The first week of our project to convert the Ty Pair and cart shed into the Arddangosfa Mynachlog Fawr Exhibition has been a busy one.
Work started on Monday 21st September with contractor ELM Wales and HRS Wales Archaeology on site. With lots of clearing of foliage and top soil, we can now see the building itself in all its glory. Tom our contractor wasted no time and his team set to work removing one of the crumbling dividing walls within the cartshed, before moving on to carefully creating an opening between the Ty Pair and the cartshed, which will serve as a walkway between the two areas in the completed space.
Meanwhile, Richard our archaeologist and his team began a number of trenches to excavate the area around the building - one beside the road and another between the Ty Pair and Mynachlog Fawr farmhouse. Their work then moved into the cart shed, recording, numbering and raising the (very heavy!) stones which made up the floor.
The highlight of the week though was the discovery of a small ceramic egg high up in the wall beside the fireplace for the new opening. Apparently, ceramic eggs were used as dummy eggs for laying hens, so this is likely what the object is, but why was it placed so high up and built into the wall? Researching a little more, we found an interesting passage in a book called 'Encyclopaedia of Superstitions' which was originally printed in 1903. It says "if an egg is built into a new building it will protect from all evil". We've been in contact with Brian Hoggard, an expert on the archaeology of magical house protection, and he hadn't ever come across any other cases of this, but was very interested by our find.
What's the vote, should we return the egg to the wall to protect against evil? Place a new one there instead? Let us know in the comments.