Professor Dai Morgan Evans

Visiting Professor in Archaeology

My interest in archaeology (and history) started with growing up in Chester in the 1950s and early 1960 and being encouraged to take part in excavations run by the Grosvenor Museum. Family holidays in Pembrokeshire and the interest of my parents meant an early acquaintance with the rich variety of monuments in that area.


BA (Cardiff), FSA, Hon MifA


I read archaeology at the University of Cardiff (1963-66), started research on the archaeology of early Welsh poetry and was one of the assistant directors on the excavations at Cadbury Castle, Somerset.

In early 1969 I was appointed to the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings in Cardiff (now part of Cadw). I worked as a casework Inspector in south-west Wales, with a special interest in pan-Wales Industrial Archaeology, and was later moved to deal with North Wales. I also had charge of Rescue Excavations and assisted in bringing about the present system of Welsh Archaeological Trusts.

In 1977 following a move to the London office of the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate, Department of the Environment, now English Heritage. I acted as casework Inspector over most counties of southern England. I concentrated mainly on earthwork archaeological sites and their protection and management. This included working with Local Authority Planning Departments and National Parks. I developed links with the Ministry of Defence over Dartmoor and Salisbury Plain and with the Duchy of Cornwall over their lands (including serving in a personal capacity on the Duchy of Cornwall Archaeological Advisory panel). This also involved project management and the production of management plans.

From 1986, while continuing with some casework, I was also charged with developing countryside policies directly and in liaison with other non-governmental and governmental bodies (e.g. Historic Landscapes register, Historic Battlefields register, Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Countryside Stewardship). I also specialised in Public Inquiry matters including acting as advocate in 14 cases and training witnesses in Public Inquiry behaviour and preparation.

In 1992 I left English Heritage to become General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London. This post involved being the full-time head of administration for a learned Society. I was responsible for administration, staff and financial matters. During my term of office I introduced, with the support of Officers and Committees, rolling budgets and cash flow controls cost centres and improved management accounts. I also introduced a form of corporate planning and a four-year backlog of publications was cleared. One significant move was to computerise the Library Catalogue and make it publicly available on-line. As part of my work the public profile of the Society was raised especially in strategic areas including the signing of a formal agreement with The All Party Parliamentary Archaeology group. I was also required to maintain a personal high academic profile and network across the whole area of the Society's interests which concerned all matters from heraldry to historic buildings (Kelmscott Manor) and archaeology worldwide.

Television work

During this period, especially the late autumn 2002 to late summer 2003 I became involved with the making of the Discovery Channel programme on a succesful attempt to build a British Roman Villa. This was undertaken in my own time as Chairman of the Butser Ancient Farm Trust. Following the departure of the programme presenter at Christmas 2003 I took on the role of ‘narrative presenter'.

In 2004 I left the Society of Antiquaries on my sixtieth birthday in order to be able to spend more time on ‘real archaeology'. I continue as chairman of the Butser Ancient Farm Trust, am a member of the National Trust Archaeology Panel and the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Advisory Group (APPAG). Besides my association with the University of Chester, I am also an Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.


My research work is now concentrated in two main fields. The first is antiquarianism and related matters in the eighteenth century especially relating to Sir Joseph Banks as an antiquary; the early history of the Society of Antiquaries and the role of antiquaries in eighteenth century Wales. 

Second I have been involved with the ‘historic archaeology' aspects of field projects on the ‘bluestone areas' in north Pembrokeshire and, associated with this, survey work on early wells sites near St Davids. In the Welsh borders I am involved with the problems of the Early Medieval/late Antiquity period in the area, especially the Pillar of Eliseg and the cult of St Garmon /Germanus.

Published work

1984  "The role of conservation bodies" , Training for Countryside Recreation Management. The Sports Council p.110

1985  "Maiden Castle, Dorset: Management Plan", English Heritage, 22 pages.  "The management of Historic Landscapes", Archaeology and Nature Conservation, ed G Lambrick, Oxford External Studies. pages 89 - 94..

1986  "The management of archaeological sites", The management and presentation of Field Monuments", ed. M Hughes & L Rowley, pages 9 - 16.

  • Public Inquiry Manual, English Heritage, 25 pages.
  • Report of the Salisbury Plain Archaeology Conservation Working Party 1984 - 1985, co-author with D Saul, 61 pages.

1987  M 3 Inquiry on the route around St Catherine's Hill, Proof of Evidence (first time that a graded approach to the Historic Landscape was tested in public ).

  • Ancient Monuments in the Countryside. T Darvill, English Heritage (member of the editorial committee contributing to the management sections).
  • "Ancient Monuments in the Countryside", English Heritage Conservation Bulletin, issue 3, October 1987, pages 8 - 9.

