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Friday, 29 November 2013

Y Comisiwn Brenhinol yn Croesawu Ysgrifennydd Newydd

Mae Ysgrifennydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol, Dr Peter Wakelin, yn gadael ar ôl wyth mlynedd i ymgymryd â swydd y Cyfarwyddwr Casgliadau ac Ymchwil yn Amgueddfa Cymru.

Ar ôl gweithio fel Arolygydd Henebion ac Adeiladau Hanesyddol gyda Cadw ac yna fel Pennaeth yr Uned Adfywio yng Nghyfarwyddiaeth Cymunedau Llywodraeth Cymru, mae Peter wedi gwneud cyfraniad nodedig i waith y Comisiwn Brenhinol. Treuliodd lawer o’i amser yn ystod y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf yn cymryd rhan yn y trafodaethau ar yr uno posibl â Cadw, yr ydym yn disgwyl penderfyniad arno gan ein gweinidog noddi, John Griffiths AC, yn gynnar iawn yn y Flwyddyn Newydd. Arweiniodd Peter adolygiad ac ailstrwythuro strategol o’r sefydliad a sicrhaodd gryn ganmoliaeth i’r Comisiwn yn sgil dau adolygiad allanol mawr o’i waith. Rhoddodd hwb sylweddol i broffil cyhoeddus y sefydliad hefyd, wrth i lyfrau poblogaidd a llwyddiannus gael eu cyhoeddi ac i’r Comisiwn gymryd rhan mewn tair cyfres deledu Saesneg ac un Gymraeg.

Hilary Malaws
Mae’n dda gennym gyhoeddi i Mrs Hilary Malaws, Cyfarwyddwr Gwasanaethau’r Comisiwn Brenhinol, gael ei phenodi’n Ysgrifennydd Dros Dro am gyfnod o chwe mis i ddechrau. Erbyn hynny fe fydd y dyfodol yn fwy eglur.

Aelod hir-sefydledig o’r staff sydd â phrofiad helaeth ym meysydd llyfrgelloedd, archifau a rheoli gwybodaeth yw Hilary. Mae hi hefyd yn adnabyddus i lawer o’n partneriaid. Mae hi wedi arwain ymwneud y Comisiwn Brenhinol â’r prosiect Casgliad y Werin Cymru fel un o’r tri phartner a hefyd ein partneriaeth SWISH arloesol gyda Chomisiwn Brenhinol Henebion yr Alban, sy’n darparu sylfaen ar gyfer cyflwyno ein hadnoddau archifol a’n gwybodaeth ar-lein drwy Coflein a llwyfannau eraill.

Bydd Hilary yn dechrau yn ei swydd newydd fel Ysgrifennydd Dros Dro ar 1 Rhagfyr 2013. Wrth siarad am ei phenodiad, dywedodd:

“Mae’n fraint cael fy mhenodi’n Ysgrifennydd Dros Dro ac rydw i’n edrych ymlaen at weithio gyda’n Comisiynwyr, staff a phartneriaid i sicrhau bod popeth yn rhedeg yn llyfr ar yr adeg heriol yma. Staff ymroddedig y Comisiwn Brenhinol yw ein hased mwyaf ac rydw i wedi ymrwymo i sicrhau bod eu harbenigedd, ynghyd â’n swyddogaethau creiddiol, yn cael eu diogelu, gan ddarparu gwasanaeth ardderchog i’r sector ac i’r cyhoedd.”

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Picturing Powys: Iain Wright’s Photography for the Pevsner Architectural Guide

The Chancel of Brecon Cathredral
   NPRN: 96574

The Pevsner Architectural Guide to Powys is the last in a series of county guides to the architecture of Wales. It updates and extends its predecessor, published in 1979, as the first of the series. These Buildings of Wales volumes followed hard on the heels of a Buildings of England series, begun in the 1940s by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, and published between 1951 and 1974. Regarded as indispensable for the architectural traveller, the books set out to capture the architectural character of a county through a gazetteer of significant buildings accompanied by an introductory essay.

