Welcome | The Official Site of the Lost City of Trellech Project

Upcoming Events

  • Trellech 2017 ~ Annual Excavation ~ Saturday 15th July to Sunday 13th August 2017

Trellech 2017 ~ Annual Excavation

Summer Dig Timetable

Week 1   Saturday 15th July to Thursday 20th July              Rest Day - Friday 21st July

Week 2   Saturday 22nd July to Thursday 27th July             Rest Day - Friday 28th July

Week 3   Saturday 29th July to Thursday 3rd August           Rest Day - Friday 4th August

Week 4   Saturday 5th August to Thursday 10th August       Rest Day - Friday 11th August


Saturday & Sunday 12th and 13th August - Discussion and decision for next years campaign.


Daily Dig Timetable*

9.30am    to    10am              Daily Site Briefing

10am       to    11.30am         Saturdays** - Health and Safety talk and Intoduction to the site - New arrivals only

10am       to    1pm                Working on Site

1pm         to    2pm                Lunch

2pm         to    5pm                Working on Site

5pm                                       End of Day


*This is a standard timetable. It maybe subject to change. For instance during high temperatures work will finish by 1pm, lunch extended and work will start again in the evening for a few hours. During very wet conditions work maybe stopped intermittently or the work day shortened depending on the situation.

**Introduction section will take place on Sunday, Week 1 only. 



Daily Site Briefing: To talk about recent activity, an opportunity to raise and discuss complaints or suggestions and assignment of work for the day.


Health and Safety Talk: Covering our H&S policy documents, insurance, risk assessment and rules. You will be informed where and how to fill in relevant documentation, procedures in case of emergency including nearest phones and assembly point. Information will also be provided about our first aid boxes, what they contain and where they are located, first aiders on site and location and opening hours of the village surgery.

Introduction to the Site: Giving a brief history of the Trellech and the excavation so far. Showing by use of maps and landscape how the settlement was found and where the current excavation site fits into the town plan. Finishing with a tour of the current excavation and some of the finds discovered.

Working on Site: This includes all aspects of excavation including site maintenance, setting up and closing down and will vary day to day and week to week depending on the requirements of the dig. Everyone is expected to be willing to take part in all activities unless there is a particularly strong reason why they cannot. During the excavation activities will include amongst others troweling, sectioning, drawing, documenting contexts and finds, surveying, geophysics, finds processing and analysis, photographing, giving tours and public interaction and general site maintenance. You need to have a common sense attitude, treat the site and others with respect and if you are capable of filling a bucket then you are also capable of emptying that bucket onto a spoil heap.

Lunch: Normally lunch lasts for one hour. Most volunteers use that time to cook or eat prepared lunches on site. There is a shop in the village from which sandwiches can be bought and also a local pub. The pub serves good quality food but as a consequence service can be slow. If you are intending to eat at the pub for lunch then you are advised to order your food in advance, i.e. during the evening the day before to ensure you have time to eat and get back to site for 2pm.

End of Day: We normally finish at 5pm but this is subject to change and could be because of weather or the need to finish a particular job. Before leaving the site ensure all the equipment is tidied away and put back in the correct place. You are responsible for all of the equipment, not just the material you have used, so if you see something that has been missed then pick it up, remember a tidy site is a safe site. After the day has finished you are welcome to relax and do your own thing as long as it complies with the rules of the site. Even if you are not on site you are still representing it so please act in a safe and responsible manner. If you leave site especially after dark then we strongly advise against gooing alone and instead going in pairs or groups. If you do want to leave site alone make sure you tell someone (preferably an officer) where you are going and what time you expect to be back.  



The fee for attending the summer dig is £50 per week per person.

The fee applies to all those volunteers attending the summer dig regardless of the level of involvement individuals may have. The whole fee still applies even if individuals do not use or take advantage of all items covered by the fees.  If volunteers only stay for part of a week the whole £50 fee for that week still applies.  

Fees do not apply to those named individuals managing the site, directors or trustess of the company and charity the "Trellech Trust", or named individuals significantly supporting the Trellech Trust. Fees also do not apply to any visitors to the site but donations are welcomed.

Fees help cover the cost involved in the use of, repair, running and replacement of the sites facilities, the use of repair, running and replacement of the sites equipment, purchasing and hiring or new equipment and all necessary insurance. The fees also include a charge for camping and tuition.  

Fee payment is to be made upfront and is non refundable.


Application Form

An application form will be added to the website in the next few weeks. To book your place on the dig, click the application link, fill in the details and pay for the number of weeks you are attending. The dig runs for four weeks and the cost is £50 per week per person, e.g. Week 1 = £50 or Week 2 & 3 = £100 for one person. If two or more people are applying from the same family click the multiple application link. In all cases you will be asked to tick the boxes to confirm that you have read, understood and agreed to our Health and Safety policy documents, our Risk Assessment and Site Rules. All boxes * are required to be filled in, if any of those boxes are not applicable to you then just put N/A.

In the meantime to book a place please e-mail us at monmouth_arc_society@talk21.com In the subject heading put Trellech 2017 and include the following details: Title - e.g. Mr miss, Full Name, Gender, Date of Birth, Address, E-mail, Phone Number - landline and mobile if applicable, Name of Next of Kin, Details of Next of Kin - relationship to you and contact details, Details of any Health or Medical Conditions, Any specfic medication requirements, Details of any allergies, Details of any recent injuries and any other details you think we should be aware of. We also need to know which weeks you will be attending and what date you intend to arrive and leave. We would also like to know if you are a qualified first aider, the reason why you want to volunteer and what you would like gain from the experience and which university you are from if applicable.  

