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Monday, 16 August 2010

Wales from the Air - Patterns of Past and Present

Wales from the Air
Patterns of Past and Present
In its first century, the Royal Commission has produced more than 55 major publications. These have already made an enormous contribution to the understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales, and many more books are in the pipeline. All of the publications are available in public and institutional libraries throughout Wales as well as in the Commission’s library and archive search room in Aberystwyth. Books still available for sale are listed in the Bookshop.  

Wales from the Air - Patterns of Past and Present
By Chris Musson
Published 1994 - Out of print

Review of Contents

This is the Royal Commission's first published essay in air photography and aerial archaeology. It is unlikely to be the last. An aerial study of the country's industrial heritage is one of several already under consideration. as the size and scope of the Welsh air photo collection grows, and fresh insights are drawn from 'vertical' photographs taken for survey and mapping purposes, new themes will no doubt suggest themselves for presentation. For the moment, the aim is to offer a representative sample from the national and regional archives of 'oblique' air photography - views taken with the deliberate purpose of recording the traces of farmer, craftsmen, trader and industrial worker in the rural and urban landscape of Wales.
    To an extent, too, the book tells the story of Wales from the earliest farming communities to the Industrial Revolution and beyond. Each regional section, emphasising the topographical and cultural diversity which create the distinctive character of Wales, is set out in broadly chronological order. The 'aerial tour' which makes up most of the book is preceded by a fascinating introduction to the techniques, practice and the first achievements of aerial exploration in Wales.
    If the words and pictures convince readers that the aerial perspective has a crucial role to play, along with ground-based techniques, in the understanding of Wales in history and prehistory, it will have met its first objective. If it whets the reader's appetite for future publications, and for further work in air photography and air photo analysis, it will properly reflect the Royal Commission's aim of involving the people of Wales in the exploration, recording and interpretation of the patterns of the past so spectacularly preserved in the landscape and townscape of the oresent day.

  • Map of Wales
  • Page numbers for illustrations
  • Preface
  • Air photography and aerial archaeology
'Vertical' and 'oblique' air photography... Flying for air photography... National and regional air photography... How air photography works... Continuing the search... Putting the photographs to work... The impact of air photography... The aerial personality of Wales... Flights into the future

  • South East Wales
Before the Romans... The shape of Roman rule... Castles in the history of Wales... Villages, house and garden... Monastic life... Birth and death of an industry... Patternsof industry... Swansea: a city remakes itself

  • South West Wales
Pembrokeshire in prehistory... Skomer: an island landscape... The edge of Roman rule... From hermit's cell to bishop's palace... Castles and historic towns... Lost gardens rediscovered... Coastal defences at Milford Haven... Aberystwyth and the mining of lead... A contrast in resorts

  • North West Wales
Early ritual on the North Wales coast... Hillforts, hutgroups, wandering walls... Roman forts and native homesteads... The castles of North West Wales... Slate quarries, Copper mines and brickworks

  • North East Wales
From Ice Age to the use of bronze... Open and enclosed settlements... What discovery? Whose discovery?... A hillfort and its neighbour... Dark Age graves... Castles of the Welsh and English... Castle into house and garden... Lowland and wetland... Moated homesteads... Industry and mineral extraction... The Brenig archaeological trail

  • Central Wales and the Borderland
Ritual and burial on the Borderland... The Iron age on the Borderland... Camps, forts and roads of the Roman army... 'All the way from sea to sea'... 'The palace in the lake'... Castles of earth and timber... Powis Castle: from timber castle to stately home... Vanishing traces of rural life... Leighton Hall and its model farm

  • Acknowledgements, equipment and sources of photographs
  • Index to illustrated sites
  • Further reading
  • Royal Commission publications

Related Publication Links:
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