CBHC / RCAHMW https://rcahmw.gov.uk On the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Wed, 18 May 2022 06:08:10 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 International Museums Day: 18th May https://rcahmw.gov.uk/international-museums-day-18th-may/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/international-museums-day-18th-may/#respond Wed, 18 May 2022 06:08:09 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=24296 Today on International Museums Day we are celebrating the magnificent range of museums in Wales. We have over 90 accredited museums, ranging from local industrial heritage to textiles and maritime heritage as well as the seven ‘hubs ‘of Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales in different parts of Wale. Each museum focuses on a different aspect of our rich and varied heritage, and best of all, these amazing places are free to enjoy.

One of the most innovative of these museums, is the award-winning St Fagans National Museum of History which, according to Visit Wales, is the most popular heritage attraction in Wales. Popular with all, St Fagans offers an immersive exploration of Welsh life through the ages. More than 40 original historic buildings have been re-erected since 1948 (the same year the National Health Service was founded) when St Fagans opened as the first open-air museum in the UK.  Having recently undergone extensive development, St Fagans was awarded the distinction of the Art Fund Museum of the Year prize (2019).

Listeners to Neil MacGregor’s recent series The Museums That Make Us  for BBC Radio Four celebrating the amazing range of museums to be found in all corners of Britain will have been intrigued by his visit to St Fagans.  

David Anderson, the Museum’s director general, highlighted the sound recordings made by the Museum as one of their most precious but little-known curated aspects of ‘intangible heritage’. But of course, the wonderful collection of re-erected buildings also speak to people about the diversity of the lived experience of Wales right up to the recent past.  There are buildings from north and south Wales, industrial and rural Wales, and buildings from diverse occupations, as well as church and chapel.  All this in a park of 100 acres with a C16th manor house which was featured in the Commission’s Glamorgan Inventory : Vol. 4, The Greater Houses.

The Museums That Make Us - The National Museums of Wales, Cardiff - BBC Sounds
The Museums That Make Us – The National Museums of Wales, Cardiff – BBC Sounds

The Museums That Make Us – The National Museums of Wales, Cardiff – BBC Sounds
Neil MacGregor tours Britain’s museums to explore how the past tells us who we want to be.
www.bbc.co.uk

The Royal Commission has collaborated with Welsh museums on many projects. More than twenty museum partners collaborated with the Commission on the 1914-18 U-Boat project: Commemorating the War at Sea between 2017–19. The most recent partnership is a project on wallpaintings in churches. One of the Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum’s most visionary projects was the re-erection of the derelict church of Llandeilo Talybont complete with recreated wallpaintings as featured in our launch of Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800/ Temlau Peintiedig: Murluniau a Chroglenni yn Eglwysi Cymru, 1200–1800by Richard Suggett.  Neil MacGregor’s series asks: what are museums for in 2022? This building in a quite wonderful way shows that museums can take us back in time rather like a time machine to the experiences and way of life of our ancestors. In this case, Llandeilo Talybont church takes us back 500 years to the extraordinary visual experience of the pre-Reformation church. 

A pioneer: St Fagans National Museum of History. Opened in 1948 it was the first open-air museum in the UK.
A pioneer: St Fagans National Museum of History. Opened in 1948 it was the first open-air museum in the UK.
2.	St Teilo’s Church complete with medieval wallpaintings now re-erected at St Fagans.
St Teilo’s Church complete with medieval wallpaintings now re-erected at St Fagans.
Interior view of the kitchen at St Fagans Elizabethan mansion.
Interior view of the kitchen at St Fagans Elizabethan mansion.

 

]]>
https://rcahmw.gov.uk/international-museums-day-18th-may/feed/ 0
Royal Commission Archive & Library Bulletin of Newly Catalogued Material – April 2022 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-library-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-april-2022/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-library-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-april-2022/#respond Tue, 17 May 2022 08:35:04 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=24274 Welcome to the latest monthly edition of the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) Archives and Library Bulletin which lists all newly catalogued material. The archival items, library books and journal articles are all available to view in our public reading room. The full archive catalogue is available on Coflein and contains digital copies of many of the items listed. All publications may be found on our online Library Catalogue.