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to: Stuart Wilson and posted to: King's Lodge, 17 Mathern Road, Bulwark, Chepstow NP16 5JT.

On receiving your e-mail I will reply to confirm receipt of your booking. Once all of our policy documents have been updated for next year I will send you an e-mail with the documents attached asking you to read them and reply stating that you have read, understood and agree to abide by their contents.

All details provided will be kept on file and printed off and kept in a folder on site for use by officers and statutory bodies if required.


Other Dates During the Dig

Friday 14th July to Sunday 16th July          Trellech Big Weekend Festival

Sunday 16th July                                        Tour of Historical Sites of Trellech and Dig by Director Stuart Wilson

Friday 21st July to Saturday 29th July        Monmouth Music Festival - evenings

Saturday 29th July to Sunday 30th July     Trellech Dig Open Weekend

Friday 4th August to Sunday 6th August    Trellech Cider Festival

Every Friday at 2pm                                    High Tea in Trellech Babington Centre


Site Management - Officers/Supervisors

Current Site Management for 2017 is as follows:


Stuart Wilson B.A                       Site Director

Vincent Blekemolen                    Project Manager

Sander Aerts                              Finds Officer

Geraint Thomas B.A.                 Site Manager

Johnathan Buttigieg                   Assistant Finds Officer


Samantha Hyde                         Supervisor

Naomi Rubinstein                      Supervisor - Conservation

John Izzard                                Supervisor

James Notman                          Junior Supervisor

Beatrice Helme                          Junior Supervisor

Jon Trenchard                           Junior Supervisor



Site Director                             Line Manager for the Project Manager, Finds Officer and Site Manager

Project Manager                       Line Manager for the Supervisors

Finds Officer                             Line Manager for the Finds Assistant

Site Manager                            Line Manager for the Supervisors or volunteers assigned to him that day

Finds Assistant                         Line Manager for the volunteers in the Finds Tent

Supervisors                              Line Manager for the volunteers under their direct control


Volunteers wishing to become Officers/Supervisors





Other Job Opportunities

For time to time we receive visits for professional archaeologists looking for potential employees on a range of projects. Those interested in being considered for any opportunities that might arise need to inform either the Director of Excavations or the Project Manager giving details of when they are available and whether they have access to transport. If potential posts arrive we will pass your details to the prospective employer along with our recommendation as to whether we consider you appropriate for the role.







Trellech, now a small village, was once the largest mediaeval city in Wales and at the time approximately ¼ the size of London. For sometime there has been argument about the location of the nearly 400 burgages, (houses) recorded in history. Excavation over the last ten years has brought to light a fortified moated manor house, an industrial quarter alongside and other additional buildings in one small part of my field along with indications of numerous other buildings throughout the rest of the field and the neighbouring area.

Last year we concentrated on the rear areas of the manor house including the courtyard and kitchen and this year we wish to further expand on those excavations.

Close to the surface and well preserved, the quality of the structures along with the artefacts found, suggests that these buildings were of some importance. Further excavation of all of the buildings should provide a better understanding of what they were used for, by whom and when and the well should provide further waterlogged material such as wood, leather and environmental data.

This is an ongoing excavation to examine the scale and nature of the mediaeval city of Trellech and it is expected to carry on for many more years.


Trellech: It is best reached by going first to Monmouth that is on the A40 dual carriage way in South Wales. From Monmouth follow the B4293 for about 6 miles in the direction of Chepstow. When arriving at Trellech, go through the village and leave taking the middle road up the hill, south, in the direction of Catbrook. Additionally there is also a train station at Chepstow and Newport. I can pick you up from there or alternatively there are bus services available. The Monmouth tourist information office has details of bus timetables and can be contacted on (01600) 713 899.

The site: It is located a few hundred meters directly south of the present village at (SO 5020 0500). In the first field on the left after passing the speed limit signs, on the east side of the Catbrook road and next to Tinkers Lane. Cars can be parked along the side of the road and also on the wide verge.

Amenities: There are two toilets on site along with a full sized solar shower, standpipes with drinkable water and two washing areas with sinks, all free to use. In addition we now have a gas powered shower with guarrented hot water that proved very popular last year and is a great improvement when the weather is not sunny. Lemonade, orange squash and biscuits will be available for refreshments but you are advised to bring your own lunches or there is a pub in the village. A new shop opened in the village last year where sandwiches and essential supplies can be bought.

Equipment: Trowels, hand shovels, kneeling mats, buckets, brushes, shovels and wheelbarrows are available for your use. Gloves are available but it is best if you bring your own. If you do bring your own equipment make sure it is clearly marked. There will be sun cream on site but you may want to bring your own. This is important as the site is exposed to the sun; do not forget to put it on.

Accommodation: Camping on site is available. Amenities available as described above. Alternatively, if camping is not your style, there are plenty of other options to stay in the local area. There are a number of hotels and B&Bs close to the site, to find out more visit the Accommodation page.





Monmouth Archaeological Society

Chairman : S. H. Clarke, M.B.E., F.S.A., M.I.F.A.
Secretary : S. J. Wilson, B.A.
Treasurer : D. K. Jemmet, M.A.

1988 winners of THE PITT-RIVERS AWARD for the best voluntary project
1988 winners of THE LEGAL & GENERAL SILVER TROWEL for the greatest initiative in Archaeology in Archaeology
1992 Runners-up for the Pitt-Rivers Award