Commissioner Profiles

Dr Eurwyn Wiliam (Chairman), MA, PhD, FSA

After graduating in archaeology, Eurwyn’s early career followed his other interest of traditional architecture and conservation. He was appointed to create a new Department of Buildings at the Welsh Folk Museum (subsequently The Museum of Welsh Life and now St Fagans: National History Museum) in 1971 and twenty years later was made Director of the Museum. Whilst there he was responsible for the re-erection of the popular terrace of cottages from Rhyd-y-car, Merthyr Tydfil, and acquired many other buildings including the mediaeval church from Llandeilo Tal-y-bont, Glamorgan.

He then moved to corporate roles within the National Museum of Wales, where his last post was as Director of Collections & Research and Deputy Director General. While there, he led the integration into the National Museum of Big Pit Mining Museum and its redevelopment and the creation of the new Waterfront Museum in partnership with the City and County of Swansea. He retired from the National Museum in 2009 when he was given the title of Emeritus Keeper. Eurwyn retains an academic interest in archaeology, museology and traditional architecture. He is author of many books and articles on these subjects, on which he lectures frequently. He has been a committee member or trustee of many heritage bodies.

Eurwyn was a Commissioner from 1992 to 2006, during which time he chaired the Uplands Archaeology Steering Committee and the Editorial Committee, and was Vice Chairman 2002-2006. He was appointed Chairman in 2009 and re-appointed for a further five years in 2014. His book The Welsh Cottage: Building Traditions of the Rural Poor, 1750-1900 has been a best-seller for the Royal Commission.


Ms Catherine Hardman, BA, MA, FSA

Catherine has always had an interest in history and archaeology so after an early career in the Home Civil Service serving in Whitehall with the Ministry of Defence, and in Belfast with the Northern Ireland Office, Catherine returned to university to study archaeology in earnest. Catherine’s time studying at the universities of Bradford and York helped hone her interest in heritage management issues and she joined the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), based in the University of York’s Archaeology Department, in 2001. As Deputy Director at the ADS she played a lead role in negotiating access to secure archives and UK focussed liaison.

Catherine returned to Whitehall in 2015, to take up the post of Head of Preservation and Access at the Parliamentary Archives, based in the House of Lords, where she oversaw the work of a team managing digital preservation, collection care and cataloguing. After three fascinating years, in 2018, she returned to work in the academic sector as the Research Development Manager for the Arts and Humanities Faculty at the University of York.

Catherine has been a Commissioner since May 2010 and is Vice Chair. She is a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and Chair of the Commission’s Public Services Committee. She works with Commission staff to enhance digital archiving provision for the sector in Wales and helps provide an insight into current activities and trends in digital preservation across the UK and research funding opportunities.


Mr Thomas Lloyd, MA, OBE, DL, FSA

Tom Lloyd is from the Tywi valley in Carmarthenshire, an area filled with ancient castles and old houses, which inspired him from early days. After reading Classics and Law at Cambridge, he practiced as a solicitor in London for ten years before giving way to his real interests and returning to Wales, where he has since devoted himself principally to historic buildings and wider heritage issues in both the public and private sector.

Before leaving London, he had researched and written his first book The Lost Houses of Wales, which led to appointments to the Historic Buildings Council for Wales, of which he was subsequently Chair for ten years, and to becoming a Director of the Wales Tourist Board, particularly to promote the heritage aspect of Welsh tourism. In the private sector, he chaired The Buildings At Risk Trust which restored a number of important buildings in disrepair across England and Wales, including grade I listed Sker House near Porthcawl, which had been abandoned for decades. He researched and co-authored the two south west Wales volumes of The Pevsner series of architectural guides and has written for journals and magazines. Interested also in fine art, he was Sotheby’s consultant in Wales for ten years at the time when Sotheby’s held several major auctions in Wales.

Since 2011, he has been the Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary and more recently has been appointed Chair of The Cathedrals and Churches Commission which oversees and advises on planning matters relating to religious buildings.


Professor Chris Williams, BA, PhD, FRHistS, FLSW

Chris Williams is a historian who studied at the universities of Oxford and Cardiff before becoming a lecturer at Cardiff in the late 1980s. He has worked at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) and at Swansea University and is now back at Cardiff as Professor of History and Head of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Chris specialises in modern Welsh and modern British history, with a particular focus on the history of the labour movement and the South Wales coalfield. In 2012 he edited The Richard Burton Diaries for Yale University Press. He joined the Commission in 2008. Having amassed considerable experience in editing book series for the Board of Celtic Studies and the South Wales Record Society, it was perhaps inevitable that he should end up chairing the Commission’s Publications Group, having oversight of its publications strategy.


