From humble beginnings in 2012, the CAER team has worked with local people and school pupils from Ely and Caerau to uncover new knowledge about Caerau’s Hidden Hillfort. The incredible talents and dedication from partners, the community and the team has led us to where we are today: successfully awarded a significant National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant to take the project to the next level.
Caerau Hillfort was once the power centre of Cardiff – with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cardiff University, our dream of bringing our Hillfort back to the centre stage is about to become a reality.
Together we will take the amazing story of our communities 6,000 year old history to the wider world: with a community co-produced heritage centre, heritage trails, information, signage and a virtual reality experience together with amazing new life opportunities for local people of all ages which will include getting involved in heritage conservation, heritage art creation, archaeological excavations, history projects and with University scholarships for local school children and adults.
The Hidden Hillfort Project is led by Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE) in close collaboration with local people and a host of professional and community partners including Cardiff University, the City of Cardiff Council, National Museum Wales, Cardiff Story Museum, Cardiff Archaeological Society, First Campus, Wales and West Housing Association, the Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Cardiff West Community High School and many others. Each and every person and organisation who has inputted their time, efforts and ideas into the project: this is a shared achievement and we thank you!
“To make Caerau Hillfort a unique and unforgettable place for visitors by making the best use of its physical location, natural beauty, archaeological heritage and social history. Working alongside local people as co-creators, co-researchers and co-curators, we will develop an accessible, sensory, indoor and outdoor experience at a site that can be appreciated by everyone who visits as a place of opportunity, creativity, fun and learning.”
- The creation of a Hidden Hillfort Heritage Centre that will act as a gateway to the monument
- Co-creating heritage-themed Roman and Iron Age community bee gardens at the Heritage Centre and Cardiff West Community High School
- A programme of community co-produced archaeological explorations to engage people in local heritage, develop skills and create new knowledge to inform interpretation
- The co-design and installation of a Hidden Hillfort playground (2020) opposite to the Heritage Centre
- The co-creation of accessible heritage trails with a suite of co-produced multi-media interpretation
- A program of vegetation clearance and woodland management facilitating conservation, engagement, sustainability and pride of place
- The implementation of a sustainable heritage management plan
- To help repair and conserve St Mary’s church
- Embedding the co-creation and co-curation of heritage knowledge into the curricula of Cardiff West Community High School and Cardiff University
- The development of digital teaching resource packs and educational field trip visits to the Hidden Hillfort for school parties from across the region
- Instigating and delivering a 3 year programme of training, progression and employability opportunities for adults