Dr Jemma Bezant Talk: The archaeology of Abbey Cwmhir

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Dr Jemma Bezant has been working with the Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust team to investigate the landscapes of the home grange of the Cistercian Abbey Cwmhir in Radnorshire in remote central Wales. Founded in the late 12th century at a time of great political upheaval in the Welsh marches, the early origins of the abbey remain enigmatic and reflect the upland estates of the early Welsh dynasties of the princes of Maelienydd.

This talk will interest those who like looking at early maps, historical records, place names and the royal grants of the Welsh Princes. The results of recent field survey have begun to identify new archaeological sites on the abbeys former demesne sheepwalks and infield and all these data have been used to map in detail for the first time the boundary and holdings of Golon Grange.

Dr Jemma Bezant is a landscape archaeologist with 20 years’ experience in academia, third sector, and commercial practice in the UK and Europe. She has been a co-Director of the Strata Florida Abbey Research project since 2004. Important research themes for Dr Bezant are medieval landscape and economic history; upland, coastal and marine landscapes, and the policy implications of climate change and adaptation for heritage and land-use.

As lead archaeological surveyor for the AHRC Sacred Landscapes of Medieval Monasteries Project based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Dr Bezant is currently working across teams to develop an innovative project spatial database using historic and archaeological data to form comparators between Welsh and English monastic landscapes.

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