The Mold Cape, copyright © David Monniaux, 2005
CPAT at the National Eistedfodd 2007
As part of our Cadw funded Heritage Management project CPAT spent a highly enjoyable week at this year's National Eisteddfod at Pentrehobin near Mold in Flintshire. The location provided us with our theme, which we took as the Mold Gold Cape and the surounding area's prehistoric archaeology which also tied in well with the recent pan-Wales project work on
prehistoric ritual and funerary monuments. The Mold Cape, constructed from approximately half a kilogramme of elaborately embossed gold sheet, was crafted in the Early Bronze Age in about 1800BC. It is without doubt one of the most spectacular pieces of prehistoric metal work ever discovered in Britain. It was found in 1833 when workmen, looking for road building stone on the eastern outskirts of Mold, dug into a burial mound known locally as Byrn-yr-Ellyllon - hill of the ghosts!. It was said to have been discovered with the skeleton of a young man. The Cape, voted the sixth best treasure in the UK in a recent television poll, is now housed in the British Museum in London but a replica can be seen locally at the Museum in Mold.
A specially produced leaflet about this iconic find and the Bronze Age archaeology around Mold formed the centrepiece of our display in the Science and Technology Pavillion. Other attractions included an interactive version of the CPAT web site, a continuous digital slideshow of project work and a full GIS version of the Historic Environment Record which was used to answer people's questions about the area's past. Apart from queries about the the Mold Cape itself and how and where it was found, and many questions about the splendid Iron Age hillforts on the nearby Clwyidian Hills (
follow this link to find out more about recent work on these) the most popular enquiry was " . . . what can you tell me about the sites in my local community?"
Over 150,000 people attended this year's Eisteddfod, and although not all of them visited CPAT's stand there were more than enough to keep us busy for the week! Now at least we should have a year or two to recover our composure before it returns to our area.