Aberarth camping weekend July 28th-30th. Over 200 acres of coastal, cut pasture!

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Unfortunately, due to lack of required support for this event, we have had no choice other than to cancel it. We will reschedule for next year.

A one day event has been created for the Sunday which can be found on the events page for 30th July at Moreton in Marsh.



This is the second visit to Aberarth (home of the 6 gold coins) and this time we have all new, freshly cut pasture along the coast. With some land stretching almost down to the sea, camping along the cliff top, with the views and the detecting, this will be a stunning weekender for all who book.


As many will know, many farmers are running behind with their hay/silage due to the weather so we have negotiated a financial deal with the farmer by where he will cut the crop whatever the condition prior to our arrival.

The Aberarth LGD weekend deal is £50 for the weekend, arrival ANY time on the FRIDAY where there will be a few acres made available to detect, ALL DAY SATURDAY and SUNDAY detecting FROM EARLY UNTIL LATE and up until NOON on the MONDAY too. That’s 3 days detecting, camping, toilets, water supply all included and under cover catering also available! The camping will be overlooking the sea, the views are stunning and the cost worth the camping alone!

Subject to livestock, we are hoping to also gain access for anyone that wants to check the gold field for leftovers too.

We are on fields adjacent to the church pasture fields and you will be able to detect almost down to the sea.



The village of Aberarth,, which we are only a third of a mile from has considerable historical significance, having been founded around the time of the Norman invasion.

The Normans built Dineirth Castle (  http://www.aberarth.org.uk/dinierthcastle.html ) some way up the river valley, and the ruins of the medieval timber castle can be found on a hill about 1½ miles up the valley from the seaside town of Aberarth.


It occupies a strategic position at the confluence of the River Arth with the Erthyg Brook, with steep ravines on all sides except the east where there is a deep ditch backed by a bank. The whole site covers about three hectares and includes two mounds, which presumably supported towers, and a series of platforms to the south where it is likely the main buildings stood including the hall.  The founder is thought to be one Richard de la Mare, a follower of Richard fitz Gilbert, Lord of Clare, an Anglo-Norman lord, who, by the archaeological evidence, built it on top of a previous defensive position.

The castle was razed by Gruffydd ap Rhys but probably rebuilt, as it is known to have been destroyed again by Owain Gwynedd in 1136. The castle probably spent the next fifty years passing from one feudal ruler to another: from Hywel to Cadwaladr in 1144, and then ceded to Roger de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford in 1158, who garrisoned it. Destroyed by The Lord Rhys in 1164, it came into the possession of Maelgwn ap Rhys who lost it to, and recovered it from, his brother, Gruffudd ap Rhys. Maelgwn dismantled it to prevent his lands being held by Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd. As Llywelyn then captured and held all the territory from the River Arth to the River Aeron, he conferred Dinerth on the sons of Maelgwn’s brother Gruffudd as was rightfully due. The site was abandoned soon afterwards.

During the 12th century Cistercian monks used the area as a seaport to import “Bath Stone” from Bristol which they used for the building oStrata Florida Abbey on land granted to them by The Lord Rhys. The Cistercians were great farmers and had a corn mill in Aberarth, the descendant of which has had conservation work done.They also are reputed to have extended the fish traps or goreddi, granted to them by Rhys ap Gruffydd in 1184, which can still be seen at low tide. At one time the Strata Florida monastery ( http://www.castlewales.com/strata.html )  had a water mill and fishing rights here.

strata florida

The Monastery was founded in 1164 by the Norman Knight Robert FitzStephen. In the 12th century, Cistercian monks from Whitland AbbeyNarbethCarmarthenshire started to construct a religious settlement on the banks of the Afon Fflur (from which the present Abbey takes its name), a short distance from the present site. This was at a time of fast expansion of the Cistercian order. The site of this first settlement is known as Hen Fynachlog (the Old Monastery).

Around 1164 the Abbey of Strata Florida was founded through the patronage of Rhys ap Gruffydd. In 1184, a further charter was issued by Lord Rhys, reaffirming Strata Florida as a monastery under the patronage of Deheubarth, a principality of South Wales. Several descendants of the Lord Rhys have been buried at this Abbey, including 11 princes of the Welsh royal house of Dinefwr of Deheubarth during the 12th and 13th centuries Notable burials include Prince Gruffydd ap Rhys II and poet Dafydd ap Gwilym.

The church was consecrated in 1201.

Medieval period

Strata Florida became an important and powerful religious centre. Around 1238, Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth held a council at Strata Florida. It was here that he made the other Welsh leaders acknowledge his son Dafydd as his rightful successor. Strata Florida controlled many farms throughout Wales; these “granges” provided the monastery with food and income. The most important primary historical source for early Welsh history, the Brut y Tywysogion, was compiled at Strata Florida.

