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Pembroke Castle excavation completed



THE TWO WEEK archaeological excavation of Pembroke Castle has finished, with much information and material gathered to be analysed.

Dyfed Archaeological Trust, funded by the Castle Studies Trust, started the excavation on September 3, the first at the site for over 70 years. The excavations and topographic survey aimed to further advance the understanding of one of Wales’ and the UK’s most iconic castles.

The large outer ward has been an empty space since at least the eighteenth century, yet aerial photographs in 2013 revealed parch marks detailing the outline of a possible late medieval double-winged hall house. This was further confirmed by geophysical surveys carried out by Dyfed Archaeological Trust, funded by the Castle Studies Trust, in 2016. Such buildings are unusual in castles, particularly in the outer ward, generally associated with more lowly structures. This may suggest that the ward had been ‘gentrified’ matching historical accounts which place the birth of Henry Tudor in the outer ward: it may have occurred within this very building. It is thought more likely that he was born in what was a modern residence for the time, than in a guard tower on the castle walls.

Under the guidance of well-known castle expert Neil Ludlow, Dyfed Archaeological Trust excavated two trenches to understand more about the form, date, context and function of the remains. Additionally, they carried out a topographic survey to make a detailed record of the layout of the castle.

Neil Ludlow said prior to the excavation: “The geophysical survey carried out in Pembroke Castle, in 2016, funded by the Castle Studies Trust, showed a large, winged building that resembles, in plan, a late-medieval manor house. This is an unusual find within a castle, and has additional significance at Pembroke as the possible birthplace of King Henry VII.

“But this is still guesswork, as nothing else about the building is known. All we really know is that it was excavated in the 1930s without records. Thanks to the support of the Castle Studies Trust, some of these questions will be answered as well as learning more about later medieval high status living.”

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied since at least the Roman period. Norman lords founded the first traditional castle there in the 11th century. Henry Tudor was born at Pembroke Castle on January 28 1457. On August 22 1485, Henry seized the English crown, defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, in the culmination of the Wars of the Roses. He was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle, and was crowned Henry VII, first monarch of the House of Tudor.

On the first day of the excavation, a possible wall was quickly made visible in trench one, and trench two revealed a former path surface through the castle grounds and the suggestion of an outer wall. Bone, pottery, brick and tile were found, most from the early 20th century but with some late medieval and post medieval material as well.

The second day saw a second wall revealed close to the east, yet the walls appeared too close together to be associated with the walls seen on the parch marks. Large areas of mortared stone patches were revealed to the west, suggesting walls, and the outer wall of the building in trench two started to become exposed as well. A large amount of oyster shell was collected from the site as well as more pottery and bone.

On the third day, the full width of the wall in trench two was made visible at its western end, at roughly one metre wide, suggesting a substantial structure. In trench one the two walls located close together were thought to represent the cess pit.

The fourth day brought wind and rain, but did not deter progress, with more backfill being removed from both trenches to reveal the surviving walls of the structure. Day five saw good progress, removing almost all of the remaining backfill from trench one to reveal a rubble collapse layer – pre-dating the 1930s excavations. The large mass of masonry is thought to be a possible curving stair, whilst the top of the large wall in trench two was fully exposed.

The sixth day saw further poor weather, and so the focus was on washing and sorting the cleaned finds for bagging up. By the afternoon the weather improved somewhat and the team were able to start the removal of layers of building collapse within the trenches.

Members of the Castle Studies Trust who are funding the investigation visited the site on day seven to check on progress. Work continued in trench one revealing an area of potential bedrock within the possible small room at its eastern end. Collapse material has been removed from trench two to reveal a spread of mortar and slate, potentially a collapsed roof within the structure.
The eighth day saw a sample excavation of the small room in trench one completed, exposing more of a large outcrop of limestone bedrock in its base. Cadw gave permission to slightly extend the trenches and this was started in the afternoon.

The ninth day saw trench two extended to expose the return of the large wall in the northwestern corner of the building, which again appears to be a substantial wall, suggesting a tall building. The extension in trench one was also continued, but no continuation of any walls were seen, although a deposit of rubbish was revealed containing large quantities of roofing slate, oyster shell, bone and quite a few pieces of glazed tile.

The tenth day saw the return of the wall in the second trench fully exposed, the cobbled surface on the outside of the wall cleaned and a rough stone slab floor adjacent to the steps was exposed. They finished taking the eastern extension of the trench down to the correct level, and commenced excavation of the possible cess pit, which is being sampled for environmental analysis.

Day 11 saw the recording and site survey start, as they finished excavation of a small test pit in trench one, onto a second possible stone slab floor. The east end of the trench was found to contain a mix of material, with pottery dating throughout the medieval and later medieval period, as well as three shards of Roman pottery too.

Day 12 was spent undertaking further recording and drawing in the two trenches as the work drew to a close.

The recording was finished on the thirteenth day, as they started backfilling in the afternoon.

In between the volunteers stopped to watch the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh being given the freedom of Pembroke. The last day saw both trenches were backfilled and re-turfed by the end.


