Email: apac.philips@btinternet.com
Company Registration No 5041541 VAT Reg No 826 3628 19
Director: Dr. N. Phillips D.Phil. M. Phil. BA (Hons).Cert Ed/FE. AIfA. AAI&S.

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Nant - y -Carad barn, Ystradfellte

The Ordnance Survey has granted A.P.A.C. Ltd a Copyright Licence (No. 100046577)
adapted from DK/01 S. Rogers
0 250 500 1k
scanned from A2 at 1:1250
km

Fig 01: Location


A.P.A.C. WB/YST/14
Nant-y-Carad Barn, Ystradfellte

The Ordnance Survey has granted A.P.A.C. Ltd a Copyright Licence (No. 100046577)
N

1888

1888 Brecknockshire Sheet XLVI.NE a inset 1 1905 Brecknockshire Sheet XLVI.NE b

1905-53

Ford

inset 2

0 100m

1953 Brecknockshire Sheet XLVI.NE c 2015 centered on NGR 292261 211828. d

0 1km

FIG 02 Map progression


A.P.A.C. Ltd WB/YST/14

"Map produced by MAGIC on [09/01/2015]. © Crown Copyright and database rights [2015]. Ordnance Survey 100046577.
Copyright resides with the data suppliers and the map must not be reproduced without their permission. Some information
in MAGIC is a snapshot of information that is being maintained or continually updated by the originating organisation.
Please refer to the documentation for details, as information may be illustrative or representative rather than definitive at this stage".
Nant-y-Carad Barn, Ystradfellte

8
section in
DSCO745

Excavated Area Existing Barn

Extension Proposed dwelling

0 5 10

Plans adapted by Dr N Phillips


from scans of DK/01 & DK/03. R. Samuel

Fig 03: ground floor plans A.P.A.C. Ltd WB/YST/14


Nant y Carad, Barn. Ysradfellte

DSC07452
DSC07462
Plate 01: East elevation [101] over [102] with some [103] at door. Note ‘tooth Plate 02: Initial clearing, [100], [101] bank deposit right, [102] centre.
outs’ which seem too regular and bottom corner stone which is flush to the Note remains of western enclosure top centre.
edge of the building

DSC07458
DSC07451

Plate 03: Initial clearing through soft brown topsoil [100], Soft dark Plate 04: Section through bank to north
A.P.A.C. Ltd WB/YST/14
brown soil with masonry [101] onto orange sandy clay [102] west. [100] 80mm [101] 65mm [102]
Nant y Carad, Barn. Ysradfellte

DSC07460
DSC07459
Plate 05: Detail NW gable end foundation 200mm beneath surface on to [102] Plate 06: Long view of NW gable foundation. Note 1 no ‘Tooth outs’ at
ground level. Note 2 bottom opening is probable later door. The arch
is a façade not structural.

DSC07453
DSC07463

Plate 07: View along east elevation. Contexts [100] over [102] in Plate 08: Shallow scrape along SE of barn
A.P.A.C. Ltd WB/YST/14
foreground with [101] tapering to the ranging rod. [103] against revealing [102] with a small lens of
wall and around door hardcore to the right [104] and lens of dark brown soil at door [103]
A.P.A.C. Ltd. Appendix I Context Sheet Index 1

Site: Nant y Carad, Grid Ref: Site No: Alternate No: 1


Barn. Ystradfellte 292214 211926 WB/YST/14
CONTEXT AREA FEATURE DESCRIPTION FINDS PHOTOGRAPHS
100 All Surface Grass cover over 80mm soft brown sandy soil DSC07450, DSC07451,
DSC07452, DSC07453,
DSC07454, DSC07455,
DSC07456, DSC07457,
DSC07458, DSC07460,
DSC07461, DSC07463,
DSC07464,
101 North Deposit Dark brown sandy soil with large masonry and DSC07450, DSC07452,
area rounded stone. Tapered from 100mm to 650mm DSC07454, DSC07455,
DSC07456, DSC07457,
DSC07458, DSC07460,
DSC07461, DSC07462,
DSC07463, DSC07464,
DSC07465,
102 All Natural Orange sandy clay DSC07450, DSC07452,
DSC07453, DSC07454,
DSC07455, DSC07456,
DSC07457, DSC07458,
DSC07459, DSC07460,
DSC07462, DSC07463,
DSC07464, DSC07465,
103 East & fill Dark brown/black soft sandy soil. Walk way or DSC07449, DSC07453,
west spillage from barn DSC07455, DSC07456,
doors DSC07457, DSC07462,
DSC07463,
104 S West lens Chippings in a small area DSC07453, DSC07457,
edge
A.P.A.C. Ltd Appendix II Digital photograph list WB/ABG/14

Photo Date Camera Size View Description Plates


no
DSC07449 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE View towards SE gable of the barn
DSC07450 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE North west gable showing two openings, and two sets of ‘toothed out’ stones at from each elevation. Note also the lower build quality.
DSC07451 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 N Initial clearing through soft brown topsoil [100], Soft dark brown soil with masonry [101] onto orange sandy clay [102] 03
DSC07452 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 W Initial clearing, [100], [101] bank deposit right, [102] centre. Note remains of western enclosure top centre. 02
DSC07453 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 NE Shallow scrape along SE of barn revealing [102] with a small lens of hardcore to the right [104] and lens of dark brown soil at door [103] 08
DSC07454 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 S NW gable clearance to base of wall. Contexts: [100], [101], [102].
DSC07455 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE NW gable clearance to base of wall and SW elevation. Contexts: [100], [101], [102].
DSC07456 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE 2 NW gable clearances to base of wall and SW elevation. Contexts: [100], [101], [102].
DSC07457 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE 2 NW gable clearances to base of wall and SW elevation. Contexts: [100], [101], [102]. [103] [104]
DSC07458 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 NW Section through bank to north west. [100] 80mm [101] 65mm [102] 04
DSC07459 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE Detail NW gable end foundation 200mm beneath surface on to [102] 05
DSC07460 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE Long view of NW gable foundation. Note 1 no ‘Tooth outs’ at ground level. Note 2 bottom opening is probable later door. The arch is a façade not 06
structural.
DSC07461 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SW Clearing along east elevation
DSC07462 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SW East elevation [101] over [102] with some [103] at door. Note ‘tooth outs’ which seem too regular and bottom corner stone which is flush to the edge of 01
the building
DSC07463 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 NW View along east elevation. Contexts [100] over [102] in foreground with [101] tapering to the ranging rod. [103] against wall and around door 07
DSC07464 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE Final levelling work and clearance of spoil
DSC07465 04/12/2014 DSC F828 3264x2448 SE 2 Final levelling work and clearance of spoil