CBHC / RCAHMW https://rcahmw.gov.uk On the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Tue, 21 Sep 2021 08:30:32 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 World Alzheimer’s Day: Resources for Reminiscence https://rcahmw.gov.uk/world-alzheimers-day-resources-for-reminiscence/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/world-alzheimers-day-resources-for-reminiscence/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 08:30:30 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=22681

On World Alzheimer’s Day we wanted to tell you about the latest additions to the Memory Archive, which we have created with People’s Collection Wales. This is a free resource for use in reminiscence work for people living with dementia.

Reminiscing and life history work can be a powerful way of communicating with a person with dementia. It can be the basis for enjoyable time spent together and a way for the person with dementia to feel empowered. This can contribute positively to their well-being.Alzheimer’s Society

The Memory Archive is a series of themed collections, designed with feedback from healthcare professionals, to provide a rich source of material for reminiscence activities. The collections include photos, video clips and sound recordings which can bring back vivid memories of life in the 1940s to the 1980s. The material is all related to Wales and has been contributed from a variety of sources, including our National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) Archive, The National Library of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales, as well as archives, libraries, museums, community groups and individuals across Wales.

Since its launch, the most popular collections have included ‘Kitchens’ (4,575 views), ‘Work’ (4,407 views), and ‘School Life’ (4,086 views).

In the past few months, we have added more collections to the Memory Archive:

Photos from the 1980s (to expand our 1940s-1970s collections).

(image: Women working in the Laura Ashley factory, 1980s, Women’s Archive Wales).

‘Shipping’ themed photos and recordings (to expand our work life/industries collections).

(Image: Unloading bananas at Barry Docks, Vales of Glamorgan Libraries).

‘University’ themed photos (to expand on our Schools/Education collection).

(Image: Aberystwyth University students in lecture, Jenkins12).

‘Pride’ – an LGBTQ+ collection with images dating from the 1970s onwards.

(Image: badges protesting against Section 28, Museum of Cardiff).

Other useful resources:

The Memory Archive teaching resource has been designed to raise young people’s dementia awareness and provide valuable life skills, helping them to support people in their families and communities living with dementia using activities such as the Memory Tree (pictured), designed for adding images to the branches that represent important memories from a person’s life.

Fields of Play: The Sporting Heritage of Wales is superbly illustrated with historical and contemporary photography, exploring the diversity of sporting facilities from public parks and open-air swimming baths to welfare grounds, stadiums, and the role of the countryside as a national playground.

If you are interested in using this publication for reminiscence use, please contact Marisa Morgan, marisa.morgan@rcahmw.gov.uk, for a free copy (packing & postage costs may apply).

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The Story of a House on a Hill – Exhibition now at Aberystwyth Arts Centre: a rare opportunity to view an abandoned Welsh upland farmhouse through fresh eyes! https://rcahmw.gov.uk/the-story-of-a-house-on-a-hill-exhibition-now-at-aberystwyth-arts-centre/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/the-story-of-a-house-on-a-hill-exhibition-now-at-aberystwyth-arts-centre/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:08:28 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=22726 ‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ exhibition is being shown in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until 11 October 2021.

This new ‘window’ exhibition, created and curated by a group of young archaeologists from Ceredigion, showcases a unique view of local heritage.

CHYPs members with Project Officer Kim James-Williams in front of the exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Founded in 2017, ‘Ceredigion Off-limits?’, is one of seven regional projects funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund which form part of the larger Cadw-led ‘Unloved Heritage?’ project. Led by young people with the support of the Royal Commission, this project set out to ignite enthusiasm for heritage in its young patrons.

Since its establishment, the ‘Ceredigion Off-Limits?’ panel members (fondly dubbed the CHYPs) have worked hard to preserve and record their local heritage.  Their opinions, views and exceptional characters are what steered the work, following their instincts and whims, and they’ve been on quite an adventure together.

CHYP’s members curating the wealth of interesting material at the Royal Commission’s offices.

Each year the project had a different theme: in 2017–2018 it was ‘Ghosts, Graft and Grind: Uncovering the ghostly workers and workplaces of Ceredigion’s past’; 2018–2019 was all about ‘Home, Hearth, Life and Death: Searching for homespun tales in Ceredigion’s hidden homes and households’; and 2019–2020 was ‘Splendour, Showbiz and Song: A quest to find the personalities and splendid spaces of Ceredigion’s leisure time past’.

Unfortunately, in 2019 the project was hit by the tragic loss of its inspirational leader, Anna Evans.  In her memory, and despite the small matter of a global pandemic, the CHYPs maintained their vigour and enthusiasm and defied all odds, banding together to design and publish their own book, ‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’.  This rich and vibrant bilingual publication is a love story about their heritage. 

