Lost city of Trellech: Man discovers medieval town in his field


Blackleaf
#1
A history fan who spent his £32,000 life savings buying a field because he believed there were secrets hidden below the soil has been proved right after unearthing a lost medieval city in Monmouthshire.

Stuart Wilson bought the 4.6 acre plot of land in South Wales more than a decade ago, because he believed it would become significant in Norman history.

Now, twelve years on, the 37-year-old has pieced together his findings to unveil the site as the ancient industrial town of Trellech...

The lost city of Trellech: History fan spends his £32,000 life savings buying a field on a hunch - then is proved spectacularly right when he digs it up to discover the remains of a medieval town


Stuart Wilson, 37, used his life savings to buy 4.6 acre plot of land 12 years ago

He believed there were secrets below the soil - and has now been proved right

Mr Wilson discovered the ancient industrial town of Trellech, South Wales

Site dates back to the 13th century and was home to around 10,000 people

By Steph Cockroft for MailOnline
3 January 2017

A history fan who spent his £32,000 life savings buying a field because he believed there were secrets hidden below the soil has been proved right after unearthing a lost medieval city in Monmouthshire.

Stuart Wilson bought the 4.6 acre plot of land in South Wales more than a decade ago, because he believed it would become significant in Norman history.

Now, twelve years on, the 37-year-old has pieced together his findings to unveil the site as the ancient industrial town of Trellech.


History fan Stuart Wilson (pictured) spent his £32,000 life savings on a buying a field before digging it up to discover a lost medieval city


The 37-year-old bought the 4.6 acre plot of land because he was convinced there were secrets hidden below the soil. Pictured is an artefact that he found on the site


Mr Wilson discovered the ancient industrial town of Trellech, South Wales. Pictured is another artefact found on the site


So far, Mr Wilson and his volunteers have discovered a manor house (pictured in an artist's impression) with two halls and a courtyard, enclosed with curtain walls and a massive round tower

The city, which lies between Monmouth and Trelleck, is believed to date back to the 13th century and is thought to have been home to around 10,000 people, including Norman lords of the de Clare family who used it as a place to mass produce iron.

So far, Mr Wilson and his volunteers have discovered the remains of a manor house with two halls and a courtyard, enclosed with curtain walls and a massive round tower.

Within that manor house complex, the group has discovered several different rooms - both with fireplaces.

The volunteers have also found a well, in which they have discovered a nearly complete medieval pot, metal work, wooden objects and parts of leather shoes.

Mr Wilson - a former toll booth worker who moved back in with his parents so he could afford his field of dreams - said the discovery was highly significant.

He said: 'This is a massive settlement dating back to the 13th century.

'At its peak, we're talking about a population of maybe around 10,000 people. In comparison, there were 40,000 in London, so it's quite large.


He said the settlement was the home of several Norman lords of the de Clare family who used it as a place to mass produce iron. Pictured is another artefact found on the site


Mr Wilson, a former toll booth worker, lived with his parents so he could finance his field of dreams and says the decision has fully paid off. It is pictured during excavation


Mr Wilson has hundreds of volunteers ever year to help him with his excavation and is seeking planning permission for an education centre


Monmouthshire

'This population grew from nothing to that size within 25 years. Now it took 250 years for London to get to 40,000 people, so we're talking a massive expansion.

'And that's just the planned settlement. The slums would have been quite numerous. There you would be talking even 20,000 plus. It's a vast area.'

He added that, from what had been discovered so far, it appears as though the inhabitants' life would have been tough.

'If you're working in the fields you are living hand to mouth every single day - it's a really hard existence,' he said.


The huge settlement is believed to date back to the 13th century. Another artefact is pictured


Mr Wilson said the population swelled to tens of thousands within just 25 years. Pictured above are more artefacts he found under the field

'Suddenly, a big industrial town comes here, this is a great opportunity for you.

'You up-sticks - to hell with your land - 'let's move to the industrial town where the opportunity is'.'

He said the settlement was the home of several Norman lords of the de Clare family who used it as a place to mass produce iron.

'It probably had a population about a quarter of the size of medieval London, and it grew from nothing at a much faster rate over 25 years in the mid 1200s,' he added.


Mr Wilson said that, at its peak, there was a population of maybe around 10,000 people, compared with 40,000 in London. A well found on the site is pictured left while volunteers are seen busy at work, right



Mr Wilson says the field (pictured during excavation) is an important site to study Norman life

The buildings appear seem to date back to 1300 A.D. when the town was reorganised and built in stone after the attacks by both English and Welsh forces in the previous decade.

Mr Wilson said evidence of the earlier town has been found below some of the buildings, with occupation on the site believed to have started 100 years previously.

By 1400 some of the buildings had fallen into ruin and by 1650 after the civil war the last of the buildings were abandoned.


The buildings appear seem to date back to 1300 A.D. when the town was reorganised and built in stone after the attacks by both English and Welsh forces in the previous decade. Volunteers are pictured on site during the excavation


Mr Wilson - who had to live with his parents to afford the field - says he has no regrets about his bizarre purchase. Volunteers are pictured working on the site during excavation


Excavation work began in 2005 and volunteers have already discovered several interesting artefacts, as well as a manor house

Mr Wilson has hundreds of volunteers ever year to help him with his excavation and is seeking planning permission for an education centre.

He said: 'As we take more on, there's a greater need to expand our campsite and while there are several campsites within a walkable distance, it would be better to have something here.'

Mr Wilson, who began excavation work in 2005, says he has no regrets about his bizarre purchase.

He said: 'I should have really bought a house and got out from my parents' but I thought: "To hell with my parents, I will stay at home and I shall buy a field instead".

'People said "you must be mad".'

Read more: Welsh man buys a field then digs it up to discover a lost medieval city | Daily Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter (external - login to view) | DailyMail on Facebook (external - login to view)
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jan 3rd, 2017 at 07:43 AM..
 
Ludlow
#2
What good are those artefacts?
 
no new posts