The Castell Coch Hoard


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During the Festival of Archaeology, all issues of British Archaeology Magazine are free to view. I did some digging and unearthed an interesting find.

In the village of Tongwynlais, just 150 metres north west of Castell Coch and 20cm below the forest floor, a cache of copper weapons lay buried for 4,000 years.

On the 24th June 1984, a member of the Cardiff metal detecting community discovered the Bronze Age artefacts. But where did they come from?

Bronze Age halberd
© Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

In the December 2000 article, “Meet the Metal Makers”, Paul Budd explains that two of the finds contain significant amounts of nickel. Further analysis showed uranium is present within the ore. All the evidence proved that the copper ore in these items could only have come from Cornwall.

Does anyone remember the discovery? Was it big local story?

Bronze Age dagger
© Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The Castell Coch Hoard was discovered by Mr R Mantle and donated to the National Museum Wales. You can view more information on their website.

  • Early Bronze Age copper halberd with five rivet-holes and central mid-rib – 84.83H/1
  • Early Bronze Age copper halberd with three rivet-holes and central rib – 84.83H/2
  • Early Bronze Age bronze dagger with three rivets – 84.83H/3
Bronze Age halberd
© Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales



Jack is the editor of and

3 thoughts on “The Castell Coch Hoard”

  1. Hello there, reference the Tongwynlais hoard, I was a member of the team that found them and was the second person ever to have handled them in 4000 years, my friend and colleague Richard Mantle handed them to me to show what he had found. We mistook them initially as being Roman short swords but Dr Greene of Cardiff museum soon corrected that. They were originally estimated to be around 2500 years old but after further analysis that was corrected to 2500 BC.
    These wonderful artefacts are no longer in the National museum, they have been moved to St Fagans but sadly are not on display.
    I have also made models of these from drawings of the originals.

  2. Wow! I wonder if the museum would allow them to be displayed in Castell Coch for a while, when it reopens?


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