The Story of a House on a Hill by Ceredigion Heritage Youth Panel

In 2019, the CHYPs dedicated their time to an abandoned Welsh upland farmhouse and mining ruins set in the hills beyond Bontgoch.  ‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ is a celebration of their findings and the work that followed – recording and archiving the physical remnants of the life, livelihood and community they found there. They lead you through each room of the house, sharing with the reader their thoughts and feelings from their visits.  Raw and unedited, you’re right there with them as they travel back in time.

‘Going upstairs felt peculiar because you don’t normally visit someone and go to their bedroom’, page 16

The exhibition currently on display in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre is an arrangement of the artefacts found at the farmhouse.  It is carefully assembled to represent the lives and communities from the past all around us, shrouded from the modern eye.  It is a celebration not only of this project and the young people, but of the people who came before us, and left behind a trail that we may follow.

The Story of a House on a Hill exhibition in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

The CHYP’s book, ‘‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ is available as a free eBook, or as a limited edition printed copy for £3.99 (to cover postage and packaging) from our online shop. A limited number of copies are also available from Gallery One of Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

To download the free eBook go to: https://shop.rcahmw.gov.uk/collections/downloads/products/the-story-of-a-house-on-a-hill

To order a limited edition hard copy go to: https://shop.rcahmw.gov.uk/collections/books/products/the-story-of-a-house-on-a-hill-1

Find out more about the Unloved Heritage Project:

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Animals in the archive: Exploring archival anomalies https://rcahmw.gov.uk/animals-in-the-archive-exploring-archival-anomalies/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/animals-in-the-archive-exploring-archival-anomalies/#comments Tue, 14 Sep 2021 10:30:20 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=22566

Archive Number: 6430556
Carving on bench in St Mark’s Church, Brithdir.

Many people will tell you that one of the joys of archive research is discovering not the information and records you were looking for but the information you weren’t.  Often it will be unexpected material relating to the topic, place, or person you are researching; however sometimes it can be unlooked for records on a completely unrelated topic. 

Finding and exploring these can be very distracting; but they make archive research a fascinating adventure into the unknown.  This is just as true for archive staff, who are just as prone as researchers (perhaps more so!), to vanish down rabbit holes…

As most of you will be aware, the Royal Commission specialises in the study of Wales’ built historic environment, rather than the flora and fauna of its natural environment.  The National Monuments Record of Wales is our national archive for the historic environment of Wales.  It contains information, drawings, manuscripts, reports, photographs, digital records and more of over a hundred thousand archaeological sites, monuments, buildings and maritime sites in Wales.  You would not therefore expect to find any animals in the NMR; however, there are a number to be found if you look carefully.

I should, at this point, stress that by ‘animals in the NMR’ I mean photos and images of animals found in the archive files, NOT live animals roaming the archive stores.  Our archivists are very strict on the latter…

I can propose three, very good, reasons why there are a few animals to be found in the NMR:

Firstly, depictions of animals often form part of Wales’ historic environment, namely, carvings, wall paintings, sculptures and so forth.  These are therefore of interest to the Royal Commission and are included in the NMR as interesting features and details of historic buildings and other sites.

Secondly, there is what we might call the ‘incidental’ inclusion of animals in the NMR.  These are primarily in photographs of historic sites, often taken by the Commission’s own survey team, which happen to include animals. 

Cattle, sheep and horses are among the most common animals that sometimes make their way into the background or foreground of photographs of historic sites.  While they can sometimes be frustrating and obscure the actual or intended subject of the photo, they can also be very useful for researchers, for example, they can provide a sense of scale or an indication of the use or condition of the site. 

Animals can also form an integral part of a site’s purpose or interest, such as iconic native wildlife.  Indeed, in some instances it is difficult to tell if the animal(s) or the site is the main subject of the photo.  Very occasionally one gets the impression that the historic setting is the more incidental aspect! 

Finally, the third way that animals can find their way into the NMR is due to archival procedure.  The integrity of collections, sometimes referred to as respect des fonds is a key tenet of archival practice.  Many of the collections held in the NMR have been donated either by organisations or individuals.  Often these donations relate to a single historic site, e.g. from an archaeological survey.  However, some donations, especially bequests by individuals often cover a range of sites and areas.  In these cases, where a collection covers a range of subjects or topics, it is sometimes more appropriate that it is deposited with another archive e.g. The National Library of Wales or a county archive.  However, if the vast majority of the material, pertains to Wales’ historic environment, we will usually accept the entire donation in order to preserve the integrity of the collection, in line with our Collections Policy.  Allowing a small amount of otherwise irrelevant material into the archive, thus maintains the context as well as the original relationships of the records.

The principle of respect des fonds also accounts for the handful of examples of archive material in the NMRW relating to non-Welsh sites, including the images below from the Arthur Chater collection.