Our Library and reading room is open:
We are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 – 16:00, Wednesday 10:30-16:30
An appointment is advisable.

Archives

Archive items have been added to the following collections in the past month:

Many of these items are hard copy, including large scale plans, photographs and reports, and are available to view in our searchroom in Aberystwyth, others are digital and can be viewed on our online catalogue Coflein. Recent uploads can be viewed here.

Some highlights now catalogued and accessible on Coflein:

Esgair Llewelyn, a late medieval cruck-framed hall-house. Photographed in June 2020. 2022-03-02_2277
Esgair Llewelyn, a late medieval cruck-framed hall-house. Photographed in June 2020. 2022-03-02_2277
The congregation and harpist on Sul y Maer at Salem Newydd Welsh Baptist Chapel, Ferndale in 1985, one of a batch of digital photographs Donated by Dr Peter Brookes.
The congregation and harpist on Sul y Maer at Salem Newydd Welsh Baptist Chapel, Ferndale in 1985, one of a batch of digital photographs Donated by Dr Peter Brookes.
Photographs showing the statue of Dr Elaine Morgan outside Tŷ Calon Lân, Oxford Street, Mountain Ash at the statue unveiling on 18 March 2022.
Photographs showing the statue of Dr Elaine Morgan outside Tŷ Calon Lân, Oxford Street, Mountain Ash at the statue unveiling on 18 March 2022.
Two images from a Photographic Survey of Argoed Secondary School, Mynydd Isa. The building was approved for demolition in 2021 after an unsuccessful campaign for the school to be listed as 'an exceptionally fine example of a Brutalist educational building built in the second half of the 20th century by an important architect of the period'.
Two images from a Photographic Survey of Argoed Secondary School, Mynydd Isa. The building was approved for demolition in 2021 after an unsuccessful campaign for the school to be listed as ‘an exceptionally fine example of a Brutalist educational building built in the second half of the 20th century by an important architect of the period’.
Photo showing the inner ramparts with figure for scale. From a photographic survey of Castell Bach promontory fort. Undertaken by Hannah Genders Boyd for CHERISH project condition monitoring 13/01/2022.
Photo showing the inner ramparts with figure for scale. From a photographic survey of Castell Bach promontory fort. Undertaken by Hannah Genders Boyd for CHERISH project condition monitoring 13/01/2022.

Books

All our books and journals can be found on the Royal Commission’s Library Catalogue and viewed in our Library and Search Room.

  • Austin, Ronald L. 2019. (Off-print). Further aspects relating to the history of yachting in Swansea Bay. Exeter: Maritime South West Volume 32.
  • Burt, Roger, Waite, Peter and Burnley Ray. [1986]. The mines of Cardiganshire: metalliferous and associated minerals, 1845-1913. University of Exeter in association with the Northern Mine Research Society.
  • Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. 2021. Professional archaeology: a guide for clients. Tisbury: Cathedral Communications.
  • Cole, Ted. 2021. The Warrington Chest. Bath: The Tools and Trades History Society.
  • Dudek, Mark. 2000. Architecture of schools: the new learning environments. Oxford: Architectural Press.
  • Elder Dempster & Company. 1921. The Elder Dempster fleet in the war: 1914-1918. Liverpool: Elder Dempster & Company.
  • Francis, Absalom. 1987. (Reprint). History of the Cardiganshire mines: from the earliest ages, and authenticated history to A.D. 1874 with their present position and prospect. Sheffield: Mining Facsimilies.
  • Guy, Ben et al (Eds.) 2020. The chronicles of medieval Wales and the March: new contexts, studies and texts. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Hassall, Mark. 2017. Roman Britain: the frontier province: collected papers. Warminster: Hobnob Press.
  • Joel, Janet. 2021. Nanteos: life on a Welsh country estate. Llarwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwlach.
  • Marshall, Alistair. 2021. Orientation of prehistoric monuments in Britain: a reassessment. Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology.
  • Russell, Tony. 2020. The Great Gardens of Wales. [Wales]: Destination UK Limited.
  • Stevens, Ralph. 2018. Protestant Pluralism: The reception of the Toleration Act, 1689-1720. Woodridge: The Boydell Press.