This is a big ambition for Powys, which covers a quarter of Wales and comprises three historical counties each with a distinctive identity of its own. The book makes a generous selection of buildings in a narrative sweep that  not only assigns a place to the architectural set-pieces and fine buildings, but also to the regional architectural traditions that perhaps more than anything else capture the character of the county. Together with the introductory essay, the photographs must convey this narrative, binding together architectural themes that might otherwise be lost in the detail of gazetteer.

The photographs in the book therefore form a single sequence arranged chronologically rather than geographically. They are intended to draw attention to buildings that have their own place in the story of architecture in the county, but which are also representative of broader themes.  They trace the development of building traditions from the earliest times, and highlight the work not only of architects, but also of the many un-named craftsmen whose skill enriches all our landscapes and townscapes.

Romanesque Tympanum at St Padarn’s Church,Llanbadarn Fawr, Radnorshire
   NPRN: 236

In the selection for this exhibition, for example, we see the inventiveness of twelfth-century stone carvers and sixteenth-century carpenters, of late seventeenth-century plasterers and twentieth-century stained-glass makers.  We see religious faith manifest in the tiny rural churches of Rhulen and Capel-y-ffin that seem to belong only to their immediate community, and in the simple interior of Maesyronnen chapel. By contrast, in Brecon’s soaring thirteenth-century priory church, in the gothick of Trefecca College, and the gothic revival church at Llangasty Tal-y-llyn, architecture reflects connections to much wider communities. The unique theatre of Craig-y-nos also reaches out to a world beyond the county: in plan it is a miniature Bayreuth.  We see architectural experimenters – from the unknown builder of Glanclydach cottages, to Henry Hanbury-Tracy trying out concrete at Gregynog, to rammed earth used stylishly in the WISE building at the Centre for Alternative Technology.

All this is a considerable challenge for the photographer. Iain had to translate the chronological list of sites into something that made logistical sense on the ground, creating vast maps plotting sites from north to south, west to east. He trawled maps and aerial photographs for additional information that would help him plan ahead – on orientation and sight-lines, for example. He had to track down contact details for every property, or cold-call and hope for a welcome. Iain has worked out some short-cuts – undertakers, for example, usually know who to talk to in churches and chapels. He was given this assignment in one of the wettest summers of recent years – he saved the interiors for rainy days. Not just the weather, but also the time of day is critical for exterior work. Iain always arrives on site early to give maximum time to catch the best light, or simply to set up the shots, but inevitably there are compromises – where conditions limit the choice of viewpoint for example.

Most of the interiors needed to be lit, and it can take up to five hours for a single shot such as a complicated (and dark) church interior.  Even a font takes an hour and a half, and Iain spent two days in Brecon cathedral for just eight shots. Power is not always available for lighting – the ornate interior at Llangasty Tal-y-llyn had to be done from a single socket on the pulpit. Cables and lighting units have to be positioned so that they can easily be removed from the shot in the post-production process if necessary – forward planning is essential.
All the work is tripod mounted, which makes it possible to produce composite images by layering in Photoshop: windows and interiors were usually done as separate frames. Using software to balance interior and exterior lighting can take several hours of patient work.  All told, Iain covered 120 sites in 20 days, by which time he had driven about 3,000 miles. This was followed by three weeks of post-production work. He uses a Canon IDS Mk III, with 12,000 watts of lighting, including two mains operated units and five transportable units. The tripod has 4-inch metal spikes for grass, with rubber feet to protect carpets and floors.

This work was done on behalf of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. The images here, all those in the book, and others taken during the course of this exercise are all in the National Monuments Record, and available to view through coflein www.coflein.gov.uk

Iain has worked for RCAHMW for 35 years. He is a fellow of the British Institute for Professional Photography.

