David Melding rocks Senedd back to the Stone Age

(Title Image: via Wikipedia)

There are some esoteric things brought up in Short Debates in Cardiff Bay and this is one of the more esoteric ones, with David Melding AM (Con, South Wales Central) celebrating Wales’ Neolithic (“New Stone Age”) heritage, which ranges from around 4,500BC to 1,700BC.

“I want to start with Tinkinswood in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is one of my favourite places. I’ve walked there and spent time there, read poetry there, discussed eruditely, I hope, with some Members in this Chamber, indeed, whilst pondering and looking at that monument. It does remind me, anyway, of the amazing achievements of our ancestors in prehistory. I believe it is really important that we respect and celebrate these achievements.”
– David Melding AM

John Davies’ History of Wales said it took 200 men to put the capstone on the monument at Tinkinswood in place, which required “remarkable organisation”. There were plenty of other examples of ingenuity dotted around Wales, including Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey and Caerau hill fort in Cardiff – the latter of which was home to a “powerful community”.

He welcomes steps taken in the Historic Environment Act 2016 to protect ancient monuments and establish the responsibilities of landowners towards them.

Replying on behalf of the government, Culture Minister, Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Ind, Dwyfor Meirionnydd), said many of the Neolithic and later findings in Wales were of international significance – the Mold Cape is one of the most famous. The dry weather over the summer enabled the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales to discover new sites from the period.

“I want to pay tribute to the archaeological trusts in Wales, which have visited and assessed every prehistoric site that we’re aware of, and there are 23,000 such sites. And the whole host of information that has emanated from this are records that have legal status in the Historic Environment Act 2016.”
– Culture Minister, Dafydd Elis-Thomas

Cadw runs the Cof Cymru website which lists safeguarded ancient monuments. He then presented a “gift” of bilingual descriptions and illustrations of various Neolithic sites David Melding mentioned in his speech to aid local schoolchildren and visitors.