Journals

  • Antiquaries Journal Volume 100 (2020).
  • Architects’ Journal Volume 249 (Issue 3, 24 March 2022).
  • AJ Specification Volume March (2022).
  • Architectural Review Volumes 233 – 235 (Issues 1393, 2013 – 1404, 2014).
  • Architecture: RIBA buildings of the year Volume 11 (2011).
  • Community Archaeology & Heritage Journal Volume 9 (Number 1 February 2022).
  • Essex Historic Buildings Group Newsletter Volume 3 (March 2022).
  • London Gardener Volume 25 (2021).
  • Llafur Volume 13 (Number 1, 2021).
  • Monmouthshire antiquary: proceedings of the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Society Volume 36 (2021).
  • Sheetlines Volume 123 (April 2022).
  • Tools & Trades Journal Volume 151 (Spring 2022).
  • Welsh Mills Society Newsletter Volume 147 (April 2022).

Contact us

If you have any comments or enquiries, please feel free to contact us:

NMRW Library and Enquiries Service
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Penglais Road
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion SY23 3BU

Telephone: +44 (0)1970 621200
Email: nmr.wales@rcahmw.gov.uk
Website: rcahmw.gov.uk

Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg | Correspondence welcomed in Welsh and English

]]>
https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-library-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-april-2022/feed/ 0
May: The Month of Mary https://rcahmw.gov.uk/the-month-of-mary/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/the-month-of-mary/#respond Tue, 10 May 2022 12:51:26 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=24249 As the siege of Mariupol reaches its tragic conclusion, it is poignant that these ghastly events are taking place in the month of May. May, of course, is regarded as the month of Mary in the Catholic Church which dedicates the whole month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. ‘May Crowning’, is popular in both Orthodox and Catholic churches. In this ceremony an icon or statue of the Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned in the parish church on 1 May to signify her as the Queen of Heaven and Mother of God. Mariupol means ‘City of Mary’ in Greek, although it comes as a surprise to discover that the Mary immediately honoured by this name was apparently Princess Maria, the wife of Crown Prince Paul, later Emperor of Russian between 1796 and 1801. The city was renamed Zhdanov in 1948 after Andrey Aleksandrovich Zhdanov, a high-ranking Communist Party official who had been born there. Tellingly, the city’s earlier name, Mariupol, was restored as recently in 1989 and the origin of the name is often forgotten.1

Many places have been named after Mary in Europe and further afield and Mariupol illustrates the complexities of place names. The Royal Commission’s List of Historic Welsh Place Names provides a guide to all those places named after Mary in Wales. Many of the churches dedicated to Our Lady have given their names to the villages that have grown up around them. Given the widespread nature of Catholic devotion to Our Lady in Wales before the Reformation (as attested by texts such as Gwasanaeth Meir, a Welsh translation of a Marian liturgy2) the sheer number of Marian churches meant that it was necessary to have some way of distinguishing between them. In some cases, such as Llanfairfechan (small church of Our Lady) this was done through a physical description of the church itself. In others, the name of the local area was given, to identify in which part of Wales the village was, such as Llanfair-yng-nghornwy in Anglesey, or Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd. Another common device was to make reference to the toponomy of the area in which the church was situated, such as Llanfair-ar-y-bryn (Our Lady’s church on the hill) in eastern Carmarthenshire, or Llanfair Nant-y-gof in Pembrokeshire. An interesting variation on this theme can be found in Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire, with the hill, rather than the church, being dedicated to Mary, and providing the name – although the church is still called St Mary’s.

The same tendency can be observed in English language place names, such as St Mary Hill (Eglwys Fair y Mynydd) and St Mary Church (Llan-fair) in Glamorgan. The Welsh name for Knelston in Gower, Llan-y-tair-mair is worthy of mention too, commemorating as it does St Mary Magdalen, and Mary the wife of the apostle Cleophas, as well as the Virgin Mary.

Examples of Mary place names drawn from our List Historic Place Names in Wales.
Examples of Mary place names drawn from our List Historic Place Names in Wales.

