What will you find? Archwilio, the world’s first APP to reveal a whole country’s archaeological treasures

Exploration of Wales’ archaeological treasures is set to be transformed, not only for those with limited knowledge of archaeology but also seasoned archaeologists alike, with the launch of the fun and interactive Archwilio APP – a world first for Wales.

The Archwilio APP, commissioned by the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts and designed by the University of South Wales’ Centre for Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services (CEMAS), is the first time a whole country’s archaeological records have been listed in one APP.

Free to download, the Archwilio APP, will be  launched on Thursday 7th November by The Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.


The APP provides an interactive means for users to provide their own updates on any archaeological records held. Images or information on new finds can be uploaded via the APP to the Welsh Archaeological Trusts for consideration.

The APP holds information on a vast range of archaeological sites from the well known to the quirky.  These include details on a conservation project undertaken on a substantial ‘lost’ coastal medieval settlement near St Ishmaels in Carmarthenshire.

Another record provides details of a Roman trading settlement alongside the Menai Strait on Anglesey. The site was investigated by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust following significant finds of Roman date. Geophysical survey and excavation have revealed evidence for a substantial settlement of a rare type in Wales. There are no surface remains, but the APP would allow walkers on the Anglesey coastal footpath which runs through the site to be made aware that they were walking through a 2,000 year old settlement.

A recent find was a possible Roman Fort near Wiston in Pembrokeshire. Investigations by Dyfed Archaeological Trust are underway, but the Roman connection is suggested is due to the presence of a large U-shaped ditch or hollow approximately 35m wide and 140m long with two perpendicular arms, and its location approximately 50m to the north of the remains of a Roman Road.

At Strata Marcella Abbey, to the north of Welshpool, the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust has been investigating the site of the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella. Founded in 1170 it was already partially ruined at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and today there is very little left to see of a once grand religious site.

“The Archwilio app marks an important leap forwards in using technology to discover the heritage of Wales. As well as allowing users to check records, the app can be used to add information, opening up opportunities for volunteers to get directly involved in archaeological recording and investigation.  The Archwilio app truly opens archaeology to everyone in Wales.”

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