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Friday, 19 September 2014

Rhosyfelin should have a RIGS designation

Yesterday I sent this out in all directions, and although we are too late to stop the hole being filled in, I hope the request will bear fruit.  These things are never decided in a hurry...... the only consolation, with respect to Rhosyfelin, is that the archaeologists have put down a sheet beneath the spoil being dumped back into the pit, in the hope of returning next year.  So the features are not lost for ever, and can be examined again if somebody finds the funds and the motivation to do more work here.......


Dear Colleagues

I am writing with an urgent request for a site review at Craig Rhosyfelin in Pembrokeshire, which is the current location of an archaeological excavation.  This may or may not be important archaeologically, but it is certainly VERY important from the point of view of geology and geomorphology -- and I am seriously concerned that it might be filled in before it can be examined by qualified earth scientists.  THE DIG IS DESIGNATED TO END AT THE WEEKEND, WHICH MEANS THAT THE REMOVED SEDIMENTS MAY WELL BE DUMPED BACK INTO THE EXCAVATION TODAY OR TOMORROW, IF ACTION IS NOT TAKEN.  Most of the evidence required for RIGS notification will then be lost.

Will you please take urgent action to put a hold on the work of the archaeologists and ensure that the site is examined?

The images below** show the essential features of the site, including the glacial meltwater features, the rock face, and the Devensian morainic accumulations and finer-grained sediments which may shortly be buried, thereby making a "rescue assessment" from taking place.

Over to you!

With many thanks

Dr Brian John
18th September 2014

**not reproduced here -- they are familiar to readers of this blog.


Craig Rhosyfelin
Grid Ref SN 117363

Suggested Statement of Interest:

Craig Rhosyfelin is a rocky spur on the flank of a deeply cut meltwater channel now occupied by the Brynberian River.  There is a subsidiary meltwater channel on the northern flank of the spur. The crag reveals (towards its outer end) an unusual foliated rhyolite from the Fishguard Volcanic Series which has been matched with some of the "debitage" at Stonehenge, though not with any existing bluestone monoliths.  There is ongoing debate about the mode of transport of these fragments from Rhosyfelin to Stonehenge.  The sequence of deposits adjacent to the spur includes Late Devensian till and torrential fluvio-glacial materials, rockfall accumulations and scree of various ages, fine-grained stoneless deposits that might have been laid down in a pro-glacial lake, and a distinctive iron-rich hardpan deposit beneath later colluvium and a modern soil horizon.  The site is of great geological, geomorphological and pedological significance, and it deserves RIGS designation.  In particular, it is of national importance for the elucidation of Quaternary chronology.

Key document:
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites in Pembrokeshire
3.1 RIGS are a non statutory geodiversity designation. They sit under the Geological
Conservation Review (GCR) sites designation. [GCR sites are considered to be of national
and international importance in relation to British Earth science and geological history. The
GCR are localities already notified or being considered for notification as ‘Sites of Special
Scientific Interest’ (SSSI), and provides legal protection of sites].
3.2 RIGS in Wales are funded and supported by the Countryside Council for Wales. They are
designated outside of the Local Development Plan process by the Regional RIGS Groups. This
Supplementary Planning Guidance provides the location and summary of the Statement of Interest
for RIGS within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
3.3 Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites (RIGS) are advisory designations and are non-statutory.
The Pembrokeshire RIGS were designated in 2009 by the South-West Wales RIGS Group.
3.4 The South West Wales RIGS website can be accessed at
3.5 The web site of UK RIGS groups is and they can be emailed at


AG said...

Looks like you're getting your wish! Well something at Rhosfelin appears to be being RIGGED!anyway!


BRIAN JOHN said...

Evidence being rigged? Surely not -- heaven forbid! But maybe you do have a point, the more one thinks about it......