Campaign launched to honour one of Flintshire's greatest treasure finds

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

A CAMPAIGN could be launched to have one of Flintshire’s greatest treasure finds commemorated in the county.

The Bronze Age ‘Caergwrle Bowl’, unearthed in 1823, takes pride of place in the ‘Origins: in search of early Wales’ gallery of the National Museum, Cardiff, where it is considered to be a star treasure.

But the find has little recognition in Flintshire itself and that’s something Caergwrle Councillor and historian David Healey is keen to change.

He said: “It is a surprising fact that one of Flintshire’s most important historic finds, the Caergwrle Bowl, has received virtually no recognition or commemoration either within the locality or within the county itself.

“We have to thank whoever named the Abermorddu Council-built housing estate ‘Maes Cibyn’ (the ‘Field of the Cup’) for the only hint of recognition which this artefact has so far received within Flintshire.

“It is invaluable because of the insight which it gives us to the thinking of our ancestors. The inlaid gold and associated carvings almost certainly represent a boat, decorated by shields, powered by oars which take the craft across carefully carved waves.

“It is almost certainly associated with a religious ceremony that was important in the customs of some of the area’s early inhabitants.

“The Bowl has therefore added a new dimension to our understanding of craftsmanship of Bronze Age people.”

The exact location of the find is uncertain, it was believed to have been found in land under Caergwrle Castle, with those who thought up the name of ‘Maes Cibyn’ feeling the new development was somewhere in the general area of the find.

Cllr Healey added: “Discussions now centre on the need to give some recognition of this find within the local area.

“The find was made somewhere to the south of Caergwrle Castle and it does appear that Abermorddu’s Crossways play area, adjacent to the Maes Cibyn housing estate, would appear the most promising location for a plaque or commemorative feature.

“Knowledge of the heritage of Abermorddu itself is fast disappearing and such a feature could also be accompanied by another interpretation panel which highlights aspects of the history of that community.”

Sketches have been provided by Michael Roberts, designing a possible piece of play art which could be accommodated at the Crossways play area to serve both as a commemorative feature but also as a unique addition to the play equipment.

The designs show the feature accessed by a ramp but a climbing net and slide could easily be included.

A labyrinth could include a means of approaching the feature by sunken logs, enabling children to jump from one to another.

Other ideas include the idea of the ‘deck’ serving as a stage for performances by older children and seating to be included in the area of the labyrinth.

Cllr Healey said: “Ideally the community itself would be closely involved in the project and, whilst it may not be possible for young people to actually construct the feature, they may be able to paint it and develop a sense of ownership over it.”

He added: “The play area did benefit from £10,000 funding from Hope Community Council and an additional £5,000 from Flintshire Council two years ago.

“However most of this was spent on levelling the field to allow for football and it was always recognised that a Phase Two development would be needed in order to provide for further equipment.

“Hope Community Council has now allocated a further £10K to this site and we await to see to what extent the County will be able to match fund this allocation. However, this has to be spent this financial year and will not be used to fund whatever may be agreed as a commemorative play feature or plaque.”

No funding is currently in place for the project but interest and communication from anyone willing to play a part in the development or in the commemoration of the heritage of Abermorddu is welcome.

Anyone interested can contact
Cllr Healey via email at DHealey204@aol.com

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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