Rediscovering Trellech – Katie Churchill
A super talk giving evidence of human activity in this area from the Prehistoric Age. Harold’s Stones, three upright standing stones, are generally associated with the Bronze Age. They are formed from a quartz conglomerate, locally known as “pudding stone”.
From the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods flints have been found. Coinage from the Iron Age has been discovered. In the Prehistoric time it seems the settlement, being on the St Maughans’ formation of green and brown sandstones, a possible byway developed on the harder brown sandstone.
Apparently there was a Roman Road through Trellech, following Church Road to Trellech Cross and Catbrook, with a crossing over the River Olwy. No substantial evidence of construction has yet been found. On the opposite side of the waterway, blue clays with flints have been found. In the dug layers of the trenches burnt charcoal, stones and evidence of iron working have been discovered, similar to the iron ores of the Forest of Dean. A cross section of a trench side indicating the layers of different coloured sandstones was shown.
An interesting find from the field are several examples of fulgurites. These are hollow tubes surrounded by fused glass like deposits.These are formed from lightening strikes onto the rock when the very high temperature of the lightening causes the silica grains of the rock to melt. A case of geological meteorology!
Kate gave a fascinating insight into the social history of Trellech, especially an elaboration of the intricacies of the life of the local wealthy gentry.
She also brought with her a range of examples of what had been found in the digs so far. Maybe no Roman road remains from Trellech but she did have with her two stone cobbles dug from the Roman road underlying Usk HMP.
There are many spellings of Trellech. Here are a few: Trillek (1255); Trilleyk (1290); Trylegh (1583); Trellegge (1649); Treleck; Treleg; Trelegg; Trelleck; Trelleg: Trellick; Trilegh;Trillec; Trillech; Trylec: Trylegh: ………………………………………………
Followup visit to Trellech
A group of us met up with Kate at Court Farm. She described how in the last 2 years community volunteers had helped her explore one of her fields and showed us where trenches had been put in and finds [which we saw at her talk last week] had been made. At this stage there still remain more questions than answers.
For example – what is the trench running across this exposed area?
This does illustrate how geology and archeology interrelate.
Whilst also taking us around the castle tump and into the local church with its new permanent exhibition of history panels, Kate gave us a very good resume of the amazing varied history of this village. The main impression we got is how motivated many residents in the village now are to pursue further their study of what has gone on here in its fascinating past.