In 1401, during the early years of Owain Glyndŵr‘s rebellion, Strata Florida Abbey was taken by King Henry IV and his son. The monks were deemed to be sympathetic to Glyndŵr, so they were evicted from the monastery, which was plundered. Henry IV turned the religious buildings into a military base as he planned to capture or defeat any Welsh rebel forces active in the area. By 1402 the Earl of Worcester held the Abbey for the English Crown with a garrison of several hundred men-at-arms, archers and foot soldiers. It continued to be used as a military base for further campaigns against the Welsh rebels in 1407 and 1415.

The monastic site was returned to the Cistercians with the end of the Glyndŵr rebellion.

Following its dissolution, the site of Strata Florida Abbey was left to deteriorate. It was not until the coming of the railways in the late 19th century that interest in the site was rekindled. Stephen Williams, a railway engineer, was surveying a possible route through the area when he took an interest in the ruins. As Williams was a founder member of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, he invited the group to the site in 1848. Following this visit the Association leased the Abbey site in order to create better displays and presentations to the public.

Williams, who was to become a leading expert on the archaeology of the Cistercian Order, was placed in charge of excavations. Over the next few years, he removed huge amounts of spoil, to uncover the majority of remains that are still on view today. Interest in the ruins brought in wealthy Victorians by railway. Strata Florida, a principal station on the Carmarthen Aberystwyth Line, was named after the Abbey.

About the Abbey the 1851 Illustrated London Reading Book says:

The remains of Strata Florida Abbey, in South Wales, are most interesting in many points of view, more especially as the relics of a stately seminary for learning, founded as early as 1164. The community of the Abbey were Cistercian monks, who soon attained great celebrity, and acquired extensive possessions. They founded a large library that included national records from the earliest periods, works of the bards, and genealogies of the Princes and great families in Wales. The monks also compiled a valuable history of the Principality, down to the death of Llewellyn the Great. When Edward I invaded Wales, he burned the Abbey, but it was rebuilt A.D. 1294.

Extensive woods once flourished in the vicinity of Strata Florida, and its burial-place covered no less than 120 acres (0.49 km2). A long list of eminent persons from all parts of Wales were buried, and amongst them Dafydd ap Gwilym, the famous bard. The churchyard is now reduced to small dimensions; but leaden coffins, doubtless belonging to once celebrated personages, are still found, both there and at a distance from the cemetery. Only a few aged box and yew-trees now remain to tell of the luxuriant verdure that once grew around the Abbey. Of the venerable pile itself, little is left, except an arch, and the fragment of a fine old wall, about forty feet high. A small church now stands within the enclosure, more than commonly interesting from having been built with the materials of the once celebrated Abbey of Strata Florida.

Our farmer has told us his land stretches down to the beach!


Llanddewi Aberarth Church  (http://www.aberarth.org.uk/aberarthchurch.htm )  on a hill about half a mile to the south of the village is reputedly on the site of a 9th-century church. The present parish church has a Norman architecture tower with the rest rebuilt in the Victorian era in 1860. Secured to the wall inside the front door is the only Viking hogsback stone found in Wales.


Please note, as per previous announcements, we now require a deposit of £15 for all camping events, so if you wish to attend, please register and then make your payment via the PayPal button below.

  Please pay your attendance deposit for CAMPING. Unless this is done, you will not have a space reserved and your name will be removed from the registration form. Please bring a copy of your payment with you to the event.  Day visitors pay on the day, no deposit required!









  1. Profile photo of shaun+carol



    are dogs allowed and do you know if they are allowed on the beach, sounds a good weekend

  2. Profile photo of Mandy



    Hi, I’ve registered to go on the dig for the Saturday but it’s put my email address up and not my user name. Can someone help me please?

    • Profile photo of Chris



      Hi Mandy, the reason this has happened as when you registered to the site, you entered your email as a username. Whilst I can change passwords, I can’t change usernames. I have removed your email addresses from the event register, what I suggest is I delete the two accounts you have, you re-register as Mandy and then add your name back to the event. Alternatively, you can leave it as it is and just use your email address, we know who you are lol 😉

  3. Profile photo of Mandy



    Hi Chris, we tried that must prefer the email address, thanks anyway Mandy 😊

  4. Profile photo of David harrison

    David harrison


    I want to come for weekend but won’t be camping so I have registered for the weekend in that section – what is the postcode pl

  5. Profile photo of zaxxon



    Hi, I have put my name down for the Saturday, and I have just sent off an application for an MCMD card for the UK. I am just wondering if it is essential to have this card at your dig as this will be my first time at such an event and was wondering if the card doesn’t turn up in time will I still be able to detect? as in theory I should be registered by that time but it says allow up to 21 days for delivery.
    Many Thanks,

    • Profile photo of Joanne Boyce

      Joanne Boyce


      Hi Martin, do you have the email reciept for the NCMD card, if so this is enough for us to see. Thanks Joe

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