I hope these photos have demonstrated that, whether in the NMRW or another archive, the nature of archives ensures that you will come across the unusual and the unexpected.

The three reasons or categories I have suggested here are not necessarily mutually exclusive, nor are they set in stone; however, they seem to fit all the instances I have found so far.  However, perhaps a simpler explanation is that Wales is a nation full of animals and animal lovers.

Rhodri E Lewis, Enquiries & Library Assistant

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Royal Commission Archive & Library Bulletin of Newly Catalogued Material – July-August 2021 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-library-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-july-august-2021/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/royal-commission-archive-library-bulletin-of-newly-catalogued-material-july-august-2021/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 10:51:21 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=22644
Wall hanging, Big Pit by the Mad Mountain Stitchers, inspired by images from the Royal Commission’s archives
Wall hanging, Big Pit by the Mad Mountain Stitchers, inspired by images from the Royal Commission’s archives
Pit Bottom and River Arch, Big Pit Arc no.6500242, NPRN 91590, John Cornwell Collection
Pit Bottom and River Arch, Big Pit Arc no.6500242, NPRN 91590, John Cornwell Collection


In light of both the Coronavirus outbreak and the migration of our records to a new digital platform we are presently unable to share our list of newly catalogued archive material with you. Please scroll down to view recent acquisitions to our Library.

Architect’s Model of St Ciwg's Church, Llangiwg, Arc no. 6397093, NPRN 96095
Architect’s Model of St Ciwg’s Church, Llangiwg, Arc no. 6397093, NPRN 96095


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

  • Blair, J.; Rippon S. and Smart, C. 2020. Planning in the early medieval landscape. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
  • Blaxland, Sam. 2020. Swansea University: Campus and Community in a Post-war World: 1945-2020. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Croll, Andy. 2020. Barry Island: the making of a seaside playground, c.1790-c.1965. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Davis, Paul. 2021. Towers of defiance: the castles and fortifications of the princes of Wales. Talybont: Y Lolfa.
  • Evans, Chris and Miskell, Louise. 2020. Swansea copper: a global history. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
  • Fox, Harold. 2001. The evolution of the fishing village: landscape and society along the south Devon coast, 1086-1550. Oxford: Leopard’s Head Press.
  • Griffiths, Ralph. 2021. Free and public: Andrew Carnegie and the libraries of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Jones, Matthew. 2020. Transforming towns: designing for smaller communities. London: RIBA Publishing.
  • Kenyon, John. 2020. Llandaff Cathedral. London: Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd.
  • Rogers. David. 2020. The Roman villa of Llantwit Major. Gwynedd: Llygad Gwalch Cyf.
  • Tomos, Elin. 2020. ‘Y mae y lle yn iach’: Chwarel Dinorwig 1875-1900. Llanwrst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.
  • Welsh Government. 2020. Cymu’n cofio 1914-1918 / Wales remembers 1914-1918. Cardiff: Welsh Government.
Hyssington Chapel kneeler, Arc no. 6532265, NPRN 11296
Hyssington Chapel kneeler, Arc no. 6532265, NPRN 11296


  • Ancient Monuments Society / Friends of Friendless Churches Newsletter Part 2 (Summer 2021).
  • Archaeoleg yng Nghymru / Archaeology in Wales Volume 59 (2019).
  • Architects’ Journal Volume 248 (Part 7, 22/07/2021).
  • AJ Specification Volumes June and July (2021).
  • British Archaeology Volume 180 (September/October 2021).
  • Buildings & Landscapes Volume 28 (Number 1, Spring 2021).
  • Cartographic Journal Volume 57 (Number 4, November 2020).
  • Current Archaeology Volumes 375 and 376 (June and July 2021).
  • Current World Archaeology Volume 107 (June/July 2021).
  • Domestic Buildings Research Group Newsletter Volume 148 (June 2021).
  • Heritage in Wales Volume 72 (Summer 2021).
  • Landscapes Volume 21 (Number 1, July 2020).
Matchstick model of Brondeifi Unitarian Chapel, Arc no. 6335511, NPRN 7271
Matchstick model of Brondeifi Unitarian Chapel, Arc no. 6335511, NPRN 7271
  • Llafur Volume 12 (Number 4 2019/21).
  • Maplines Summer (2021).
  • Railway and Canal Historical Society Bulletin Volume 492 (July 2021).
  • Railway and Canal Historical Society Journal Volume 241 (July 2021).
  • Sheetlines Volume 121 (August 2021).
  • The Victorian Volume 67 (July 2021).
  • Tijdschrift van de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed Part 3 (2021).
  • Tools & Trades History Society Newsletter Volume 149 (Summer 2021).
  • Touchstone 2021.
  • Welsh Historic Gardens Trust Bulletin Volume 80 (Summer 2021).
  • Welsh History Review Volume 30 (Number 3, June 2021).
  • Welsh Mills Society Newsletter Volume 144 (July 2021).
  • Welsh Railways Archive Volume 7 (Number 3, May 2021).
  • Welsh Railways Research Circle Newsletter Volume 166 (Summer 2021).
Reconstruction model of Nantgarw Pottery, Taff's Well complex, Arc No. 6440554, NPRN 40801
Reconstruction model of Nantgarw Pottery, Taff’s Well complex, Arc No. 6440554, NPRN 40801

