Information from Prof. David Austin talk on 24th November 2010
Professor David Austin visited us for the evening of 24th November 2010 to give a fascinating narrative on the historic potentials of the Cistercianestablishment in the area of and related to Strata Florida. This covered anddeveloped onward from that which some members learnt during our site visitof 7th July 2010. The information summary of that visit should also be read from these web-pages in addition to this account.
The quote by Stephen Williams, the Railway Engineer for the nearby ‘new line’being constructed in the 1860’s and being eager to promote tourism as a railway traffic generator, that ‘ this is a small site with a large history’ is seemingly proving to be potentially the greatest understatement in Welsh history. The actualities and implications of the ongoing archaeological investigation now firmly suggest ‘a large site with an immense history’.
The evidence includes, water-management including river diversion, metalforging, separate livestock management areas, main access routes via Northand South gates in addition to the inner West gate now being uncovered.
There are also implications of the earlier establishment of an abbey nearby, of linked activity in the wider geography in identifying related activity-specific outer farms, also of a Cistercian nunnery at Llanlyr and possibilities of some type of related establishment in the early formative configuration of the township of Llanddewi -Brefi.
The whole being a very large scale commercial and political enterprise waxing from The Lord Rhys mid 12th century nation building aims to waning in the early manifestations of the Dissolution during the late 15th and early 16th century.
This historic importance continues the impetus in arranging suitable resource for the very necessary ongoing fieldwork and additionally in forming a trustfor the conservation of the Stedman house a later development superimposed upon the believed location of the original Refectory close to the main Abbey.