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Hidden Hillfort connects people with the past

14 September 2017

Staff and stakeholders around information sign
(L-R) Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Mark Drakeford MS for Cardiff West, Dr Dave Wyatt, CAER Project Co-director and Dave Horton, Community Development Manager Action in Caerau and Ely. The CAER project information sign was co-created by Cardiff academics with local participants and funded by Cardiff Council.

A major new community project to transform a vibrant but economically challenged suburb in South Wales has been officially launched.

The CAER Hidden Hillfort project is a Heritage Lottery-funded (HLF) initiative between Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE) and Cardiff University.

The project focuses on the Caerau hillfort - one of the most significant and oldest monuments in Cardiff with a remarkable history.

Through the HLF development phase grant, the team will work on a range of proposals to provide the community with a deeper insight into their heritage and the area’s fascinating past, while giving local people the chance to gain new skills, and build confidence and community cohesion.

Caerau and Ely's incredible history

Plans include working with residents to turn a disused gospel hall into a local community run heritage centre, improving access to the hillfort and the design and installation of new signage and information, enabling local people and visitors to learn about the area’s incredible history.

Dr Oliver Davis, CAER Heritage Project Co-director
Dr Oliver Davis, CAER Heritage Project Co-director

Mark Drakeford AM for Caerau and Ely, and Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, marked the start of the year-long project, which if successful will lead to further funding from the HLF for a two-year project.

Dr Dave Wyatt, CAER Project co-director, said: “Community excavations have revealed Caerau hillfort to be a heritage site of national, if not international significance, yet it remains poorly understood and largely unknown...”

“The Hidden Hillfort Project has the potential to change this; opening up this amazing place to the wider world and harnessing the power of heritage to enhance individual life-chances for local people of all ages.”

Dr David Wyatt Reader in Early Medieval History
Crowd on CAER hillfort site

Dave Horton, Development Manager at ACE, said: “We are extremely excited that the Heritage Lottery Fund have given us this opportunity.

“If successful, the full project proposes an inspiring programme of community based research, monument presentation and infrastructural development.

“We look forward to working in close partnership with Cardiff University, local schools, and heritage organisations to channel local talent into shaping the way in which the heritage of Caerau hillfort is understood and appreciated.”

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