Landscape of Neolithic axes



Dinas, above Llanfairfechan

An update on our Landscape of Neolithic axes project

Since 2019 the Landscape of Neolithic Axes Project (funded by Cadw and by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Carneddau Landscape Partnership Scheme) has been investigating the unique landscape around Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan, where stone axeheads were made in the Neolithic period. The fieldwork involves digging 1m square test pits to recover evidence for making stone axeheads, and all the work has been done by volunteers, including pupils from local schools.

We have been working around Dinas, the distinctive round-topped, scree covered hill above Llanfairfechan, and have dug 103 test pits and small trenches to investigate one of the stone sources and a settlement site. We've found where Neolithic people were sitting to make axeheads, both on the screes, where they obtained the stone, and further away, perhaps under the shelter of a tree. We have proved that they were living in the uplands, probably in seasonal camps, where they undertook axe making possibly alongside grazing their herds on the upland pasture. As well as axeheads they made narrow chisels and scraping tools from the stone.


Axehead ‘roughouts' from Ty'n y Llwyfan

Axeheads from this area were used across Wales and England in the Neolithic, making this a landscape of national importance and this on-going work is starting to discover how Neolithic people lived and worked within it.

Thanks to all our volunteers for their hard work as part of this project.

We're very grateful to Gareth Wyn Jones, Ty'n y Llwyfan farm, and his family, for their permission to work on their land and for their interest and support.


Babs and Louise (two of our volunteers) digging a small excavation trench


Reports (click on each):

Popeth Am Fwyeill - All About Axes

Initial survey of known sites

Management and Interpretation Plan with a survey of an example site, 2019

Fieldwork, 2019

Fieldwork, 2021

Fieldwork, 2022



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