1988 "Our Inherited Countryside", Report on the British Field Sports and Conservation Conference, ed D Lee, pages 9 - 12.

  • ‘Visitors Welcome; a manual on the presentation and interpretation of archaeological excavations'. G Binks, P Dagnall, J Dykes with Dai Morgan Evans and Geoff Wainwright. English Heritage 162 pages.
  • ‘The Historic Landscape; a New Approach ?' in Changing Landscapes and Recreation ed H Talbot-Ponsonby CRRAG
  • ‘Survey Grants for Presentation Purposes: a Guide to applicants' English Heritage 7 pages.

1989  ‘Forestry, agriculture and water' in the Archaeology of Rural Wetlands ed J Coles pages 48 - 50.

1990 ‘The M.3 past Winchester' in the English Heritage Conservation Bulletin issue 11, June 1990 pages 4 - 5.

  • ‘Historic Landscapes, People and Farming', Joint English Heritage and MAFF booklet, 16 pages.

1991 ‘The Avebury World Heritage Site Management Strategy', English Heritage 13 pages.

  • Public consultation papers on the proposed Register of Historic Landscapes and the Register of Battlefield sites.

1992 ‘The paradox of Salisbury Plain' in All Natural Things; Archaeology and the Green Debate ed L Macinnes and C R Wickham-Jones pages 176 - 180

1993  ‘Biomass rules OK ?' Archaeology, the Green Movement and Conservation Strategies for the British Landscape ed H Swain

1994 "Conservation Issues in the archaeology of Salisbury Plain" Prehistoric land divisions on Salisbury Plain by R Bradley, R Entwhistle & F Raymond

  • "World Heritage Sites: Beauty Contest or Planning Constraint" David Morgan Evans, John Pugh-Smith & John Samuels; Journal of Planning and Environment Law, June 1994, pages 503 - 508
  • "Hedges as Historic Artefacts" in Hedgerow Management and Nature Conservation, ed T A Watt & G Buckley pages 107 - 118

1995 "An Early Christian Monument from Llanwyddelan, Montgomeryshire", Antiquaries Journal, vol. 74, pages 340 - 343

1996 "National Landscapes, National Parks, national figures and the National Trust" in Figures in the Landscape; Archaeology and the National Trust ed D Morgan Evans, Peter Salway and David Thackray

1997 "Eighteenth Century Descriptions of the Cerne Abbas Giant" Antiquaries Journal, volume 78, 1998, pages 463 - 471


2003 "Rebuilding the Past: A Roman Villa" Methuen, London, 182 pages

2004 "Et in Arcadia ? The Problem with Ruins" Antiquaries Journal, volume 84, pages 411-422.

  • ‘Strumble-Preseli Ancient Communities and Environment Studies (SPACES): Second Report 2003', with Darvill, T and Wainwright, G, Archaeology in Wales, 43, 17-28.

2005  ‘The origins of Powys - Christian, heretic or pagan?', Montgomeryshire Collections, 93, 1-15

  • Strumble-Preseli Ancient Communities and Environment Studies (SPACES): Third Report 2004', with Darvill, T and Wainwright, G, Archaeology in Wales, 44, 104-109.

2006  Strumble-Preseli Ancient Communities and Environment Studies (SPACES): Fourth Report 2005', with Darvill, T and Wainwright, G, Archaeology in Wales, 45, 75- 78.

  • ‘‘King Arthur' and South Cadbury Castle, Somerset' The Antiquaries Journal, 86, 2006, 227-53.
  • Obituary for Richard Avent, Chief Inspector for Wales, The Times ( 9 August 2006, p. 47)
  • Review of Rosemary Sweet Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth- Century Britain in The Antiquaries Journal, 86, 2006, 459-60




Review of Tony Wilmott The Roman Amphitheatre in Britain in The Antiquaries Journal, 88, 2008, 446-7

Review of Tyler Bell The Religious Reuse of Roman Structures in Early Medieval Britain in Britannia 39, 2008, 391-2

  • ‘Is this the fingerprint of St Non ?' Current Archaeology 223, 5
  • ‘ The Kingdom of the Gilded Skull' Current Archaeology 224, 6



  • ‘‘Banks is the Villain !' ? Sir Joseph Banks and the Governance of the Society of Antiquaries', The Antiquaries Journal, 89, 2009, 337-63
  • ‘The Society of Antiquaries 1707-1718: Meeting Places and Origin Stories, The Antiquaries Journal, 89, 2009, 323-35
  • Review of Adam Stout Druids, ley huntersand archaeologists in pre-war Britain in The Antiquaries Journal, 89, 2009, 468-9