The tradition of pilgrimage to holy wells has also left its mark upon Wales’s place names, with wells dedicated to Our Lady, Ffynnon Fair, being found up and down the country. Perhaps the most famous of these is the well at Pen-rhys in the Rhondda, from which flows Nant Ffynnon Fair. Pen-rhys was one of the most important pilgrimage sites in pre-Reformation Wales, due to the miraculous appearance of a statue of Our Lady at the site. By 1538 Pen-rhys was important enough for Thomas Cromwell to order the removal of the statue, “as secretly as might before fear of local revolt”. The statue was then sent to London to be burned.3 The immediate post-Reformation period saw various attempts to revive pilgrimages to this site and others,4 and they were finally successfully revived in 1936.

The dedication of churches to Mary resumed after the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act in 1829, such as the churches of St Mary in Carmarthen, Tremeirchion and Bridgend, which had all been built by 1900. The tradition continues today, with various churches in the diocese of Menevia, such as Our Lady of the Angels and St Winefride, Aberystwyth, Our Lady of the Rosary, Ammanford, and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and St Nicholas, Knighton, being named for her. These and hundreds of other Marian place names can be found in the List of Historic Place Names of Wales.

Finally, it may be noted that pre-Reformation images of Mary are very rare in Wales. However, a very striking image of Mary was discovered in about 2010 painted on the south aisle wall at St Cadoc’s Church, Llancarfan. In the wallpainting, Mary is blessing St George who is killing the dragon. Mary is depicted crowned and with long hair and wearing what has been interpreted as a laced maternity gown under her ermine-lined red mantel. This depiction of Mary with her right hand raised in blessing appears to be unique and is discussed in our recent book on wallpaintings by Richard Suggett, Painted Temples Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800. Another very faded image at St David’s Cathedral is also interpreted as a depiction of Mary but there is no certainty. To find out more about the wallpaintings at St David’s Cathedral, please join us at 2pm on 16th June at the Cathedral for a Walk and Talk led by the author, Richard Suggett. A limited number of tickets for this rare event are still available.

Please book your ticket here:


1. Place name Mariupol discussed in https://www.britannica.com/place/Mariupol
2. Gwasanaeth Meir, ed. by Brynley F. Roberts (Aberystwyth: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 1961).
3. Richard Suggett, Painted Temples Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800 (RCAHMW, 2021), pp 156-7
4. James January-McCann, ‘Exiles and Activists: A Comparison of the Counter-Reformation in Wales and Norway’, in Northern European Reformations: Transnational Perspectives (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), pp. 176-7

By Dr James January-McCann (Place Names Officer) and Nicola Roberts (Communication Manager)

]]>
https://rcahmw.gov.uk/the-month-of-mary/feed/ 0
Exploring the Welsh Coast: Celebrating 10 Years of the Wales Coast Path! https://rcahmw.gov.uk/exploring-the-welsh-coast-celebrating-10-years-of-the-wales-coast-path/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/exploring-the-welsh-coast-celebrating-10-years-of-the-wales-coast-path/#respond Thu, 05 May 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=24230
Caerfai iron-age promontory fort, Pembrokeshire.

Caerfai iron-age promontory fort, Pembrokeshire.

Wales’s coastline stretches for around 1,680 miles (2,700 km). Along its length it includes large estuaries, tidal rivers, extensive sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and offshore islands. It is a coast rightly famed for its natural beauty and striking scenery, as well as its rich flora and fauna. But Wales’s coastline has also been shaped by people. Traces of human activity are preserved in the archaeological remains that can be found along the Welsh Coast and which date from prehistory to the present day.

In some parts, where peat deposits are exposed, it is possible, quite literally, to follow the footsteps of our prehistoric forbears, or to pick your own way through the preserved stumps of now submerged forests. In other places the remains of ships lie cast on the shore, protruding from the sand, reminding us of the perils faced by past sailors and travellers. Permanent structures have been built on the shoreline; fishtraps to provide a harvest from the sea, or maybe lime kilns to help gain a better harvest from the land. Harbours and havens abound, with almost every bay, creek, inlet, cove, or river having been used in the past for some form of activity.

Llanddwyn, Anglesey. Aerial view of the lighthouses and pilots’ cottages.

Llanddwyn, Anglesey. Aerial view of the lighthouses and pilots’ cottages.

