Thousands of new aerial views of Welsh heritage launched online
Wales has an extraordinary and diverse heritage, dating from prehistoric times to the present day. Each year the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales carries out a specialist programme of exploratory aerial reconnaissance, often at the extremes of light and season, to discover new stories about the people, landscape and history of Wales.
Now some 22,200 newly-catalogued digital aerial photographs have been added to Coflein, our national online catalogue of archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage in Wales, representing a vast new image resource showing Wales from the air.
There are highlights – and surprises – in these new aerial views of Wales, from the setting-up of the 2012 National Eisteddfod of Wales at Llandow in south Wales and the modern skyline of Cardiff Bay to stunning winter views of medieval castles at Caerphilly and Chirk, as well as the legendary Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia caught in a shaft of sunlight. Buried archaeology is showcased in the green cropmarks of a Roman temple or villa at Broadheath near Presteigne. The varied landscape of Wales is captured in winter vistas over the mountains of Snowdonia, including the Snowdon Range, Llyn Stwlan reservoir, Ffestiniog and the archaeologically rich uplands of Dyffryn Ardudwy around Pen y Dinas hillfort. Also notable is the blue pool of Penrhyn Slate Quarry at Bethesda, Gwynedd, contrasting with the flooded valley of the River Tywi in winter 2012 to the east of Carmarthen.
The heritage of Wales can be browsed online at www.coflein.gov.uk. To obtain copies of aerial photography please contact the National Monuments Record of Wales Enquiry Service.
Toby Driver, Senior Aerial Investigator