CBHC / RCAHMW https://rcahmw.gov.uk On the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Wed, 15 May 2024 14:31:52 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.3 That’s not my name! An unfortunate error on an important map https://rcahmw.gov.uk/thats-not-my-name-an-unfortunate-error-on-an-important-map/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/thats-not-my-name-an-unfortunate-error-on-an-important-map/#respond Wed, 15 May 2024 11:14:15 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=28545 A guest blog by Huw Thomas, Curator of Maps at the National Library of Wales On May 17 our annual Carto-Cymru map symposium will be held at the National Library. The theme this year is ‘Maps and their Makers’ and we’ll be discussing cartographers – the people who make the maps. There are many interesting […]]]>

A guest blog by Huw Thomas, Curator of Maps at the National Library of Wales

On May 17 our annual Carto-Cymru map symposium will be held at the National Library. The theme this year is ‘Maps and their Makers’ and we’ll be discussing cartographers – the people who make the maps.

There are many interesting stories to tell about mapmakers, such as one that involves an unfortunate slip-up with the cartographer’s name.

On St David’s Day 1803 the London mapmaker John Cary published a new detailed survey of the county of Cardiganshire at a scale of one inch per mile. This was some thirty years or more before the Ordnance Survey published maps of the county on the same scale.

The map is exquisitely executed and contains far more detail than any other previous maps of the county. This black and white photostat copy of the map made in the late 1960s gives some idea of the level of detail and care taken in creating it.

1st edition March1803 - one inch per mile map of Cardiganshire.
Image courtesy of the National Library of Wales (NLW)

This is the only known example of the map in this state, with this photostat taken from a copy in private hands.

However, there is a problem with this map. The author’s name is given as John Singer, but it was actually Joseph Singer. That this wasn’t a simple typo, but an actual case of misidentification can be seen in this advertisement from The Cambrian, 27 October 1804, where his name is again rendered incorrectly.

Advert in The Cambrian, October 1804,  for a map of Cardiganshire by Singer.
Image courtesy of the NLW

On the 1st of November in 1803 a second edition of the map was published by Cary, with Singer’s name corrected, as can be seen from the image below.

2nd edition map of Cardiganshire, November 1803, published by John Cary.
Image courtesy of the NLW

A zoomable version of the map can be found here: http://hdl.handle.net/10107/1445593

The confusion over the name seems to have continued beyond the November re-issue as shown by the advertisement.

So, who was Joseph Singer, and why did he create a map of Cardiganshire?

Unfortunately, we know very little about him apart from the fact that he was a land surveyor active in the West Country. He may have been born around 1760 and possibly lived in Littletown, Devon. Precious few other maps by him are known about.

We do know, however, that Singer was employed as a surveyor by John Cary, and this could explain why Singer mapped Cardiganshire for him.

If you would like to learn more about cartographers both past and present then do come and join us on the 17th, either in person, or online. Tickets cost £25 in person and £15 online (£5 student rate).

In person: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/llgcnlw/t-rpdpdek

Online: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/llgcnlw/t-nogoeje

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Royal Commission Archive Bulletin of Newly Catalogued Material – March 2024 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-march-2024/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-march-2024/#respond Mon, 29 Apr 2024 15:56:40 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=28399 Welcome to the latest monthly edition of the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) Archives Bulletin which lists all newly catalogued material. The archival items, as well as 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 […]]]>

Welcome to the latest monthly edition of the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) Archives Bulletin which lists all newly catalogued material. The archival items, as well as 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.

Archif ~ 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.

Now catalogued and available on Coflein:

Caerleon campus, Newport following demolition. Oblique aerial photograph taken during the Royal Commission’s programme of archaeological aerial reconnaissance by Toby Driver on 29 April 2022.

Post-War buildings to the side and rear of the Grade II listed Former Caerleon Teacher Training College Building were considered not to meet the criteria for listing, including the innovative Rathmell Faculty of Art and Design Building designed in the 1980s by Norman Robson-Smith, and built of glass and steel to allow full natural light into the studios.

John Newman in ‘The Buildings of Wales: Monmouthshire’ (2002), pp. 142-3, described the building as a ‘splendid cascade of steel and glass’.

