Jones Bros runs one of UK’s largest archaeological digs at power station site18th Dec 2017

Neolithic and medieval remains have been found by local people at one of the UK’s biggest archaeological digs, set up by Jones Bros.

The Ruthin-based civil engineering firm organised 40 separate digs with joint venture partner, Balfour Beatty, at the site of the Wylfa Newydd Project on Anglesey.

The digs were commissioned by developer, Horizon Nuclear Power, as part of ongoing archaeological investigations for project.

Joint venture personnel arranged for the digs to be carried out by specialists Wessex Archaeology and Anglesey firm, Brynthon, during the course of ongoing excavations as part of preparatory groundworks at the site.

The community digs took place over eight weeks with lots of local people trying their hand at archaeology.

One of the most exciting finds is evidence of a Roman-British settlement, dating between 43 and 410 AD. The discovery of ditches and drains, give a clear indication that people lived on the site around this time.

Local people also helped to uncover evidence of a possible 40m diameter henge: a prehistoric monument consisting of a massive bank and ditch earthwork, which was found on top of a hill overlooking the coast.

The monument would have had a 2.5m high external bank and dominated the local landscape. It would have been an important focus of ritual activity during the Neolithic period (c. 3000-4000BC).

To end the community dig, the project organised five open days for the public, local school pupils and guests, hosted by Horizon.

Visitors toured the dig site and listened to a talk from former Time Team experts, Matt Williams and Phil Harding of Wessex Archaeology.

Jones Bros project manager, Jeremy Sturla, who is managing the archeological works for the joint venture, across the 299 hectare site, said: “As part of our site preparation contract, our heavy plant carefully removed the topsoil from selected archaeology investigation sites, before the experts moved in.

“Our job here is to evaluate the finds and make sure we record the local history of this land now and, working with the archaeologists, under the direction of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, we are making great progress on this important work. ”

Delyth Owen, community liaison officer at Horizon, said: “This has been a really exciting project for Horizon. Not only have we uncovered more details of the fascinating history of this part of Anglesey, but we’ve welcomed hundreds of people onto the Wylfa Newydd site to tell them more about what we’ve learnt.”

Matt Williams, senior archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology, said: “We’ve been very fortunate to welcome so many enthusiastic members of the public to the site. This has been a great opportunity to excavate a very large area and discover substantial amounts of important historical data.”

Horizon’s development on Anglesey will represent a multibillion pound investment in North Wales, creating high-quality, long term employment opportunities and unlocking lasting economic and social benefits for the region.