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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Gwobr Pensaernïaeth i’r Comisiwn Brenhinol





Dr Peter Wakelin, Ysgrifennydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol, yn derbyn ei wobr yn seremoni Cymdeithas Frenhinol y Penseiri yng Nghymru a gynhaliwyd ym Mae Caerdydd.


Mewn seremoni ym Mae Caerdydd ar 20 Mehefin cafodd Ysgrifennydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol, Peter Wakelin, ei wneud yn Aelod er Anrhydedd o Gymdeithas Frenhinol y Penseiri yng Nghymru am wasanaethau i gefnogi gwella pensaernïaeth. Meddai Andrew Sutton, Llywydd y Gymdeithas ‘Mae Peter wedi gweithio’n ddiflino i wneud y Comisiwn Brenhinol yn gorff mwy amlwg, grymus a hygyrch ac wedi ymdrechu i hybu gwasanaethau ar-lein, partneriaethau a gweithio ar y cyd.’ Yn ei araith dderbyn, tynnodd Peter sylw at bwysigrwydd cofnodi adeiladau.

Rydw i’n gwerthfawrogi’r anrhydedd hwn yn fawr ac mae’n bleser gennyf ei dderbyn mewn cydnabyddiaeth o waith y Comisiwn Brenhinol dros flynyddoedd lawer i sicrhau bod y dreftadaeth adeiledig yn cael ei chofnodi, ei deall, ei mwynhau a’i gwarchod. Rhaid i ni wneud yn siŵr y gallwn barhau â’r swyddogaeth hon.

Ni allaf wneud yn well na dyfynnu’r artist Falcon Hildred – Aelod er Anrhydedd arall o’r Gymdeithas – sydd wedi treulio ei oes yn cofnodi adeiladau sydd mewn perygl. Rydym ni wedi prynu ei archif gwych o fwy na 600 o luniadau i’r Cofnod Henebion Cenedlaethol gyda chymorth ariannol Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri.

‘Y peth am adeiladau yw eu bod nhw’n ymwneud â phobl. Mae popeth a wnawn mewn bywyd naill ai’n cael ei wneud mewn neu o gwmpas adeiladau. Byddwn yn dathlu, yn addysgu, yn byw, yn gweithio, yn gwella, yn cystadlu, yn storio – byddwn yn gwneud popeth mewn neu o gwmpas adeiladau, ac maen nhw felly yn ymgorffori ein holl anghenion, ein holl obeithion, ein credoau, ein hofnau. Nhw yw symbolau ein gwerthoedd, o’r bwthyn i’r eglwys gadeiriol, symbolau’r hyn sydd ei eisiau arnom a’r hyn a gredwn. Felly y perygl ydyw, pan ddinistriwn adeilad, ein bod ni hefyd yn dinistrio rhyw elfen ohonom ni ein hunain.’

Dyna’r rheswm dros gofnodi a mawrygu pensaernïaeth. Diolch i chi am anrhydeddu ein gwaith.


Adain Gymreig corff proffesiynol y penseiri, Sefydliad Brenhinol Penseiri Prydain, yw Cymdeithas Frenhinol y Penseiri yng Nghymru. Yn ystod yr un digwyddiad, rhoddodd Huw Lewis AC, Gweinidog Tai, Adfywio a Threftadaeth Llywodraeth Cymru, araith am bwysigrwydd dylunio da a chyflwynwyd gwobrau i brosiectau pensaernïol diweddar, gan gynnwys canolfan gofal canser Maggie yn Abertawe a’r Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama newydd. Rhoddwyd Aelodaeth er Anrhydedd hefyd i Anthony Kleinburg ac i’r cynhyrchydd teledu Gwenda Griffith, a fu’n gweithio gyda’r Comisiwn Brenhinol ar y gyfres arloesol Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru i S4C.

