Page last updated at 05:45 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 06:45 UK

'Medieval' find at Urdd eisteddfod site in Ceredigion

The Urdd eisteddfod site at Llanerchaeron
The workers were laying pipes at the eisteddfod maes in Ceredigion

Workers preparing for the Urdd eisteddfod have discovered what are thought to be medieval remains while laying pipes.

They were working on the main festival field, called the maes, when they found what experts believe is part of a small hamlet or drove way (road).

Workers had dug down about 15cm at the Llanerchaeron estate, near Aberaeron in Ceredigion, when work came to a halt.

The Urdd said no pipes would now be laid in that part of the maes.

The annual Welsh youth festival runs from 31 May to 5 June on the estate.

Eisteddfod director Aled Siôn assured visitors to the festival that the maes would be ready for Monday.

'Disturb the remains'

He said: "As workers were digging a hole to lay a pipe, they came across two ditches believed by experts to be either a ditch surrounding the remains of a small hamlet or medieval drove way.

"Naturally, work came to a halt and we had to change our plans pretty quickly and no pipes will be laid in that part of the maes so as not to disturb the remains.

"While the find meant we had to down tools for a short while, we're still on course to have the maes ready for the festival in plenty of time."

Dr Martin Bates, from Lampeter University, was working on an excavation nearby on behalf of the National Trust.

"This latest discovery fits the medieval landscape of this part of the valley which dates back around 600 or 700 years," said Dr Bates.

"It adds another dimension to the picture we're putting together of the rural activity which took place here long before the Llanerchaeron house was built.

"As part of the outreach project we've been looking at, rocks and rivers in the area and pupils from Ysgol Ciliau Aeron have recorded their work in posters which will be displayed at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David stand at the eisteddfod."

The eisteddfod is expected to attract 100,000 visitors and 15,000 competitors.

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