Much of the Welsh Coast is publicly accessible, either directly at one of its many beaches, promenades, or small historic harbours. Or alternatively by walking the Wales Coast Path, which itself runs for 870 miles (1,400 km) and allows a continuous journey from the Dee Estuary in the north to the Severn Estuary in the south (or the other way if you prefer!). The Wales Coast Path celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022 having been officially unveiled on May 5 2012.

The Royal Commission has contributed to the newly launched Wales Coast Explorer mobile phone App. to help people discover and learn more about the coastal and inter-tidal archaeology of the Welsh Coast. The App. provides information on different types of archaeological sites, from shipwrecks to submerged landscapes, as well as highlighting over sixty sites, with more to be added, that can be easily accessed from the Wales Coast Path. It draws on information and images available on Coflein, our online database.

The wreck of the ROVER, Marros Sands, Carmarthenshire. One of the many archaeological sites included in the Wales Coast Explorer App.

The wreck of the ROVER, Marros Sands, Carmarthenshire. One of the many archaeological sites included in the Wales Coast Explorer App.

The Wales Coast Explorer App. also allows users to report any new or unexpected archaeological sites that they see. Public reporting when archaeological remains are newly exposed, or suddenly appear/disappear, is a critical part of how we manage our shared cultural heritage. After all, 1,680 miles of coastline is a lot to keep an eye on!

To celebrate the success of the Wales Coast Path enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of walkers of all ages every year, we are offering a special birthday discount of 10% on our award-winning publications, Wales and the Sea: 10,000 years of Welsh Maritime History and Cymru a’r Môr: 10,000 o flynyddoedd o Hanes y Môr. When ordering from the Royal Commission’s online bookshop (shop/rcahmw.gov.uk), please enter the code LLAC10 at the checkout. The total price is only £22.50.

By Dr Julian Whitewright, Senior Investigator (Maritime)

]]>
https://rcahmw.gov.uk/exploring-the-welsh-coast-celebrating-10-years-of-the-wales-coast-path/feed/ 0
World Heritage Day: War and Peace  https://rcahmw.gov.uk/world-heritage-day-war-and-peace/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/world-heritage-day-war-and-peace/#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2022 09:18:10 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=24191 Today is UNESCO’s World Heritage Day.  It is also the eighth week of the conflict in Ukraine.  In war heritage gets damaged and sometimes erased.  It can be assumed that many of Ukraine’s historic monuments in the war zone have been damaged perhaps irreparably so, as in the ‘rubbleisation’ of Mariupol.  The loss of historic monuments can be a devastating blow but rebuilding damaged buildings can be an expression of hope for enduring peace.  In the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina the old bridge that crossed the river between the two parts of the city was destroyed on 9 November 1993.  Subsequently, a project was initiated to reconstruct it; the rebuilt bridge opened on 23 July 2004 as a symbol of peace, hope and reconciliation.  

The memorable interior of the hall-temple at the Temple of Peace and Health.
The memorable interior of the hall-temple at the Temple of Peace and Health.

In Wales there is a little-known and rather wonderful building dedicated to the idea of peace.  This is the Temple of Peace and Health in Cathays Park, Cardiff.  The building was the vision of Lord Davies of Llandinam, politician, industrialist, and soldier in the Great War. The Temple was dedicated to the memory of those who had fallen in the Great War but it had a practical purpose – to promote peace and health.   

Principal elevation of the Temple of Peace and Health with portico.
Principal elevation of the Temple of Peace and Health with portico.

The neo-Georgian T-shaped building was designed by the Welsh architect, Sir Percy Thomas, and completed on the eve of World War II.  A portico sheltering carved panels representing prosperity and justice leads into the central full-height hall which is brightly lit with black marble columns and a coloured coffered ceiling above.  Below the temple is the crypt which commemorates the war dead in a national book of remembrance.  The hall is flanked by offices in storeyed wings.  Today the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) is the guardian of this building and works with Welsh communities to promote action and learning for international peace and development.  

Sculpture of Justice within the portico.
Sculpture of Justice within the portico.

https://coflein.gov.uk/en/site/11820

By Richard Suggett, Senior Investigator 

]]>
https://rcahmw.gov.uk/world-heritage-day-war-and-peace/feed/ 0