Over the years, having found several Neolithic flints on my own land, the opportunity was taken in the spring of 2009 to ‘field walk’ small areas on the neighbouring farm, rotavated to plant cover for their pheasant shoot. A few Neolithic flints were found with a number of Mesolithic microliths in one particular area. In that autumn several fields were ploughed and seeded with grass ley and the chance arose to walk these. A number of flints were found, mainly Neolithic, but some fields were totally devoid of finds. Pieces of a First century Roman burnished ware cooking pot and lid and clay oven were also found as well as a piece of Medieval pale blue window glass with engraved decoration.

Flints 018

When the pheasant cover was re-seeded in the spring of 2010 a further 20 Mesolithic microliths were found in the same location as before. In the autumn of 2010 the 20 acre field immediately to the other side of the pig wire fence, dividing the pheasant cover from this, was ploughed and seeded with grass ley, together with a further 20 acre field on the far side of the hedge in the other direction. Approximately one hundred, mainly Neolithic, flints were found with a real ‘hot spot’ of Mesolithic microliths close to the dividing fence from where similar items were found earlier.

Permission was sought from the landowner to undertake an archaeological excavation at the ‘hot spot’ on either side of the fence.

John Bowler

Click here to see a pdf of the flints discovered prior to excavation commencing.


Excavations commenced on 17 March 2011 and were completed on 25 August 2011. We found a total of 176 flints in an area of about 50 square meters.

Click here to see a plan of where the flints have been found.

As the landowner required his land back, excavations ceased for the season on 25 August 2011, but he has said that we could resume our investigations next year.

In the meantime we are recording all the flints and will obtain expert opinion over the coming months. Images of all the flints excavated will be published here at a later date.

A detailed report is presently being drafted by TEG and will be completed once the data verifying the finds has been received from Cardiff Museum. Publication is expected in the summer of 2012 and copies may be pre-ordered by contacting John Bowler.

The complete the season we spent the penultimate day investigating anomalies seen from the air in a field on adjacent Pothvaynor Farm which had yielded nearly 200 flints “field walking” ploughed ground. Most were Mesolithic and Neolithic with a few Bronze Age flints. Some were particularly fine, especially the leaf-shaped arrow-head.

PorthvaynorPorthveynor Flints

On the ridge, one area of investigation discovered the edge of a stone slab with soft ground beneath. It looked like we had found a Prehistoric burial and everyone got very excited. The last day’s dig of the season was spent removing 2 tonnes of soil to uncover a stone slab measuring 2.0m by 1.6m. Investigations beneath the edges suggested that the undercutting was natural, formed by erosion between adjacent stone blocks. Backfilling this trench was a disappointing end to the season.

Porthvaynor Slab 2 Pothvaynor slab 1