The Campus closed in 2016, and in 2021 the modern buildings, including the Rathmell Building, were demolished. See more on our site record.

Oblique low-view of Porthclais Harbour breakwater, from seaward, taken at high tide at 7.00 am on 11 March 2024. Ref: 2024-03-18_2109.

The sheltered inlet at Porthclais has a long history, being used as a landing point since the earliest maritime activity in the area. Documentary sources attest to cargoes being landed here in the 1380s, destined for St Davids Cathedral, and Elizabethan documents list Porthclais amongst the harbours of Pembrokeshire in 1566. Porthclais is also noted as the historical landing place of the mythical boar Twrch Trwyth in the Mabinogian although sadly no trace of this event is visible today.

By the early 20th century, the breakwater was in a ruinous state, the main arm being comprised of little more than a series of boulders and rocks. The harbour was visited by Douglas Hague (RCAHMW) in the early 1970s whose photos indicate further deterioration of the breakwater, although the western face of the return arm appears to still be intact. Hague’s visit took place shortly before the breakwater and adjacent quays were restored under the stewardship of the National Trust.

The main breakwater and adjacent structures were recorded by the RCAHMW in February 2022 and a 3D model of the resulting dataset can be viewed online here:

Cymraeg: https://skfb.ly/oEQDU

English: https://skfb.ly/oFGH9

Read more in our site record.

Views of Ysgol David Hughes, Porthaethwy, B14 classroom, and staircase and trophy cabinet in reception area, part of a Photographic survey of Ysgol David Hughes, produced by Meilyr Powel and Susan Fielding of RCAHMW, 10 August 2023. Ref: UAV2023_201 and DS2023_068.

Ysgol David Hughes is a bilingual comprehensive school in Menai Bridge, Anglesey. The school’s purpose-built buildings, designed by County Architect N. Squire Johnson, were officially opened on Friday 26 April 1963, and cost £300,000 to build. Attending its official opening were Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.

This photo survey of the school is one of a series of surveys being carried out by Commission staff to record and interpret Welsh twentieth century schools as they come under threat of closure and possible demolition. Read more on the context to this work in our blog ‘Old School, New School’. Read more in our site record for Ysgol David Hughes.

Digitised copy of hand-drawn, colour 'memory' map, created by Sidney Perkins in 1970. Called 'Brynyrodyn Maesybont a'r Cylch', the map features local farms, chapels and notable landmarks, along with information such as the names of the families who lived there, and memories associated with various locations.


Above is a digitised copy of hand-drawn, colour ‘memory’ map, created by Sidney Perkins in 1970. Called ‘Brynyrodyn Maesybont a’r Cylch’, the map features local farms, chapels and notable landmarks, along with information such as the names of the families who lived there, and memories associated with various locations.

The image below shows the level of detail in the map, which was kindly loaned by Glenys McBurnie for digitisation. Ref: DD2024_005.
Detail of a digitised copy of hand-drawn, colour 'memory' map, created by Sidney Perkins in 1970. Called 'Brynyrodyn Maesybont a'r Cylch', the map features local farms, chapels and notable landmarks, along with information such as the names of the families who lived there, and memories associated with various locations.

Blast from the Past

Each month we will show an earlier image taken from our archive relating to one of the sites above. The image below is one of four photos of the Rathmell building at Caerleon Campus, taken by our investigator Iain Wright in June 1998 (ref: 6025319).

photo showing the Rathmell building at Caerleon Campus, taken in June 1998

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

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Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa and ‘Cwm Rhondda’ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/llanfihangel-yng-ngwynfa-and-cwm-rhondda/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/llanfihangel-yng-ngwynfa-and-cwm-rhondda/#respond Thu, 25 Apr 2024 11:10:00 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=28423 Did you know the shocking statistic that Wales is in danger of losing a third of its chapels and churches by 2030?  This is the forecast for the future of Wales’s religious buildings, predicted by Christopher Catling, our Chief Executive, who is also Chair of Wales’ Historical Places of Worship forum.  His comments were made […]]]>

Did you know the shocking statistic that Wales is in danger of losing a third of its chapels and churches by 2030?  This is the forecast for the future of Wales’s religious buildings, predicted by Christopher Catling, our Chief Executive, who is also Chair of Wales’ Historical Places of Worship forum.  His comments were made in light of the proposed sale of the historic St.Michael’s Church, Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa Church (NPRN: 268109) near Llanfyllin, Powys on April 11 but which has since been withdrawn from the market with the Church in Wales deciding to postpone its sale for a year.

