Today, Mumbles Development Trust (MDT) has received £27,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project under the title Exploring the Roman heritage of Mumbles and the origins of the famous Mumbles Oyster Fishery.
Led by volunteers from the local community, the project focuses on the origins of a First Century settlement, and the earliest operation of the Mumbles Oyster Fishery, indicated by an archaeological site on Mumbles Hill which potentially dates from the years of Roman occupation, between about 80 AD and 120 AD.
Examination of this heritage has particular value in the context of attempts currently being made to restore the native oyster and revive the Mumbles Oyster Fishery, the once famous industry that so much defined Mumbles in the past, reaching a peak of production and popularity in the Nineteenth Century, only to die completely in the Twentieth Century.
The project will enable local volunteers and students of Archaeology, Ancient History and Classical Civilisations from colleges in the area to experience a professionally-led archaeological dig, under the guidance of Swansea-based Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, followed by training in post-excavation assessment. The findings of the project will be shared with the local community through exhibits, posters and on-line information.
Commenting on the award, Naomi Trodden, a volunteer for MDT, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, so that we can discover what may be the earliest origins of the Mumbles Oysters, which in their heyday around 1870 were much in demand as far afield as London, Bristol and Gloucester, putting the name of Mumbles on the map!"
Commenting on the importance of the HLF support Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF in Wales, said: “Uncovering where, and how, our ancestors lived helps communities to understand their own history and identity. Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to support projects such as this that produce tantalising clues about the past and provide volunteers with new skills.”
Notes to editors
About Mumbles Development Trust
Mumbles Development Trust was formed in October 1999 as a grass-roots membership organisation, open to all people in the community who are committed to regenerating Mumbles through self-help projects and schemes. It is a not-for-profit company with charitable aims, to be achieved by the development of partnerships with local community groups, the encouragement of local business opportunities, the co-ordination of community efforts within the area and the promotion of inclusion. Regular activities come under the following five main headings:
1. Heritage projects
2. Arts projects
3. Environmental projects
4. Community economic regeneration
5. Networking and campaigning
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery
For further information please contact Robin Bonham (01792 405169) or Naomi Trodden (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Mumbles Development Trust.