Dinas Dinllaen - Community Archaeology Project


Introduction | The Promontory Fort | Geophysics | Community Engagement

During late October and early November 2011 a community archaeology project took place at Dinas Dinllaen, an Iron Age coastal promontory fort on the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. The site now forms part of the Nefyn and district golf course and lies within the Llŷn Peninsula’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The headland on which the site is situated is affected by coastal erosion and in recent years the effects of weathering have started to take their toll on the archaeology.

The project aimed to investigate and stabilise the outer defences of the promontory fort, giving local volunteers the opportunity to be trained in aspects of archaeological fieldwork. Local schools were also given the opportunity to visit the excavation and take part in practical activities, teaching them about archaeological techniques and the history of the site from the Iron Age to the 19th century.

Following the successful outcome of the first phase of the project a second phase was instigated. This phase targeted the interior of the fort, which was examined by geophysical survey. The relationships established with the schools in the first phase were strengthened by participation in an art project which encouraged pupils to look at the development of the site, and the way in which Porthdinllaen may have developed had it become the major port to Dublin. The pupils worked with local artist, Julie Williams, to create pieces of art based on the site’s history.

The project was funded by the Llŷn Peninsula AONB Sustainable Development Fund; by Cadw through its Arfordir project; by the Institute for Archaeologists through a workplace learning bursary; the Council for British Archaeology through a community archaeology bursary; the Heritage Lottery Fund; and Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. Special thanks must also be given to the Nefyn and District Golf Club, especially Simon Dennis, Pat McAteer and the green maintenance team.


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