Dr Mark Redknap, BA, PhD, MIFA, FSA

Dr Mark Redknap went on his first archaeological excavation for his local museum in Coventry when he was 13, and his early digging experiences confirmed the benefits of community participation in rediscovering our past. He is Head of Collections & Research in the Department of History & Archaeology, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, he became a Commissioner in 2008. His fieldwork, research and publications cover aspects of terrestrial and maritime archaeology, with a recent focus on early medieval and medieval archaeology: Vikings, metalwork and Gothic ivories. Publications include corpora on Roman, Frankish and Carolingian pottery made in Germany at Mayen, and early medieval inscribed stones and stone sculpture in Wales. Exhibitions include Recreations: Visualizing Our Past and Origins: in search of Early Wales. He has been writing up the excavation of the early medieval royal crannog on Llangorse Lake (with Cardiff University), and has directed fieldwork on the early medieval centre at Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey. He provides reports on possible early medieval and later treasure to coroners in Wales, and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


Mrs Caroline Crewe-Read, BA, MPhil, FRSA, MAPM

Caroline read History at the University of Bristol, specialising in the pagan religions of Ancient Britain. After five years working for the leading management consultancy firm Accenture, Caroline returned to study, achieving a Distinction in her M.Phil in Archaeological Heritage Management at the University of Cambridge. Her career in fundraising began shortly afterwards, eventually leading her to work for the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, then known as English Heritage. Over the past fifteen years, Caroline has worked in a variety of roles and has led key corporate projects for the organisation. Most notable of these was the delivery of the ‘new model’ which saw the organisation split into two: Historic England, the public body that looks after England’s historic environment, and the English Heritage Trust, a new charity licensed to look after and open to the public over 400 historic properties. Since the split Caroline has continued to work for Historic England and is now leading a small team focused on building relationships with individuals, trusts, foundations and companies to secure support to enable the organisation to deliver its objectives.

Caroline was appointed a Commissioner in 2016 and brings to the Commission a proven track record in strategic and high-profile change management as well as considerable experience of fund-raising and corporate governance. She lives in Monmouth.


Mr Neil Beagrie, BA, FRSA

Neil has a strong interest in archaeology and the built environment. After graduating in Archaeology from Durham University, he began his professional career at the Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England where he became Head of Archaeological Archives. Since then, his career in the public and private sectors has been focussed on strategies for digital preservation; access to digital information in archives, libraries and data centres; and studies of their value and economic impact. He has been a director at Charles Beagrie Ltd, a consultancy company for the last 15 years and worked with a wide-range of client organisations in the UK and internationally. In 2014 Neil was awarded the Archival Technology Medal by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in Los Angeles in recognition of his long-term contributions to the research and implementation of strategies and solutions for digital preservation. Neil was appointed a Commissioner in 2017.


Dr Louise Emanuel, MA, MSc, PhD, PGCODE

After graduating in Geography from the University of Oxford, Louise studied an MSc in Regional Development at Cardiff University. A common theme throughout all her work has been the concern for places, their historical development, and the way in which individuals and communities engage with the places they live in, work in, learn in and visit. This interest in ‘place’ led her to research the relationship between place perceptions and economic development for her PhD. In the late 1990s Louise worked with communities in her home county of Carmarthenshire to explore and interpret community heritage. Since 1999 she has been a lecturer at what is now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David where she has developed programmes in heritage, tourism and sustainable business, as well as developing and project managing several EU funded heritage projects. Louise was appointed a Commissioner in 2017.


Mr Chris Brayne

Chris trained as Landscape Architect at the University of Sheffield and in 1989 joined a private practice in Liverpool to work on design and environmental impact assessment projects for clients such as the Department of Transport and British Coal. Chris became IT Manager for the company and helped the team adopt various digital survey, visualisation and publication techniques. He later experimented with the application of these techniques to archaeological recording after taking up a role with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research and in 1999 he moved back to the UK to work with Wessex Archaeology to develop the company’s archaeological and business systems. He became CEO of Wessex Archaeology in 2013 and oversaw a restructuring of the organisation which returned the company to a solid growth footing. Chris maintains a keen technical interest in innovative approaches to the capture, analysis and dissemination of heritage information, and his experiences have developed his appreciation of the social value of heritage activities and the ways in which heritage can be used to improve our daily experiences. Chris was appointed a Commissioner in 2017.

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