Strata Florida Archaeology Field School
The Strata Florida Trust Archaeology Field School, which will return for its second year next summer
The school will run for six weeks throughout June and July at the site of Strata Florida Abbey, an internationally significant Medieval Monastic site a few miles from Tregaron, in Mid Wales. The field school is ideal for anyone eager to learn about the techniques of archaeological excavation or considering a future career as a field archaeologist.
The course will be delivered by the Strata Florida Trust and builds on established archaeological research and training programmes conducted at Strata Florida between 2004 and 2015. Support for the field school comes from The Prince’s Foundation, Allchurches Trust, University of Wales Trinity St. David, Breaking Ground Heritage and Sacred Landscapes Research Project.
This is a unique opportunity for people both young and old, from all different backgrounds, to take part in an archaeological excavation at this important historical site. No archaeological experience is necessary to complete the course. In addition, the training is being made as accessible as possible so people who never thought they could participate in archaeology (perhaps because of physical or mental health challenges) are welcomed and encouraged to sign up.
Pontrhydfendigaid, Ystrad Meurig SY25, UK
June 17, 2024 to July 14, 2024
17th June - 14th July 2024
Contact for Details
17th June – 14th July 2024 We have a range of 1-4 week courses and day courses.
Open to all, from beginners to experienced archaeologists. We aim to be the most inclusive field school in the UK, offering wellbeing and mental health support.
Strata Florida Abbey (Abaty Ystrad Fflur in Welsh) is a captivating, evocative and internationally significant site located in the heart of Wales. Known affectionally by some as the Westminster Abbey of Wales, it had its heyday in the 12th and 13th centuries and was once an important centre of culture, religion and trade, with connections spreading far across the Welsh landscape.
The school will offer a fully accessible training programme and include a wide variety of archaeological excavation and survey techniques; from understanding how to correctly use a trowel through to the collection of geophysical data for archaeological mapping. In addition to field-based learning, the school will have a weekly programme of field trips to local sites and monuments and talks from experts on topics of local historical and archaeological interest.
Our mission is to share Strata Florida’s unique history, archaeology, heritage and links to Welsh culture, with as diverse an audience as possible, including members of the public, students, volunteers, and others.
The SFAFS will be delivered by the Strata Florida Trust in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, Cambrian Counselling, and the University of Wales Trinity St David.
Period((s) of occupation
The site lies on the remains of the 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, and includes a 17th Century gentry house and associated farm buildings. Medieval 16th Century 17th Century 18th Century
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers
18 (or 14+ if accompanied by participating adult)
No previous experience required. We welcome complete beginners, those studying archaeology, and those who are already experienced in excavation. We will be using the archaeology skills passport to track and develop your skills. We aim to be the most inclusive field school in the UK, tailored to physical requirements and in support of mental health needs. If you’ve always wanted to get involved in archaeology, but been held back by physical or mental challenges, then this is the place for you. The SFAFS aims to be the most open and inclusive field school in the UK. Please get in touch and we will work with you and find ways for you to get involved. In addition to archaeological skills training, we aim to harness the heritage of Strata Florida to encourage physical and mental well-being.
Room and board arrangements
Accommodation and catering is included in our residential fee. Non-residential options available. Accommodation and catering will be provided at Pantyfedwen Hall in the village of Bont one mile from Strata Florida. The venue has showers, a dining area, communal seating and work space areas, WiFi, laundry facilities and ample parking. The site is fully accessible with disabled toilet and shower facilities. You will need to bring your own tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, towels etc (or these can be rented from us). Local bus transfers for the two miles to and from site will be included. Included in the full residential package, will be breakfast and a tasty packed lunch for you to take to site and an evening meal. We will be showcasing local produce wherever possible. We are able to tailor our meals to specific dietary requirements such as vegan/ gluten free. “Food was delicious, plus plenty of choice” If you would like to arrange your own accommodation, there is a selection of B&Bs and self-catered accommodation in Pontrhydfendigaid and Tregaron, as well as a caravan and camping ground on the outskirts of the village. Please get in touch if you would like a list of providers. We recommend you book early to avoid disappointment.
The Archaeological Skills Passport training pathway developed by BAJR (British Archaeological Jobs & Resources) is also available to gain recognition for the skills gained at the SFAFS. The Archaeological Skills Passport lists many archaeological excavation and recording techniques and breaks them down into individual tasks and activities. When these elements have been completed in the field and observed by one of our fully qualified site supervisors, they will be signed off in your own Skills Passport. You will be given your passport on the first day of the course and the cost is included in the fees.
Carys Aldous-Hughes Y Beudy, Mynachlog Fawr Pontrhydfendigaid, SY25 6ES