Archaeological investigations at Harlech Castle Visitor Centre

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Archaeologists from Archaeology Wales are at Harlech carrying out excavations in advance of construction of a new Cadw visitor centre for Harlech Castle.

Harlech Castle visitor centre — architect's impression

Harlech Castle visitor centre — architect's impression

After removing the accumulated deep layers of recent soil and rubble from land adjacent to the Harlech Castle Hotel, the archaeologists have uncovered some evidence of previous occupation on the site including building foundations, a large cess pit that may have served a building located at the rear of the site and two human burials, possibly dating from the medieval period.

Dr Kate Roberts, Cadw’s Senior Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Archaeology said: 'It is exciting to get an opportunity to investigate an area within this historic town. We believe that a chapel used to be located near the castle in the middle ages, and finding these two burials appears to support that. We will use the information the archaeologists collect to support our new interpretation and presentation of Harlech Castle. There is still more work to be done here, and we will be analysing and dating the finds for some time to come.'

The Harlech Castle visitor centre project, funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Regional Development Fund, involves the development of the former Castle Hotel and improved access to the Castle with the aim of bringing benefits to the area including attracting additional visitors, opening doors for local businesses and offering a better experience for tourists.

For anyone interested in seeing the archaeological discoveries at Harlech there will be a free of charge* Public Open Day hosted by Archaeology Wales on Saturday 14 December from 10am–3pm.

* Admission charges to Harlech Castle still apply.