“Picturing Powys”: an exhibition of Iain Wright’s Royal Commission photography for the Pevsner Architectural Guide will be on display from 30 November until mid-February 2014, in the Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop, Heol Pen’ralt, Machynlleth.

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gorffennol Digidol 2014

Mae Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru yn eich gwahodd i fynychu:

Gorffennol Digidol 2014
Technolegau newydd ym meysydd treftadaeth, dehongli ac estyn-allan

12fed a 13eg Chwefror 2014
Gwesty St George, Llandudno.

Cynhadledd ddeuddydd fydd Gorffennol Digidol ac ynddi fe arddangosir technolegau digidol arloesol ar gyfer dal, dehongli a lledaenu data am safleoedd ac arteffactau treftadaeth. Hon fydd y chweched flwyddyn, a chynhelir Gorffennol Digidol 2014 yn nhref glan môr Llandudno. Cynigir cyfuniad o bapurau, seminarau, gweithdai ymarferol ac arddangosiadau i ymchwilio i’r technegau arolygu a dehongli diweddaraf a’u cymhwyso’n ymarferol at ddehongli ac addysgu treftadaeth a sicrhau ei chadwraeth.

Bydd y gynhadledd o werth i unrhyw un sydd wrthi’n gweithio neu’n astudio yn y sector archaeoleg a’r sectorau treftadaeth, addysg ac amgueddfeydd. Y bwriad yw iddi fod yn fodd i rwydweithio a chyfnewid syniadau’n anffurfiol ymhlith cynulleidfa gyfeillgar ac amrywiol o unigolion o fyd masnach, o sefydliadau’r sector cyhoeddus ac o’r trydydd sector. Bydd sesiynau Tŷ Agored hefyd yn gyfle i arddangos prosiectau neu gynhyrchion ac i siarad â mudiadau treftadaeth, datblygwyr cynhyrchion a manwerthwyr.

Y themâu eleni yw ‘Arolygu Technegol’ a ‘Chanlyniadau’.

I gael gwybodaeth am y siaradwyr a’r rhaglen ewch i http://gorffennoldigidol14.blogspot.co.uk a dilynwch #gorffennoldigidol2014

Cost cofrestru am y ddau ddiwrnod yw £69, gan gynnwys cinio a lluniaeth ar y ddau ddiwrnod. I gofrestru ewch i https://www.eventbrite.co.uk

Gan fod nifer y lleoedd yn gyfyngedig, fe’ch cynghorir i gofrestru’n gynnar.

Edrychwn ymlaen at eich croesawu chi i gynhadledd Gorffennol Digidol 2014.
Tîm Gorffennol Digidol

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Amlwch Age Well Society, Pembrokeshire Shipwrecks and Ynyslas Rocket Range

Helen Rowe, Royal Commission People’s Collection Officer, conducting a talk to the Age Well Society, Amlwch.

Last week we were pleased to be invited to join Amlwch Age Well History Society as part of our People’s Collection Wales outreach. The society has taken part in many interesting projects in the past and has made a valuable contribution to recording the town’s heritage. Samantha Jones, Community Archaeologist for the Royal Commission, has been helping the Age Well group with the project in Amlwch (a town with a rich mining heritage and vast copper-works) through the umbrella project Metal Links. Helen Rowe, Peoples Collection Wales Officer, travelled to Amlwch to give a talk on the various ways the People’s Collection Wales website can be used to publicise, share and disseminate the fantastic research collated by thriving local history groups such as Amlwch.  Sarahjayne and I were able to shadow this talk, and it was really good to watch the members engaging with the website. It was a success all round, with the members showing a genuine interest and enthusiasm towards the site and uploading their material.

Kimberly Briscoe and Sarahjayne Clements checking phone signal at Granston Church, Pembrokeshire.
Boats at Porthgain, Pembrokeshire.