Journals: Current Awareness

Ancient Monuments Society / Friends of Friendless Churches Newsletter Part 2 (Summer 2021) p.7 Casework: refurbishment of Gladstone Library, Hawarden approved; demolition of Aberaeron Hospital, Ceredigion approved; planning application at Royal Dockyard, Pembroke Dock has been called in by Welsh Ministers; amended plans to be submitted for proposed front extension to Cae Efa Lwyd Fawr, Penygroes, Caernarfon; p. 11 objections submitted for the proposed demolition of Golftyn Presbyterian Chapel, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire; p.12 application for change of use for Chapel of St Thomas a Becket, The Rath, Milford Haven and Capel Nant, Nanhoron, Gwynedd from ecclesiastical to domestic; p.16 closure of St. James’s Church, Llangua, Monmouthshire; p. 18 short history of St Beuno’s Church, Penmorfa, Gwynedd and the women associated with it.

Still from the rendered 3D Studio Max model showing the engine house and in situ engine from a RCAHMW survey of Hafod and Morfa Copperworks, Swansea, Arc no. 6212585, NPRN 33710
Still from the rendered 3D Studio Max model showing the engine house and in situ engine from a RCAHMW survey of Hafod and Morfa Copperworks, Swansea, Arc no. 6212585, NPRN 33710
  • Architects’ Journal Volume 248 (Part 7, 22/07/2021), p.44 review of end-of-year student shows at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff; p. 46 Graduate School of the Environment, Centre for Alternative Technology and Swansea College of Art, \university of Wales Trinity Saint David.
  • British Archaeology Volume 180 (September/October 2021), p.62 Casefiles: 57. Island House, Laugharne, Carmarthen, Cyllene Griffiths.
  • Cartographic Journal Volume 57 (Number 4, November 2020) p. 299 Review of Carto-Cymru: Symposium Mapiau Cymru/The Wales Map Symposium.
  • Current Archaeology Volumes 375 (June 2021), p.10 ‘Unprecedented prehistoric finds on Skokholm Island; p.14-15 ‘Excavating the CA archive’ Joe Flatman – Glamorgan and Gwent.
  • Maplines Summer (2021), p.29 Carto Cymru – the Wales Map Symposium 2021: Surveying the Streets, Review, Huw Thomas.
  • Sheetlines Volume 121 (August 2021), p.40-49 From Ruabon to Rangoon: The 61 Indian Reproduction Group 1E, Ian Jacobs.
  • The Victorian Volume 67 (July 2021), p. 28-29 Kinmel Hall, Conwy.
David Broadbent, volunteer with the Royal Commission, modelling the Pontcysyllte neck cowl designed by Ania Skarzynska
David Broadbent, volunteer with the Royal Commission, modelling the Pontcysyllte neck cowl designed by Ania Skarzynska

Due to the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus, the Royal Commission’s search room is only open to the public on a limited basis subject to appointment. We are also continuing to answer remote enquiries and offering a full scanning service. Please see the website, www.rcahmw.gov.uk, or contact us for details: nmr.wales@rcahmw.gov.uk, Tel: 01970 621200.
We look forward to hearing from you.

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
Ceredigion SY23 3BU

Telephone: +44 (0)1970 621200
Fax: +44 (0)1970 627701
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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Two new exciting job opportunities with the EU Funded CHERISH Project https://rcahmw.gov.uk/two-new-exciting-job-opportunities-with-the-eu-funded-cherish-project/ https://rcahmw.gov.uk/two-new-exciting-job-opportunities-with-the-eu-funded-cherish-project/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 13:31:30 +0000 https://rcahmw.gov.uk/?p=22551 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is looking to recruit 2 new posts to join the team on the European Funded CHERISH Project – Climate Change and Coastal Heritage

Public Relations and Marketing Manager

  • Part time: Two days per week (14.8 hours)
  • Fixed term until 30 June 2023
  • Salary: £30,600 pro rata per annum rising to £37,410 pro rata per annum

Closing date: 5pm on 27 September 2021

Digital Data and Survey Assistant

  • Part Time: 4 days per week (29.6 hours)
  • Fixed term until 30 June 2023
  • Salary: £20,500 pro rata per annum rising to £23,830 pro rata per annum

Closing date: 5pm on 27 September 2021

Full details and application forms can be found here: Current Vacancies

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