Man found not guilty of stalking beauty salon owner



FRANK JANIUREK, 43, of Heol Glyndwr in Fishguard, has been acquitted of stalking the owner of a beauty salon after a trial at Swansea Crown Court. The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict following approximately two-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

Janiurek was accused of causing serious alarm or distress to the woman between 25 March and 10 July 2022. The prosecution claimed that after receiving a facial treatment at the salon on 8 March 2022, Janiurek began sending numerous emails and making frequent calls to the salon, often repeating questions that had already been answered. He was also alleged to have walked past the salon daily and liked one of the complainant’s Instagram pictures using an account under a false name. Additionally, it was claimed that he stared at the complainant for an extended period while she was out in Cardigan celebrating her birthday.

Caitlin Brazel, prosecuting, argued that these actions constituted stalking, causing serious alarm or distress. However, Janiurek pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Matthew Murphy, defending Janiurek, contended that the complainant had not directly communicated her discomfort to the defendant until 1 June. Murphy stated, “She doesn’t tell him anything about his behaviour and the effect it’s having on her before June 1.” He argued that if the complainant felt uncomfortable, she should have been more direct in her communication.

Murphy also highlighted that the complainant’s actions, such as signing off emails with ‘All the best’ and stating she had an injured arm and was not taking on new clients, did not clearly indicate that she wanted the contact to end. He noted that Janiurek, who is neurodivergent and has Asperger’s syndrome, was primarily engaging with the business, not the complainant personally. Murphy emphasised that all of Janiurek’s messages were related to beauty treatments, except for one occasion when he inquired about the complainant’s injured arm.

Regarding the Instagram picture, Murphy pointed out that it was posted on the business’s account, not the complainant’s personal account.

Recorder David Elias KC, who presided over the trial, thanked the jury for their careful consideration of the case. Following the not guilty verdict, Janiurek was allowed to leave the dock, having been acquitted of all charges.

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Cannabis factory with over 800 plants found in west Wales drugs bust



POLICE in Carmarthenshire made a major drugs bust this week when they found over 800 cannabis plants in what was supposed to be a vacant property.

A 26-year old man was arrested and has now been remanded into custody.

The police are appealing for information and have released photographs of the illicit cannabis production facility.

A police spokesperson told The Herald on Friday (May 24): “Dyfed Powys Police executed a warrant at the Mountain Gate, Tycroes, Ammanford on Tuesday May 21.

“The vacant property was found to have a large hydroponic set up inside, with approx. 800 cannabis plants seized by officers.

“One man, Beni Mirashi age 26, was arrested and was charged with being concerned in the production of cannabis.

“He appeared at Llanelli Magistrates Court on 23 May and was remanded to next appear at Swansea Crown Court on June 24.”

Police asked that if anyone has any information that may support officers in their investigation, they are asked to contact us either through a direct message on social media, online at:, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101

Quoting reference: 24*459007

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Red Bull Hardline Wales confirms rider list for 2024



RED BULL Hardline, known as the most challenging downhill mountain bike race world wide, confirms the final rider list for this year’s Wales event. 

Following its first event overseas, with a stop Down Under, Red Bull Hardline returns to its home in Wales’ Dyfi valley to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The brainchild of Dan Atherton a decade ago, 34 of the brightest and best talents in downhill mountain biking are set to descend on the north Wales course. With the 2023 event sadly curtailed by the Welsh weather, there’s old scores to settle and it’s all to play for in 2024.

Confirmed Rider List:

Ronan DunneIRL
Bernard KerrUK
Brook MacDonaldNZL
Charlie HattonUK
Adam BraytonUK
Craig EvansUK
Theo ErlangsenSA
Matteo IniguezFRA
Juanfer VelezCOL
Gaetan VigeFRA
Jim MonroUK
Matt JonesUK
Edgar BrioleFRA
George BranniganNZ
Sam GaleNZ
Jono JonesUK
Sam BlenkinsopNZ
Brendan FaircloughUK
Josh BrycelandUK
Dennis LuffmanUK
Sam HockenhullUK
Josh LoweUK
Taylor VernonUK
Thibault LalyFRA
Thomas GenonBEL
Szymon GodziekPOL
Sebastian HolguinCOL
Alex StorrUK
Vincent TupinFRA
Harry MolloyUK
Matteo IniguezFRA

Female riders will begin training on Monday, giving them ample time to familiarise themselves with the new course, with Tahnée Seagrave, Cami Nogueira and Hannah Bergmann all set to continue to push the boundaries of their sport once again. Louise-Anna Ferguson will be returning to Wales fresh from her success at Red Bull Hardline Tasmania, putting on a gutsy performance to finish a full finals race run despite an early crash. New to Red Bull Hardline, Vaea Verbeeck will make her first appearance, bringing fresh fire power to the women’s lineup 

Following his stand-out success at Red Bull Hardline Tasmania, Ronan Dunne will be taking to the start line with aims of achieving the double. Nipping at his heels will be three-time winner Bernard Kerr, who placed second in Tasmania back in February. 2017 champion Craig Evans is back once again and eager to replicate his success of 7 years previous.

The breathtaking race will be broadcasted live globally on Red Bull TV on Sunday 2nd June at 2.30pm GMT. Ahead of the event, fans can enjoy the week’s best action from course walk and practice on the Red Bull Bike YouTube ahead of the main event. 

For further Red Bull Hardline rider updates and for more information visit and make sure to save the link to Red Bull Bike YouTube: to not miss out on the week’s best action.

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