The rest of the week was just as busy: on Monday we furthered our work with the Royal Commission/Cadw Shipwrecks Project by attending a promising meeting with Pembrokeshire Archives, who seem keen to be involved in researching shipwrecks on the Pembrokeshire coast and are keen to be able to offer their facilities to the local Welsh Baccalaureate students. After such a successful meeting we then undertook a recce of the areas of significance to the Charles Holmes shipwreck along the Aberbach and Abermawr coast. This was in the hope of locating a strong-enough phone signal for the use of a potential augmented reality app, intended for interpretation for coastal walkers. Despite our efforts, phone signals seem limited in this area for such internet- based applications; however it was still good to spend the afternoon investigating the coastline and there are certainly a variety of ways that technology can be used to make interpretation accessible to the public, and we are keen to explore them!
Wartime Observation Post, Ynyslas Dunes, Ceredigion.
The infamous Rocket  Range Test Track Base, Ynyslas, Ceredigion.
On Thursday I took a trip to Ynyslas National Nature Reserve with Medwyn Parry, the Royal Commission’s military specialist, to learn more about the military use of the Rocket Range, in preparation for my forthcoming project there. It was great to see the varied uses and understand the complexity of military strategy at Ynyslas. In the afternoon Sarahjayne and I visited Ysbyty Cynfyn Church (a site linked closely with the Metal Links project) to improve our skills in graveyard recording.

Kimberly Briscoe and Sarahjayne Clements, Community Archaeologists, recording gravestones at the churchyard at Ysbyty Cynfyn.
Finally, to end a week of travelling the length and breadth of Wales, I was able to attend two conferences. On Friday we attended the IFA Community Archaeology Day School in Machynlleth. It was a positive experience to see the variety and scale of community archaeology projects across Wales, and I heard some ‘amateur’ community archaeologists presenting their work and some of their fantastic achievements. It certainly provided some great ideas and interesting viewpoints to consider for our forthcoming projects!

On Saturday I was then able to accompany Toby Driver and Keith Haylock as they disseminated their new research on Grogwynion Hillfort (along with the use of the pXRF gun in archaeological investigations) to the Hillfort Study Group at Oxford University.

By:  Kimberly Briscoe 

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Y Comisiwn Brenhinol Yn Ennill Gwobr O Fri Am Animeiddiad 3D O’r Diwydiant Copr

Mae’r Gymdeithas Archaeoleg Ddiwydiannol wedi dyfarnu gwobr i Gomisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru i gydnabod ei ddefnydd o ail-greu cyfrifiadurol ac animeiddio i egluro safleoedd archaeolegol diwydiannol cymhleth.

Cafodd yr animeiddiad o Waith Copr yr Hafod, a grëwyd ar y cyd â’r cwmni delweddu ThinkPlay o Geredigion, ei gynhyrchu fel rhan o brosiect a ariannwyd gan y Cyngor Ymchwil Economaidd a Chymdeithasol, Bydoedd Lleol a Byd-Eang Copr Cymru. Un o brif amcanion y prosiect oedd hybu dealltwriaeth o Waith Copr yr Hafod, y gwaith mwyndoddi copr mwyaf yn y byd pan oedd yn ei anterth, ond sydd wedi mynd i ddifancoll i raddau helaeth ers ei gau ym 1980. Un o nodweddion arbennig y safle hwn yw’r peiriant Musgrave a oedd yn darparu pŵer ar gyfer y melinau rholio. Dyma’r unig beiriant o’i fath sy’n parhau yn ei safle gwreiddiol. 
Y ddau beiriandy a’r peirianwaith rholio sydd wedi goroesi ar safle Gwaith Copr yr Hafod. Hawlfraint y Goron: CBHC
Gan ddefnyddio gwaith arolygu helaeth a wnaed gan y Comisiwn Brenhinol a’i arbenigedd mewnol, ynghyd â delweddau hanesyddol a ddarparwyd gan Archifdy Gorllewin Morgannwg ac Amgueddfa Abertawe, mae’r animeiddiad yn ail-greu manylion yr adeiladau, peiriannau a phrosesau ar y safle ac yn rhoi darlun realistig o’r diwydiant trwm yng Nghwm Tawe Isaf yn rhan olaf y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg a rhan gyntaf yr ugeinfed ganrif.
Lluniau llonydd o’r animeiddiad. Hawlfraint y Goron: CBHC
Yn ogystal â bod yn rhan allweddol o’r arddangosfa dros dro Bydoedd Lleol a Byd-Eang Copr Cymru yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau, mae’r animeiddiad wedi cael ei ddefnyddio ar y rhaglen deledu Time Team, ac mae’n rhan annatod o brofiad Cwch Cymunedol Abertawe. Mae wedi cael ei ddangos mewn nifer o wledydd, o Ffrainc i China, ac wedi ennill clod gan Gymdeithas Archaeoleg Ddiwydiannol America sydd wedi argymell y ffilm i’w haelodau. Mae’r animeiddiad bellach yn cael ei arddangos yn barhaol yn Amgueddfa’r Glannau.