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Architectural Award for Royal Commission





Dr Peter Wakelin, Secretary of the Royal Commission accepting his award at the RSAW ceremony held in Cardiff Bay.
 At a ceremony in Cardiff Bay on 20 June the Secretary of the Royal Commission, Peter Wakelin, was made an Honorary Members of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales for services to support the betterment of architecture. The President of RSAW, Andrew Sutton, said ‘He has worked tirelessly to raise the profile, dynamic and accessibility of the Royal Commission and has sought to enhance online service delivery, partnerships and collaborative working’. Peter’s acceptance speech highlighted the importance of recording buildings.

I am really grateful for this honour and delighted to accept it in recognition of the work of the Royal Commission over many years to ensure that the built heritage is recorded, understood, enjoyed and cared for. This is a function that we must be sure we can continue.

I can’t say better than to quote the artist Falcon Hildred – another Honorary Member of RSAW – who has spent a lifetime recording buildings at risk. We have acquired his superb archive of over 600 drawings for the National Monuments Record with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

‘The thing about buildings is that they’re about people. Everything we do in life is either in or around buildings. We celebrate, we teach, we live, we work, we heal, we compete, we store – everything is done in and around buildings, and they therefore embody all our needs, all our hopes, our beliefs, our fears. They are the symbols of all our values, from cottage to cathedral, of what we want and what we believe. So the risk is that when you destroy a building you risk destroying something of ourselves.’

That is why we record and celebrate architecture. Thank you for honouring our work.



The RSAW is the Welsh arm of architecture’s professional body, the Royal Institute of British Architects. At the same event, the Welsh Government Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis AM, made a keynote speech about the importance of good design and awards were given to recent architectural projects, including Maggie’s cancer care centre in Swansea and the new Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Honorary Membership was also awarded to Anthony Kleinburg and the television producer Gwenda Griffith, who worked with the Royal Commission on the landmark series for S4C, Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru.

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Prydain o’r Awyr - Awyrluniau Prin a Bregus o Gasgliad Aerofilms Wedi’u Diogelu





Traeth y Gogledd, Aberystwyth ar ddydd Sul poeth ym mis Gorffennaf 1947,
NPRN:33035,   AFL03_R8767


Tynnodd Aerofilms Ltd, cwmni a sefydlwyd ym 1919, fwy nag 1.2 filiwn o awyrluniau o lawer o’r digwyddiadau a lleoedd pwysicaf yn hanes gwledydd Prydain yn yr ugeinfed ganrif. Am y tro cyntaf erioed gellir gweld 15,000 o’r delweddau cynharaf drwy fynd i wefan Britain from Above sy’n mynd yn fyw heddiw.

Roedd casgliad Aerofilms, a gawsai ei grynhoi dros wyth degawd (1919-2006), mewn perygl o gael ei wasgaru ymhlith prynwyr preifat a chael ei golli pan aeth y cwmni i drafferthion ariannol. Cafodd ei achub a’i brynu i’r genedl yn 2007 gan English Heritage, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion yr Alban a Chomisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru gyda chymorth Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri a Sefydliad Foyle. Yna dechreuwyd ar raglen o ddiogelu rhai o’r negatifau plât gwydr mwyaf prin a bregus a’u digido er mwyn eu rhoi ar-lein i bawb eu cyrchu’n ddi-dâl.

Llun o bont grog eiconig Pont y Borth (Pont Menai) fel yr oedd ym 1920
NPRN: 43063   WPW002042
 Mae’r casgliad yn cofnodi’r newidiadau yn nhirwedd Ynysoedd Prydain a sut yr ydym wedi byw, gweithio a chwarae gyda’n gilydd yn ystod y 80 mlynedd ddiwethaf. Mae’r wefan yn canolbwyntio ar gyfnod cynharach y casgliad rhwng 1919 a 1953 ac mae’n gartref i rai delweddau hynod bwysig. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys: Traeth y Gogledd, Aberystwyth ym 1947, Parc yr Arfau, Caerdydd ym 1932, Porthaethwy fel yr oedd ym 1920, Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi a’r cyffiniau ym 1929, Harbwr Dinbych-y-pysgod ym 1929, Gwaith Haearn Dowlais y flwyddyn cyn i gynhyrchu ddod i ben, a Dociau Caerdydd ymhell cyn iddynt ddod yn Fae Caerdydd.

