« ForrigeFortsæt »
Under the Society's Rules the terms of office of the following Officers expire, viz. :
and 10 members retire in accordance with Rule 4, viz. :
THE HONOURABLE SOCIETY OF CYMMRODORION.
Statement of Receipts and Payments.
FROM 9TH NOVEMBER, 1898, TO 9TH NOVEMBER, 1899.
£526 9 7
H. LLOYD ROBERTS, Treasurer.
E. VINCENT EVANS, Secretary.
Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion.
EARLY FORTIFICATIONS IN WALES,'
THE REV. S. BARING-GOULD, M.A.
A FEATURE of no ordinary interest, alike in Wales, Cornwall, and Devon, in Scotland and Ireland, is the stone castles, fortresses constructed of stone uncut and not set in mortar, that are there found, and that, in common, possess characteristics seemingly indicating that they were the work of one people.
It is, of course, possible, that various peoples at very different periods may have constructed defences of a similar description, and we must not hastily conclude a common origin when we find that these fortresses have features of great similarity. Nothing but pick and spade can settle the question as to the epoch at which they were erected, and even that will not tell us who were the people who constructed them.
Read before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion at 20, Hanover Square, on Thursday, the 26th of January, 1899; Chairman, Mr. Edward Laws, F.S.A.
The camps that are everywhere so numerous in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales demand a much closer scrutiny than has been accorded to them hitherto.
Those in Scotland have, indeed, been taken in hand in a manner truly scientific, and that quite recently, by Mr. Christison; but he has not been able to do more than record the situations and their shapes and characteristics; he has not been able to excavate them; and till this has been done, these interesting monuments of a remote past remain mysterious, they have not yielded up the secret of their origin.
However, the work accomplished by him has been most valuable. The forts have been catalogued, classified, and planned. This, in itself, is an achievement, the more important as these earthworks are being gradually destroyed by the plougher and the quarryman.
It may be said-Why re-plan when the Ordnance Survey has been made, and we have on the sheets issued by the Survey all that we require? But, unfortunately, the Government did not employ the men most qualified to plan antiquities, and my own experience assures me that in a number of instances the plans given on the 6in. and 26in. scales are not altogether to be trusted. Camps of great importance are incompletely given, and some are. inaccurately recorded. This likewise has been Mr. Christison's experience in Scotland. He says:"Unfortunately, in the occasional unreliability of the plans themselves, I soon discovered that while some left nothing to be desired in point of accuracy and fulness of detail, as far as the smallness of the scale permitted, others were evidently either defective or erroneous, while in not a few instances I found only "site of a fort" marked, where the remains were quite as substantial as in cases in which plans were given.
"This inequality in the work was due to the abandonment of the original design to combine a special archæological survey, by enlisting the aid of experts, with the general one of the country-a combination actually started in Ireland, but relinquished almost at once.
It was also unfortunate that the routine of the service removed officers who, by the interest they felt in the work and by practice, had attained special skill in planning these remains, to make room for novices who had no sooner gone through the same apprenticeship, than they also had to go."
But this is not all. The original maps, as drawn by the surveyors, would perhaps shew a much better plan than has been actually published. This is due to the drawings having been gone over by officers after the plans had been made, who struck out a quantity of detail as unimportant, because they themselves were indifferent to matters of archæological interest.
I had an opportunity of seeing some of these original drawings with reference to remains of considerable value from an antiquarian point of view, which I asked the Ordnance officer to insert in a new edition. The officer most readily and graciously sent down a surveyor to plan what was desired, when to our mutual surprise we found that this had been done with conscientious accuracy on the occasion of the survey, but had been subsequently cut out by the revisers.
The result of this unfortunate condition of affairs is that the planning of the fortified strongholds, which might have been well done at the outset, has now to be undertaken again; and that, unhappily, it is never quite safe to trust the Ordnance Survey where it indicates the presence of a camp, but each must be separately visited, and investigated, to ascertain whether planned correctly, or