Bu’r Comisiwn Brenhinol yn adnabyddus ers tro byd am ddefnyddio lluniadau rhandoredig ac adluniadau 2D mewn llyfrau arloesol megis Houses of the Welsh Countryside, ond yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf mae wedi arwain y ffordd wrth ddefnyddio technolegau digidol i ddehongli safleoedd cymhleth ar hyd a lled Cymru. Mae Gwobr Peter Neaverson yn cydnabod dylanwad gwaith y Comisiwn ar ddatblygu dehongli, lledaenu a diogelu ein treftadaeth a’n harchaeoleg ddiwydiannol. Gellir gweld enghreifftiau o holl animeiddiadau CBHC yn http://www.youtube.com/user/RCAHMWales/videos.

Cafodd yr animeiddiad o Waith Copr yr Hafod ei ariannu gan y Cyngor Ymchwil Economaidd a Chymdeithasol fel rhan o’r prosiect Bydoedd Lleol a Byd-Eang Copr Cymru, dan arweiniad Prifysgol Abertawe a phrosiect Atlanterra sy’n cael ei ariannu gan Ewrop.
Mae’r Wobr gyntaf am Arloesedd Digidol wedi cael ei dyfarnu i Gomisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru am ei animeiddiad o ddiwydiant copr Abertawe. Derbyniodd Stephen Hughes y Wobr gan Marilyn Palmer, Llywydd y Gymdeithas Archaeoleg Ddiwydiannol, yng Nghinio Cynhadledd y Gymdeithas ar fwrdd HMS Unicorn yn Dundee.

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Friday, 15 November 2013

Dathlu’r Nadolig gyda Phrydain Oddi Fry

Ydych chi erioed wedi meddwl beth sy’n digwydd y tu ôl i’r llenni ar brosiectau treftadaeth? Sut mae’r ffynonellau’n cael eu hel at ei gilydd a sut maen nhw’n cael eu prosesu i ddod yn brosiect y gall pawb gymryd rhan ynddo?

Wel dyma gyfle i chi gael gweld beth sy’n digwydd!

Mae’r Comisiwn Brenhinol yn cynnig cyfle i bobl ddarganfod mwy am y prosiect Prydain Oddi Fry, casgliad ar-lein o awyrluniau hanesyddol o Gymru, Yr Alban a Lloegr a dynnwyd rhwng 1919 a 1953, ac sydd bellach ar gael i bawb eu mwynhau a rhannu atgofion amdanynt.

Ar 20 Tachwedd, bydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol yn agor ei ddrysau fel y gall pobl ddarganfod beth mae’r Comisiwn yn ei wneud. Fe fydd sgyrsiau, taith drwy’r archif a chyfle i weld rhai o’r albymau Aerofilims o Gymru.

