A FOUR-year project by a group ofamateur archaeologists has uncovered a manor house complex at a site near Abergavenny.

Trostrey Excavation Group discovered the complex after studying an aerial photograph of the area which showed an irregular rectangular enclosure and causeway markings in a field used for grazing at Coed Morgan, near the village of Penpergwm.

John Sorrell, the report’s author and one of ten volunteers who worked on the project, believes the site of the medieval moated manor was chosen by Norman engineers working on behalf of the new lordship, in Abergavenny.

During excavation, a trench was dug on what would have been the main hall exterior walls on the north-east corner and the team discovered demolition debris. They then found a timber building that was being converted to stone.

“Webelieve that the building was going through a major transition from a wooden structure to being built of stone when the site was abandoned, probably due to the Black Death,” said Mr Sorrell.

The complex features a 12th Century chapel, which was used until the 14th Century as a parish church. Fragments found below the chapel date back to the Norman times and pottery finds suggest it was a medium wealthy estate.

The complex was thought to have been surrounded by a water-filled moat and had a gate, bridge and garden area.

MrSorrell believes the estate was abandoned and demolished sometime after 1350.