Glofa Gresffordd ym mis Hydref 1934, fis ar ôl un o’r trychinebau gwaethaf yn hanes y pyllau glo,
NPRN: 301580   AF67 

Ond mae eisiau eich cymorth arnom ni!

Gyda chasgliad mor ysblennydd a phellgyrhaeddol â hwn, yn ogystal â’ch denu chi i edrych ar yr hyn sydd wedi cael ei gadw a’i ddiogelu, hoffem i chi rannu gyda ni eich atgofion am y lleoliadau a’r safleoedd, tagio delweddau fel eu bod yn haws eu lleoli wrth ddefnyddio peiriannau chwilio, a grwpio ffotograffau gyda’i gilydd i helpu ein grwpiau diddordeb i astudio eu pynciau (boed hwy’n rheilffyrdd, yn eglwysi neu’n safleoedd milwrol), ond, yn anad dim, mae angen eich gwybodaeth leol arnom i helpu’r arbenigwyr i adnabod cannoedd o luniau anhysbys – delweddau heb leoliad, disgrifiad na dyddiad.

Mae’r wefan www.britainfromabove.org.uk ar gael i’w defnyddio am ddim yn awr, felly mewngofnodwch i weld beth y gallwch ei ddarganfod.

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Britain From Above - Rare and Fragile Aerial Photos from Aerofilms Collection Conserved







Aberystwyth North Beach on a hot Sunday in July 1947,
NPRN:33035,   AFL03_R8767
Aerofilms Ltd, a company set up in 1919, took over 1.2 million aerial photographs of Britain, covering key events and places that make up twentieth-century British history. For the first time over 15,000 of their earliest images have been made available to access via the Britain from Above website which launches today.

The Aerofilms collection, built up over eight decades (1919-2006), was in danger of being dispersed to private buyers and so lost when the company fell into financial difficulties. It was rescued and bought in 2007 for the nation by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland and Wales with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Foyle Foundation. From here, we embarked on a programme of careful conservation and digitisation of some of the rarest and most fragile glass plate negatives allowing us to put them online for everyone to access freely.

View of the iconic Menai suspension bridge, Bangor, 1920,
NPRN:43063,   WPW002042
 The collection highlights the changing landscape of the British Isles, how we have lived, worked and played together over the last 80 years. The website focuses on the earlier period of the collection between 1919-1953 and is home to some outstanding images. These include: Aberystwyth North Beach in 1947, Cardiff Arms Park in 1932, Menai Bridge as it looked in 1920, St David’s Cathedral and its surroundings in 1929, Tenby Harbour in 1929, Dowlais Ironworks the year before production ceased, and Cardiff Docks long before it became Cardiff Bay.

Gresford Colliery in October 1934, one month after one of the worst mining disasters in the country,
NPRN:301580,   AF67

However, we need your help!

With a collection as spectacular and far reaching as this we would like people not only to come and take a look at what has been conserved and protected but to share with us your memories of locations and sites, tag images so they are  easier to locate through the search engines, group photos together to help our interest groups  studying their subjects (be it railways, churches or military sites), but most of all we need your local knowledge to help the professionals identify hundreds of unknown pictures, images without location, description or date.

The website www.britainfromabove.org.uk is free and available to use now, so log in and see what you can discover. 

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Strata Florida Open Weekend





Britain From the Above Project activity officer, Natasha Scullion showing some of the old aerial photographs at last week's Open Weekend
Despite the horrible weather the Royal Commission headed to the Strata Florida Open Weekend on 9-10 June organised by University of Wales, Trinity St David. The weekend was filled with a range of events from demonstrations of copper smelting and wood turning to lectures, storytelling, tours and the on-going archaeological excavation of the site.