Bydd y prif ddigwyddiadau’n dechrau am 2:30pm ac yn mynd ymlaen tan 5pm. Yna bydd seibiant am de, wedi’i ddilyn gan sgwrs am 6pm gan Dr Toby Driver ar Light, Landscape and Lasers - Revealing the Heritage of Wales from the Air, a mins-peis a phwnsh twym wedyn.

Dylai fod yn brynhawn i’w gofio ond mae nifer cyfyngedig o leoedd, felly cadwch eich lle drwy ffonio 01970 621200 neu e-bostio Natasha.scullion@cbhc.gov.uk.

Gan Natasha Scullion

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Friday, 8 November 2013

Darlith Nadolig y Comisiwn Brenhinol: Light, Landscape and Lasers―Revealing the Heritage of Wales from the Air gan Dr Toby Driver

Dewch i swyddfeydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol ym Mhlas Crug, Aberystwyth ar nos Fercher, 20 Tachwedd, i fwynhau darlith Nadolig y Comisiwn Brenhinol o 5.30pm ymlaen. Am 6pm, bydd Dr Toby Driver yn darlithio ar Light, Landscape and Lasers: Revealing the Heritage of Wales from the Air. Bydd cyfle hefyd i bawb astudio trysorau o gasgliadau dihafal Cofnod Henebion Cenedlaethol Cymru o awyrluniau yn y Llyfrgell, sgwrsio â’r staff a mwynhau mins-peis a gwin twym tymhorol a wnaed yn lleol. Bydd Dr Driver ar gael i drafod ei waith a llofnodi ei gyhoeddiad diweddaraf Cymru Hanesyddol o'r Awyr / Historic Wales From the Air. Yn y llyfr hwn ceir cipolwg o’r awyr ar dirweddau a hanes Cymru drwy gyfrwng mwy na 220 o ddelweddau godidog yn dyddio o’r 1920au hyd heddiw, o waith cynharaf ffotograffwyr preifat a milwrol i’r darganfyddiadau diweddaraf gan archaeolegwyr. Fe’ch cynghorir i gysylltu â ni i gadw’ch lle ac estynnir croeso cynnes i bawb.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

News from our Community Archaeologists: Archive research, Surveying and ‘The Big Draw’

Kimberly and I have been really busy recently so I thought it was time to update you all on our activities.

Last Thursday we helped on the ‘The Big Draw’ event here at the Royal Commission organised by The People’s Collection Wales and Britain From Above projects. Primary school pupils were asked to draw what they thought Aberystwyth would look like in the future and used aerial photos taken in the 1930s, and more recently, to see changes to date. They drew using different materials, in the style of two artists whose collections are held in the National Monuments Record: Falcon Hildred and R.E. Kaye. Local Welsh Baccalaureate students helped to prepare the material and the finished work will soon be uploaded onto the Peoples Collection Wales. The children came up with some really fantastic ideas including a big waterslide into the sea, chocolate factories, a gigantic football pitch, theme parks, haunted houses and outdoor swimming pools. Many opted to keep the castle and graveyard!

We have visited the National Library of Wales to learn about archive and family history research, as well as the Ceredigion Record Office to see and obtain information on the variety of records they hold. These visits were essential to us as we start to plan our forthcoming projects in Borth and Ynyslas. In Borth, I am planning to carry out census research on gravestone information and undertake a community audit, town trail and selected site surveys.

Our training with Royal Commission staff continues and we have been learning how to carry out building surveys using the Reflectorless Total Station and TheoLT. We have also started learning Welsh which I am really enjoying. It has already been useful for basic conversations and will be crucial for outreach with communities as well as introductions at events.

Sarahjayne and Kimberly learning how to use a Total Station.

I have also had the valuable opportunity to work shadow a colleague at the Ceredigion Museum who is working with Welsh Baccalaureate students setting up an exhibition on entertainment, what they do now and what people have done in the past. This will be fantastic to see when it is finished and something that Kimberly and I will be continuing to help with.

By Sarahjayne Clements.

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