South East Wales

Ancient fort found under Monmouthshire housing estate

Artist impression of fort Image copyright MONMOUTH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Image caption An artist impression of what the fort looked like nearly 5,000 years ago

This ancient fort could not look more different to the red brick housing estate currently occupying suburbia in Monmouthshire.

But archaeologist Steve Clarke believes this fortified farmhouse once stood on stilts on a manmade island in an Ice Age lake 4,900 years ago.

The "crannog's" timbers survived and carbon dating said they were built on Jordan Way, Monmouth, 2,917 years BC.

A slab of timber was discovered when the estate was constructed in 2003.

It is the second crannog discovered in Wales.

Image copyright MONMOUTH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Image caption A housing estate has replaced the Ice Age lake

But the first, at Llangorse Lake, in the Brecon Beacons, is thousands of years younger than the recent discovery.

"This is very important, it was a huge lake that was here until the Iron Age," said Mr Clarke, 70.

"This will tell us what was happening here in the Stone Age - we know so little about that period."

Image copyright MONMOUTH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Image caption A slab of timber was discovered when the estate was constructed in 2003