Although there weren’t as many visitors as hoped , those who talked to us were very enthusiastic, particularly about the old aerial photographs of Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Caerphilly and Holyhead, which are part of the Britain from Above project due to be launched online at the end of this month. People had some fantastic stories to share and it was a pleasure to be part of such an interesting, if damp, weekend!



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Friday, 15 June 2012

‘Archaeology and You’ training event with Copper Coast Geopark, Co. Waterford, Ireland





The event opened with an address by Liam Brazil, Waterford County Mayor, seen here with Sam, Abby (both RCAHMW) and Joe Greene (Copper Coast). Photograph by Sean Fitzsimons.
 On the 9 and 10 June, Royal Commission Metal Links Community Archaeologists Abby Hunt and Samantha Williams travelled to Ireland to run the weekend training event ‘Archaeology and You’ in conjunction with Metal Links project partners, Copper Coast Geopark. The weekend included lectures on various aspects of landscape archaeology combined with ‘hands-on’ sessions to enable delegates to put the skills that they had learnt about to practical use.

The event, held at Knockmahon National School, Bunmahon, Co. Waterford, opened on Saturday morning with an address by Waterford County Mayor, Liam Brazil, whose enthusiasm for the event got us off to a great start. The rest of the day was full of illustrated talks on subjects ranging from geophysics to the use of historic maps and documents in archaeological research, with a vast array of other topics covered, including aerial photography, graveyard survey and how the archaeological remains on a site can be turned into an animated reconstruction. In between lectures, there were sessions to look at aerial photographs and historic maps to try to interpret archaeological remains and to understand how the landscape had changed over time as a result of human interaction.

On Sunday morning, thankfully accompanied by pleasant weather, the group visited Faugheen church. The field visit started with a discussion about the surrounding landscape, which included a 12th-century monastic site. The group were then able to try out basic survey techniques, making a plan of the churchyard, and received training in recording the gravestones at the site. After lunch, further talks and discussion-time wrapped up a thoroughly enjoyable weekend – for participants and tutors alike! The lively discussions and wide-range of questions suggest that the audience all found something of interest in the programme and we hope that they will be inspired to use some of the techniques explained over the weekend in future research work on the metal-mining archaeology of the Copper Coast area.

For more information about the Metal Links project, please follow us on Twitter (@MetalLinks) or ‘Like’ our Facebook page www.facebook.com/metallinksproject. For information about the Copper Coast Geopark, go to www.coppercoastgeopark.com 



Surveying the churchyard and recording gravestones at Faugheen Church, near Bunmahon.
 
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Welsh Industrial Archaeology Panel 2012





David Jenkins of the Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust explains the history of the site.
A couple of weeks ago, the Royal Commission, along with staff from the  Metal Links project, attended the annual Welsh Industrial Archaeology Panel, hosted by the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, and held at the new Heritage Centre in Porth Amlwch, Anglesey. The morning talks focussed on mining across Wales. These included presentations on the Copper Kingdom project, the CALCH project (lime industry), the slate mining industry and an introduction to the Metal Links project. These presentations were followed by an interesting discussion of industrial archaeology throughout Wales, which demonstrated not only the phenomenal work that has already been done but also the future scope for research into what is a core feature of the Welsh heritage. After this, we were treated to a delicious lunch organised by the Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust (AIHT) and then made our way up to Parys Mountain (NPRN:33752) for a guided tour led by David Jenkins of the AIHT. Here, we visited various parts of the site and were given a history of the industrial heritage of the area, which includes metal mining dating back to prehistory. The site is truly astounding and well worth a visit. Overall, it was a fantastic and enlightening day. Thank you to all the speakers for their very interesting presentations, to the Metal Links project for organising the event and to the staff of the AIHT Heritage Centre for hosting the event and providing such great refreshments.

A view of the precipitation pits at Parys Mountain Copper Mines.
NPRN:33752

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Friday, 8 June 2012

The Royal Commission at Hay





Senior Investigator, Richard Suggett with Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage at Thursday's book launch
Royal Commission staff have spent a very busy time at the Hay Festival this past week. For part of the time, they have been working together with staff from Cadw, the National Museum Wales and the Historic Houses Association at the Hanes Cymru – History Wales stand on the festival field. Here, festival-goers can meet the staff, peruse the extensive selection of books produced by these organisations and take part in a number of children’s activities, including slate graffiti, and stone painting in the Make a Wish for Wales…campaign.

