Archaeological work recently carried out on the site of the former Cardigan Hospital has offered little insight into where the medieval priory may once have stood.

Experts fear that centuries of redevelopment on the site has resulted in the destruction of any substantial medieval remains.

The latest findings follow Phase 1 of a planning condition that required excavation work to be carried out by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust along the northern edge of the site, which is adjacent to the main road leading into Cardigan. 

The excavations were requested in advance of the proposed re-development of the site by Wales and West Housing.

Previous investigations suggested that a medieval roadside settlement had been located in this section, with the result that a planning condition was imposed requiring further excavations to be carried out by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

“We’ve found some pieces of medieval pottery and some jug handles, but unfortunately, in addition to these, nothing particularly exciting has been found,” commented EDP heritage planning consultant, Rob Skinner.

“The overriding character of the site has been considerably disturbed over the years with large areas of land having been dug up and filled in with rubble and other materials from later phases of development.

“Over the centuries the site has been developed and changed in so many different directions, with the result that the archaeological picture has been severely disturbed.

“This means that the majority of what’s been found dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, with very little dating before.”

This suggests to the archaeological team that the priory may have stood on the exact location to where traces of the 17th house still stand today.

“If this is the case, it means that the remains of the priory will never be found,” added Mr Skinner.”

The first phase of excavations was completed in May and the second phase will commence later this year. This is expected to focus on the western side of the site, towards the church.

Meanwhile developers Wales and West Housing have confirmed that a press statement will be released later this summer having encountered ‘some issues’ with the development.

They originally hoped that the new 34-eco friendly apartments would be open by the summer of 2023, however last year they announced that construction wouldn’t commence until this summer. They blamed the delays on ‘the availability of materials and labour in the construction sector’.