Enjoy highlights from Coflein selected by staff from across the organisation

Let it Snow – Winter Archaeology and Landscape

Snow offers a rare opportunity for seeing and recording sites in their Welsh landscape which, when covered by a blanket of snow, provide immaculate conditions for earthwork recording especially when combined with the low winter sun. Snow evens out the colours of the landscape allowing complex earthwork monuments to be seen more clearly and precisely. At the same time drifting or melting snow, as well as melting frost on improved pasture, all help to show up slight differences in topography which can highlight an archaeological site. These special weather conditions rarely last long making timely aerial reconnaissance imperative. These images are a selection from winters past. Let us hope there is an opportunity for more discoveries this year.

Women in Our Collections

The images in our collections are mainly associated with specific monuments in Wales, whether that is houses, industrial and archaeological sites, chapels, castles, etc. The monuments were built and used by people, but historically our archive has focussed on the stones, timber, bricks and steel of our heritage – and not so much the people.

However, as you can see, people (including women) do occasionally sneak in! Often described in the catalogue description as ‘figure’ as in ‘view of [site name] with figure’, they are usually incidental to the main subject which is the monument or building.

These are the women (and girls) I have discovered – women beside their cottages, working, going to chapel; some depicted in stone, metal and in paintings, or represented by clothing. No one person is named (if you can identify any please get in touch!), but they are there, reflecting their central role in the built heritage of Wales.

Cambrian Mountains – Last Wilderness

Described by naturalist Iolo Williams as ‘The Last Wilderness of Wales’, the Cambrian Mountains are remote and wild, but rich in evidence of human activity from the earliest times to the recent past. As well as sweeping moorland, dense woodland, fast rivers and numerous lakes; the mountains contain hillforts, standing stones, burial cairns, the remains of extensive metal mining, remote and abandoned farmsteads and settlements.

To explore this fascinating region further, click on the link under each photograph to find the full record with a map showing where the site is. See also our e-book, The Archaeology of the Welsh Uplands.

The Twentieth Century in Wales

The twentieth century in Wales was a time of transformation – with new infrastructure, technology, and architectural styles all changing the townscapes and landscapes of the country. Many of our collections record these changes and innovations.

Culturally Diverse Wales

The iron, copper, coal and slate industries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries attracted workers from England, Scotland and Ireland. The transport network which developed to serve this industry – canals, railways, roads and bridges – were built with both local and migrant labour, and communities around the busy ports of Wales included people from around the world. The two World Wars brought refugees and evacuees, and Wales became home temporarily and permanently, to Belgium, Polish, Italians, Ugandan, Vietnamese and many other nationalities. The movement of migrant settlers to Wales has continued to the present day. This exciting history is reflected in the group of images below which each tell a story.