The church is historically important in Wales because of its strong connection with the well-known Welsh hymn writer, Ann Griffiths, who was one of the most notable religious poets of her generation in Europe.  She was the author of the Welsh words, ‘Wele’n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd’ used for the popular hymn tune, ‘Cwm Rhondda’ composed by John Hughes (1873-1932) at the beginning of the 20th century. Her work reflected her detailed knowledge of the Bible and her fervent and deep-rooted Christian faith.  It was at this church that she was baptised, married and is buried in the churchyard and within the church there is a memorial to her.

Ann was born in 1776 at Dolwar Fach farm, in the parish of Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, one of the five children of John and Jane Thomas.  During a religious revival in the area she became a Calvinistic Methodist around 1796-97 and in 1804 married a local farmer from Meifod, Thomas Griffiths.  Her spiritual experiences were conveyed through the verses she composed and she would often recite them to the maid at Dolwar Fach, Ruth Evans, who later married John Hughes, of Pontrobert (1775-1854). Her correspondence with John Hughes and his note-books, were a valid source and record of her verses.  He supposedly gave them to Thomas Charles of Bala and they were published in 1805, 1807 and 1808, and subsequently later became popular with hymn composers. She died aged 29 – so young – in 1805 following childbirth a few weeks earlier. The church is also an important building in the history of the ‘Plygain’, an unique early morning religious service held in churches and chapels around Christmas and New Year, since the Middle Ages.

The church was rebuilt in the nineteenth century but stands in a round medieval churchyard. Some medieval monuments survive as well as 16th-century painted shields of arms associated with the Vaughan family of Llwydiarth.

Read more about the story in the Welsh-language magazine, Golwg, Vol.36/No.30/April 11, 2024, p.5 and golwg360 where there is a digital version available to read.

Aerial photograph of St Michael's Church, Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, Powys.
An RCAHMW aerial photograph of St. Michael’s Church, Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa

Bethan Hopkins-Williams, Public Engagement Officer

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Come and join us for this year’s Carto-Cymru – The Wales Map Symposium 2024 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/come-and-join-us-for-this-years-carto-cymru-the-wales-map-symposium-2024/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/come-and-join-us-for-this-years-carto-cymru-the-wales-map-symposium-2024/#respond Tue, 16 Apr 2024 06:20:45 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=28354 The subject of this year’s symposium is ‘Maps and their Makers’ and will focus on how understanding the skills and work of cartographers and surveyors, who have created maps throughout the centuries, gives us a better understanding of the process used to create them. This year’s event will be held on Friday 17th May, 2024 […]]]>

The subject of this year’s symposium is ‘Maps and their Makers’ and will focus on how understanding the skills and work of cartographers and surveyors, who have created maps throughout the centuries, gives us a better understanding of the process used to create them. This year’s event will be held on Friday 17th May, 2024 in The Drwm at the National Library of Wales in co-operation with the British Cartographic Society and in partnership with the Commission.

Our Mapping Officer Jon Dollery will be presenting a lecture on ‘Mapping the Past: RCAHMW & OS Antiquity Modelling’ and Gareth Edwards, our Head of Knowledge and Understanding, will present a closing address for the day. Chair for the day will be Scott Lloyd, the Commission’s Research Manager. Other highlights will include ‘Red Star to Red Dragon: The Soviet Mapping of Wales’ by John Davies & Dr. Alex Kent, Vice-President, International Cartographic Association.

Ticket prices include a lunchtime buffet and there is a special student online offer of only £5. This is a bilingual event and translation will be provided for Welsh language presentations.

Carto Cymru 2024

Order your tickets now!

