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Hidden Histories: Discovering the Heritage of Wales


Hidden Histories: Discovering the Heritage of Wales

By A.P. Wakelin, Editor and R.A. Griffiths, 2008.

Hidden Histories shows how the heritage of Wales has been rediscovered and understood during a century of investigation. One hundred picture essays, supported by concise introductions to each era, illustrate sites, buildings and monuments that reflect the story of Wales from prehistory to the present. This beautiful book will be an informative companion for anyone interested in the life and heritage of Wales, whether living in Wales, visiting it or admiring it from afar.

Hidden Histories is accompanied by a five-part BBC television series of the same title, following the experts of the Royal Commission as they reveal new interpretations of the heritage of Wales, to be broadcast on BBC2 Wales from November 2008.

Forward by Huw Edwards
A Great Welsh Chapel: Capel Als, Llanelli

Introduction: Hidden Histories

One Hundred Years of Investigation
The Early Inventories
The Pen Llystyn Excavations
Houses of the Welsh Countryside
The Glamorgan Inventories

The Prehistory of Wales

Paviland Cave and the Ice Age Hunters
After the Ice Age
Banc Du: The Causewayed Enclosure of Wales
Neolithic Chambered Tombs
Neolithic Henge Monuments: Llandegai
Carn Meini and the Preseli Bluestones
Neolithic Manufacture: The Mynydd Rhiw Axe Factory
Great Neolithic Enclosures: The Walton Basin
The Stone Circles of Wales
The Origins of Hillforts

Iron Age and Roman Wales
Surveying Iron Age Hillforts: Gaer Fawr
Interpreting Iron Age Wales: Hen Gaer
Tre’r Ceiri and the Stone Forts of Llyn
Lost Defended Enclosures
Surviving Landscapes of the Prehistoric Farmers: Cros-y-gedol
The Roman Army on Campaign
Advances in Roman Military Studies: Tomen-y-mur
Roman Roads
Villas: Llantwit Major
Roman Towns

Early Medieval Wales
Early Inscriptions and their Language
An Early Medieval Settlement: Gateholm Island
Recording Early Medieval Inscribed Stones
Early Medieval Sculpture
Defence against the Vikings: Llanbedrgoch
The Mysterious Dykes of Early Medieval Wales
A Royal Site: Llan-gors Crannog
Later Inscriptions and the Use of Languages
Commemorating a King: The Pillar of Eliseg
Discovering Early Medieval Religious Sites

The Middle Ages
The Humane Landscape
Castles and Courts
Later Castles and Residences
Religious Life and Churches
Monks and Pilgrims
Sea and Coast
Houses and Homes: Ty-draw
The Worlds of Work and Leisure
Commemoration and the Arts

Early Modern Wales
A Welsh Longhouse: Nannerth-ganol
Royal House, Machynlleth
Hidden Architectural Detail in Denbigh
Post-Medieval Church Wall Paintings
Dr John Davies of Mallwyd and his Tower
Marsh House: A Fortified Warehouse
Newton House, Llandeilo
‘Painted Tapestries’: Discoveries at Ciliau
Maesyronnen Chapel, Glasbury
The Corbelled Pigsty: ‘A Palace for Swine’

The First Industrial Nation
Uncovering a Swansea Copperworks
Industrial Transport: The Swansea Canal and its Railways
An Engineering Masterpiece: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
A Royal Dockyard and New Town: Pembroke Dock
The Age of Improvement
The Iron Towns: Blaenavon
Depopulation in thr Uplands: Penblaenmilo
Marine Transport
Protecting the Shipping Lanes: Lighthouses
Picturesque Wales and the Early Tourists: Hafod

Victorian Society
The Victorian Cottage
Welfare and the Workhouse: Albro Castle
Victorian Schools
The Slate Industry
Victorian Churches
Nonconformist Chapels
Leighton Park Farm
William Burges and High Victorian Architecture
The Short Heyday of the Victorian Mansion
The Rise of Mass Tourism

Early Twentieth-Century Wales
National Institutions
Official Buildings: The PSA Collection
Water for Birmingham: The Elan Valley Water Scheme
A North Wales Architect: The Herbert L. North Collection
The Garden Village Movement
The Experience of War: Penally Practice Trenches
Remembering the Great War
Coal’s Heyday: Taff Merthyr Colliery
Modernisation in the Countryside:Pont Llanio Milk Factory
Defence from Invasion in the Second World War

Post-war Wales
Modernism: The Dunlop Semtex Factory
Post-war Housing: The Newport Prefabs
The Decline of Cottage Life: A letter from Kate Roberts to Peter Smith
The Decline of the Railways: The Rokeby Collection
Clough Williams-Ellis and Post-1915 Poertmeirion
Award-winning Houses: 1-6 Little Orchard
Architecture for Wales: Plas Menai
Closing the Asylums
Survivors: The Gee Printing Works
Eco Housing

Into the Future
Major Construction Projects: The Millennium Stadium
Dating the Work of the Master Carpenter: Old Impton
Buildings at Risk: Prestatyn Holiday Camp
Pointing to the Future: Digital Technologies
Uncertain Heritage: The Search for Battle Sites

Royal Commissioners, 1908-2008
Further Reading
Principal Publications by the Royal Commission, 1911-2008
List of Contributors
Map of Historic Counties

  •     328 pages, full colour
  •     100 superb main images
  •     Over 300 supporting images
  •     Interpretive essays and period introductions by authorities in their fields
  •     Foreword by Huw Edwards
  •     Further reading
  •     ISBN: 978-1-871184-35-8 (English language edition)


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F L Tully
F L Tully
4 years ago

Would anyone know if there is a map somewhere of ALL the locations listed in the book. We took this on holiday to Wales last year but it was difficult to find places local to where we were visiting.

Tom Pert
4 years ago
Reply to  F L Tully

Every site featured in the book includes a unique reference number (its NPRN number). If you search using this number on Coflein, you will find the location of every site included in the book. All sites we have records for in the National Monuments Record are geo-located, and can be searched for and displayed on the map in Coflein. Your suggestion that we might produce a map for all sites featured in our publications is a good one, and something we might look to do in the future. Thanks!


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