On Tuesday, Richard Suggett and Nicola Roberts spent the day working with Hay Castle Trust at Hay Castle, where a number of Royal Commission exhibition panels are currently on display providing a historical interpretation of the house and Castle. Richard led a series of tours throughout the day which were very well-attended, despite both the cold, and later the rain. Numbers seemed to multiply as he toured the castle, as onlookers enthusiastically joined the group, reaching nearly 30 at times!

Richard Suggett leading a tour of Hay Castle to an interested audience

Finally, on Thursday another busy day was spent when Richard met Huw Lewis, the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage at the launch of the latest in the series of Cadw’s award winning guidebooks, Criccieth Castle, Penarth Fawr Medieval Hall-House and St Cybi’s Well, for which Richard is a main contributor. This was followed later in the day by his very well-attended evening lecture, given with much expertise and humour against the back-drop of Max Boyce’s simultaneous performance on the adjacent stage, right next door.

The Royal Commission staff and books will continue to be available at the Hay Festival over the forthcoming weekend, 9 and 10 June, and very much look forward to attending the event again next year.


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Monday, 4 June 2012

Dathlu’r Jiwbilî Ddiemwnt, 1897





Stryd Fawr Aberteifi, 1897. Mae plant yn gorymdeithio drwy’r dref i ddathlu Jiwbilî Ddiemwnt y Frenhines Victoria.
DI2008_0752   NPRN 33041
Eleni, bydd y Frenhines Elizabeth II yn dathlu ei Jiwbilî Ddiemwnt. Yn ystod penwythnos y Jiwbilî, ar hyd a lled gwledydd Prydain, bu llawer o bobl yn ymuno â’r dathliadau stryd, yn hongian baneri ac yn tanio eu barbeciws i ddathlu trigain mlynedd o’i theyrnasiad.

Ym 1897, bu pobl Aberteifi yn dathlu Jiwbilî Ddiemwnt y Frenhines Victoria mewn ffordd gyffelyb drwy gynnal gorymdaith drwy’r dref. Mae’r ffotograffau hyn yn cyfleu ysbryd eu dathliadau: mae baneri’n cwhwfan o’r adeiladau ac ar draws y stryd, mae seindorf yn gorymdeithio, ac mae cannoedd o bobl yn eu gwisg orau yn cerdded ar hyd y ffordd. Y gyntaf o blith brenhinoedd a breninesau Prydain i ddathlu Jiwbilî Ddiemwnt oedd y Frenhines Victoria – dim ond yr ail yw’r Frenhines Elizabeth.

Cafodd y ffotograffau hyn eu hatgynhyrchu o negatifau plât gwydr a roddwyd ar fenthyg i’r Comisiwn Brenhinol gan Thomas Lloyd. Dirywiad y negatifau gwreiddiol sy’n gyfrifol am yr aflunio ar ymylon rhai o’r delweddau. Drwy sganio’r delweddau hyn cyn iddynt ddirywio ymhellach, mae cofnod gwerthfawr o fywyd a digwyddiadau yn Aberteifi yn y gorffennol wedi cael ei ddiogelu i’r cenedlaethau a ddaw.

Mae baneri â delwedd y Frenhines Victoria arnynt yn chwifio uwchben y stryd.
DI2012_0266   NPRN 33041

I ddathlu’r achlysur mae amrywiaeth eang o faneri wedi cael eu codi gan fusnesau lleol, gan gynnwys y banc (chwith) a’r siop siocled (de).
DI2012_0267   NPRN 33041

Mae seindorf yn gorymdeithio i lawr Stryd Fawr Aberteifi, wedi’i dilyn gan dorfeydd o ddathlwyr.
DI2012_0268   NPRN 33041



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