For an in-person early bird discount of only £25, to attend the online event and view the full programme, please visit: https://www.library.wales/visit/things-to-do/events

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Welsh Asian Heritage Project Update https://rcahmw.gov.uk/welsh-asian-heritage-project-update-3/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/welsh-asian-heritage-project-update-3/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2024 11:28:27 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=28302 This has been a busy month for the project. We have been out and about connecting with different communities, attending community events and recording Ugandan Asian stories of expulsion, migration and resilience including of people who came to the resettlement camp in Tonfanu, Tywyn, Merioneth after being expelled from Uganda in 1972. We are also […]]]>

This has been a busy month for the project. We have been out and about connecting with different communities, attending community events and recording Ugandan Asian stories of expulsion, migration and resilience including of people who came to the resettlement camp in Tonfanu, Tywyn, Merioneth after being expelled from Uganda in 1972.

Christopher Catling, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commission on the Monuments of Wales and Judge Ray Singh.
Christopher Catling, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Judge Ray Singh.

We are also excited to announce the continuation of our monthly seminars. Our next seminar titled From Girmit to Permit will take place on 18 April, 5.00pm to 6.30pm via zoom. 

Tickets

Our monthly seminars provide a platform for wider debate around equality, migration, resilience, identity, culture and heritage.

Keynote speakers

Prof. Keshav Singhal MBE CBE will speak about the Girmitya project in Wales and Sue Tranka Chief Nursing Officer, Wales and Judge Ray Singh will share their memories and experiences of what it means to be a Girmitya descendent.

The story of Girmityas is also a story of triumph of human will and resilience over adversity, tyranny and gives a message of hope.

The term “Girmitya” is derived from the word “Agreement” (often pronounced “girmit” or “girmitiya”) and is associated with the indentured labour system that brought 1.6 million Indian labourers to various colonial countries during the 19th and early 20th centuries following the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

Under this system, Indian labourers were recruited from regions in India, primarily from places like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They were required to sign a labour contract, which was often referred to as the “Girmit” or “Agreement.” This contract bound them to work for a specified period (typically five years or more) under conditions that were often harsh and exploitative.

Most of them unable to return to their native land, continued working and settled in their adoptive lands, mostly Fiji, South Africa, Eastern Africa (namely Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda), Malaysia, Singapore, and the Caribbean (namely Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname).

The first transportation of indentured labourers took place on 18th January 1826 at the behest of sugar plantation owners in colonial territories who hoped for cheap labour that could be exploited under similar conditions as slavery but with a veneer of respectability provided by an agreement. By 1838, 25000 Indian labourers had been shipped to Mauritius.

Recordings of these seminars will become available on the Commission’s YouTube channel shortly after each talk: https://www.youtube.com/c/rcahmw

Robin Chaddah-Duke in front of The Baital Futuh Mosque in Morden.
Robin Chaddah-Duke in front of The Baital Futuh Mosque in Morden.

Ramadan Kareem

We wish Ramadan Kareem to everyone who is fasting during this month of Ramadan. Welsh Muslim communities are busy serving local worshippers observing Ramadan. Many communal events are being organised to provide an opportunity for all communities to come and join in the Iftar – the breaking of the fast – at the end of the day.  Our Community Engagement Officer Robin Chaddah-Duke is joining several of these over the next weeks.

Ramadan is a month of fasting and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body.  It is estimated that 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe observe Ramadan.

Many colleagues of course carry on with their extremely busy working lives whilst fasting. Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed from the Islam in Wales History Project shared with us how he was balancing work with fasting.  “Keeping on top of work and life duties while fasting can be difficult, but it is part of the challenge of Ramadan. To find an inner-strength and capacity you did not know you had. It is always good to remind myself I can also work well enough without several cups of coffee on hand”.

Dr. Ahmed is keynote speaker at our next seminar on  “Islam in Wales – The Story of Muslim Settlement in Wales”  which will beon 16th May online 5.00pm to 6.30pm.

Community of Interest

As always, we encourage you to join our Community of Interest on the link below to get updates and notifications including about our monthly seminars: http://eepurl.com/iALGp6

We also welcome volunteers to support us on all aspects of the project.

Perminder Dhillon,
Project Leader Welsh Asian Heritage Project:
Celebrating and Archiving the Experiences of Ugandan Asians.

Contact the project at WAHproject@rcahmw.gov.uk Tel: 01970 621 234.

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