A SERIES of prehistoric huts which could date back 5,000 years have been unearthed in Blaenau Gwent.

Aberystruth History and Archaeological Society made the discovery during the final year of their four-year excavation and investigation into sites in the Cwmcelyn Valley near Blaina.

Ian Fewings, trust secretary, said: “We have been working on a four-year project called Cwmcelyn Hidden Landscapes Project to excavate around the valley to learn more about the history of the area. It should have finished last year, however, we had to stop for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Thankfully we were able to secure another year of funding to be able to continue.

“Cwmcelyn Valley is one of Wales’ hidden gems. While the surrounding areas were industrialised, it has remained untouched, so you can walk from barracks to pre-historic features.”

The society is now planning to send off samples from the huts for further investigation.

“We found the site was used in the Neolithic period around 5,000 years ago," said Mr Fewings. "Over a period of time when all that went, they used the same platform to make charcoal. It’s been used over a very long period of time.”


During the project the society have found more than 300 sites of archaeological discovery in a three-mile-long valley. 

“It’s one of the busiest areas for archaeological excavations," said Mr Fewings. "We have a man called Robert Gapper who is going to do 3D models of the landscape and recreate some of the stories.

“The aim with that is you can visit the place at certain times of the year and click on the models of people and they will tell their story.”

Mr Fewings explained how it will talk about a wide range of periods – from the Bronze Age hut to the firing range built by the Monmouthshire Regiment in 1909 – who all died during the First World War. There will also be a medieval farm and the Red Ash East Levels.

To find out more about the society and their work, visit https://aberystruthhas.wixsite.com/historyarchaeology