The history of basket making in Britain can be traced back to the Iron Age. It is described as one of the oldest skills known to mankind, predating those of both pottery and textile weaving. Historically, baskets were made for a purpose. They were created to be functional containers, using locally sourced material, meeting the need of early man to carry anything from goods to bodies. Whilst many baskets were skilful objects of beauty, they were made to use. For example, the purpose of the Welsh Cyntell was to gather fodder/potatoes from the field; the Irish Skib was made to strain and serve potatoes; and the Penclawdd Cockle Basket was made to gather/sell cockles collected from the beach.