After our success in finding the farm tip last weekend we decided to give digging a miss today and concentrate on checking out some sites we had earmarked from Old Maps and aerial photographs as being interesting enough to have a look at, plus a couple which we had been told about from acquaintances.
A small village a couple of miles outside Caernarfon, there is no known tip here, and some locals assert that there never was as the villagers simply threw all their rubbish into the flast flowing river that runs through the village. A look at Old Maps.com threw up an interesting field, very near to an old brewery, which had been marshy ground at one time, but was now dry pasture which was at the same level as the houses next to it. Obviously something had happened here at one time, but was it tipping?
We found the field easily enough, and having negotiated a very ricketty gate we were wandering over the focus of our interest. There were still some shallow depressions scattered over the area which were still wet, and there was an old well in one spot, but the level of the rest of the field had certainly been raised at some time. Sadly, concentrated probing revealed nothing more than natural soil and rocks, probably land clearance somewhere else being used to raise the level of the field. One down.....
A few miles away from Bontnewydd lies the village of Llanrug. A few years ago I was told of an "old tip" near a river which had been the village dumping ground. A few months ago we had attempted to find the spot, but had chosen the wrong river. The "river" we were looking for was no more than a small stream, very well hidden, running alongside an extensive bog. We managed to gain entrance over a wall and found ourselves in a little gully which was full of tipped rubbish. Sadly, this was modern 1960's/1970's stuff. Persevering, we made our way onto the field next to the stream, just in case there had been some earlier tipping carried out, but other than mud there was nothing. A couple of skittish horses took a close interest in our activities, and finally escorted us off their land. Another blank.....
Our next stop was over the water to Anglesey, and to the town of Menai Bridge, where there was an obvious landfill site to be seen from comparing the old maps with the aerial photo. A work colleague who grew up in the town confirmed that it was tip. There was some evidence that it was relatively modern, but it was worth checking out in case there was some earlier tipping in the vicinity.
Parking was hazardous, right on the busy main road, but we made our way down to the site. It was instant bad news, as there was now two rugby pitches on the tip. As it was deserted we had a walk over the ground, and did some probing, but there was some depth of clay and soil over the tip. We couldn't very well try a trial trench in the middle of the pitch, so we had to accept the inevitable. Our only consolation was that our research strongly suggested that it was too modern for our purposes anyway. Another one bites the dust.....
Clearly marked on various old maps just outside the town of Llangefni is the Mona Mineral Water Works. Hoping that there would be a dumping site at the back of the factory, we set off to find it.
The area looked very different today from a hundred-year-old map, and it took us a good half hour to pinpoint the exact location. Sadly the factory was gone, and in its place was a nice looking modern house. Peering through the bushes at the side of a busy main road was asking for trouble, those passing probably thinking we were casing the joint. However, there was no way of getting on to the land, the whole factory plot now being the family garden. A quick bite of lunch, and then onwards.....
What we were looking for:
Next stop was Llanfair PG, the village with the world's longest name. There was an interesting spot showing just outside the village, showing up as marshy ground on an old map, but not on a more modern version. Disappointingly, we only had to park the car and look down the hill at the area to see that there had been no tipping in the vicinity, and it was, in fact, still a bog. One more to go.....
The Town with No Name
Last on our list was a spot some distance away which was known to be tip. It was half-heartedly dug in the 1970's, but given up as a bad job. We thought it was worth checking out.
On arrival it was found to be in an area full of activity, which would make digging slightly problematic if it turned out to be worth a go, although nobody took a blind bit of notice of us trudging through the crowds and onto the tip.
It was obvious from the off that this was tip of the right age, with bits lying around everywhere. Plenty of aqua glass, including some Codd fragments, meant that we had not wasted our day after all. We are going to have a trial dig on it at some point, although it will be a pig of a dig as the whole site is covered in trees, and the roots will be horrendous to get through.
So, after a day of travelling and tramping we at least got ourselves a new site to dig. Watch out for a digging report from this site in future.