Digging, donating and delving into the past


This month our community liaison manager, Katie Powis visited Llandaff 50+, the team behind the redevelopment of the public toilets which will soon be transformed into The Pound, a centre for Older People and a Heritage Information Centre for Llandaff.

Katie went along to their archaeological dig of the site and after seeing a call out on Twitter asking for resources, we arranged for one of our contractor’s Alun Griffiths to donate pallets as part of the upcycling initiative. These pallets helped to protect the side of the castle walls where patio slabs are being stored whilst their archaeological dig and build takes place.

An archaeological report was needed as part of the planning process as the area was once a medieval animal pound, but Llandaff 50+ decided to get the whole community involved. Supervised by archaeologist Dr Tim Young of GeoArch they discovered Victorian and medieval artefacts and learnt about the history of the ‘city within a city’.

Funded by Welsh Government, the old Cardiff Council public toilet will be transformed into an eco-friendly building with solar slates, a sedum roof and rainwater harvesting to flush the accessible toilet.

Yvonne Apsitis, chair of Llandaff 50+ said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public support in our regeneration project so far. We’ve just finished our archaeological dig of the area when we welcomed more than 1,000 visitors, including 288 schoolchildren who learnt how to dig and 41 volunteers.  We have found many artefacts including a Victorian threepenny bit, lots of medieval pottery and some animal bones.

“We’re working with Cadw to make sure we preserve the castle, so we needed pallets to help us store the old patio slabs and protect the castle walls at the same time – so we were over the moon when Katie from Plasdwr offered to see what she could do.

“Even though donations like these seem small, little acts of kindness all add up and not only help reduce our costs so we can spend money on what really matters, but show us that the local community supports our aim to help the older generation.”

Katie Powis said: “We want to help our neighbours as much as possible, that’s why we set up our upcycling initiative at the end of last year. With the help of contractor Alun Griffiths, any waste left over from construction at Alun Griffiths sites will be put to one side for local community projects in need of construction materials. So far we’ve helped a few local schools and community projects like this.

“Social isolation amongst the older generation is a growing issue within communities and we think The Pound is such a great idea to help combat this issue while helping to preserve the history of the area.

“We’re looking forward to helping where we can in the construction process and visiting the finished centre.”