A new airborne laser survey of RSPB Ramsey Island has revealed a hidden archaeological landscape thought to date back 4,500 years to the Bronze Age, changing our understanding of how this isolated Pembrokeshire island was settled while providing a powerful new management tool for the RSPB.
The airborne laser survey was commissioned by archaeologists from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales as part of the new European-funded Ireland-Wales CHERISH project investigating climate change and coastal heritage. The data captured during the survey has enabled the creation of a highly detailed 3D model of Ramsey Island for the first time. Not only has this led to the discovery of new archaeological sites but it also provides an accurate and precise dataset which can be used to monitor environmental changes on the island as a result of climate change. The CHERISH Project is funded through the EU’s Ireland Wales Co-Operation Programme 2014-20.The new survey has revealed exciting sites such as Bronze Age round barrows, a prehistoric coastal promontory fort, the possible site of a lost chapel and a multitude of ancient field systems. These discoveries are forcing archaeologists to change their interpretation of how humans would have interacted with Ramsey Island during the last 4,000-5,000 years.
The highly detailed airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) flown by Bluesky International LTD in February 2017 provides a unique and unparalleled view of the whole Island at a resolution of 25cm. Different 3D visualisations have revealed many archaeological earthworks for the first time which are either inaccessible on foot or are too subtle to see on the ground due to bracken and scrub vegetation. Historical aerial imagery from the National Monuments Record of Wales archive in Aberystwyth has also been studied to identify cropmarks of underlying archaeology that has been ploughed flat in modern times.Previous surveys carried out during the mid-1990s by archaeologists Heather and Terry James for the RSPB recorded prehistoric cairns and field systems on the island’s two summits of Carn Ysgubor and Carn Llundain. The CHERISH team has expanded on this work using computer aided mapping from the new LiDAR data, along with digitised historical aerial imagery. From this, archaeologists have now furthered the understanding of how the prehistoric and medieval agricultural landscape may have appeared.
We have added a wealth of new archaeological sites to the story of Ramsey Island, using an incredible 3D dataset which has presented us with a stunning view of the island in enormous detail. We look forward to working closely with the wardens of RSPB Ramsey Island, and other colleagues in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, to investigate these discoveries further
The new computer aided mapping combines previous surveys with new discoveries. Archaeological features depicted on the new mapping range from Bronze Age burial mounds to ploughed-out post-medieval field boundaries, all of which build a picture of how the landscape may have appeared throughout the ages.
The prehistoric landscape of Ramsey Island extends to the northern most tip of the island where the site of a possible prehistoric coastal promontory fort has been identified on the high rocky promontory of Trwyn-SiÔn-Owen. This defended coastal fort was probably a permanent defended settlement or a gathering place for people living and farming on the island. The visible remains comprise a broad ditch that separates the promontory from the mainland, dividing two distinct areas of the island. The site will now be further investigated by the CHERISH project and monitored to track any coastal erosion at the site.
The medieval and post-medieval periods are also well represented on Ramsey Island. Much of this evidence comprises ancient plough ridges, mostly confined to northern and central areas; however, there are also earthworks that suggest settlement, industry and religious practice.
To the north of Carn Ysgubor are the remains of medieval and post-medieval ridge and furrow. Emerging from the ridges are the remains of an earthen platform, possibly the former site of a small rectangular building. Also within this area, as well as in the south of the island are the remains of several possible pillow mounds, suggestive of husbandry on the island, that may have hosted an abundance of rabbits during the medieval and post-medieval periods.
North of the farmhouse are yet more remains which indicate the extensive medieval agricultural landscape including the possible site of the lost chapel ‘Capel Dyfanog’. Here the remains of a complex formed of ponds, platforms and enclosures, which straddle the east coast of the island, represent a fitting site for a medieval ecclesiastical precinct that would have afforded a unique view across the waters of Ramsey Sound towards the city of St Davids.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
|__cfduid||1 month||The cookie is used by cdn services like CloudFare to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis. It does not correspond to any user ID in the web application and does not store any personally identifiable information.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|JSESSIONID||session||Used by sites written in JSP. General purpose platform session cookies that are used to maintain users' state across page requests.|
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
|YSC||session||This cookies is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.|
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
|_ga||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.|
|_gid||1 day||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.|
|ahoy_visit||12 hours||This cookie is set by Powr. The cookie is used for analytics measurement.|
|ahoy_visitor||2 years||This cookie is set by Powr. The cookie is used for analytics measurement.|
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.
|_gat_powr_apps||1 minute||No description|
|ahoy_unique_26031620||12 hours||No description|
|CONSENT||16 years 8 months 4 days 8 hours||No description|
Advertising cookies are specifically designed to gather information from you on your device to display advertisements to you based on relevant topics that interest you. Advertisers will place these cookies on a website with the website operator’s permission. The information the cookies gather on you can be shared with other advertisers to measure the performance of their advertisements.
|IDE||1 year 24 days||Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.|