Commissioner Profiles

Prof Nancy Edwards (Chair), BA, PhD, FBA, FLSW, FSA

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Nancy Edwards has been active in Welsh archaeology for nearly forty years. She was born in Portsmouth and was educated, first at the University of Liverpool, then at Durham University, before moving to Wales in 1979. She is currently Professor of Medieval Archaeology at Bangor University. Her research has focused on the archaeology of Wales and Ireland c. AD 400–1100, particularly on inscribed stones and stone sculpture, and the archaeology of the church.

Her research has been recognized by her election as a Fellow of the British Academy, the Learned Society of Wales and the Society of Antiquaries. She has previously served on the Council of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Cadw Ancient Monuments (Advisory) Board. She was Vice President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology and Chair of the Society for Church Archaeology. She is a fluent Welsh speaker.

Nancy was appointed as Chair of the Royal Commission in April 2019.


Ms Catherine Hardman, BA, MA, FSA

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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

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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.


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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


Dr Hayley Roberts, LLB, PhD, FHEA

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Hailing from Caernarfon, Gwynedd, a town steeped in history, Hayley has always been interested in heritage and the historic landscape. She read Law at the University of Wales, Bangor, specialising in the legal protection of historic shipwrecks, before continuing this research for her PhD. In 2013, she joined the School of Law at Bangor University as a Lecturer in Public International Law (initially as a Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol lecturer), developing programmes in the law of the sea and maritime law.

Hayley’s research reflects her expertise in maritime heritage, both domestically and internationally. She is particularly interested in the international regulation of underwater cultural heritage, the impact of devolution on the protection of maritime heritage in the UK, and alternative ways of protecting the historic environment. She has led a number of funded research projects and has been published in leading journals in her field. Hayley is a first language Welsh speaker. She was appointed a Commissioner in April 2019.


Mr Jonathan Vining, BSc, BArch, MSc, RIBA, AoU

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Jonathan Vining is a chartered architect and urban designer. Born in Cardiff, with a background rooted in art and design, he studied at the Welsh School of Architecture and the University of Bath. He has over forty years’ experience in private practice and currently leads the master planning and urban design discipline in the Cardiff office of a major multi-disciplinary professional services consultancy. Jonathan was a visiting academic at the Welsh School of Architecture for thirty years and, since its inception in 1996, has been subeditor of ‘Touchstone’ magazine – the Royal Society of Architects in Wales’s journal in which he has also written compellingly on post-war architecture in Wales. He is a trustee of The Dewi-Prys Thomas Trust and was appointed a Commissioner in April 2019.

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