The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is a Royal Warrant body established in 1908 and currently a Welsh Government Sponsored Body in the portfolio of the Minister for Heritage. It is directed under its Royal Warrant ‘to provide for the survey and recording of ancient and historical monuments and constructions from the earliest times (including the ancient and historical monuments in, on or under the sea bed within the United Kingdom territorial sea adjacent to Wales) by compiling, maintaining and curating the National Monuments Record of Wales as the basic national record of the archaeological and historical environment’.
The Royal Commission is the investigation body and national archive for the historic environment of Wales. It has the lead role in ensuring that Wales’s archaeological, built and maritime heritage is authoritatively recorded, and seeks to promote the understanding and appreciation of this heritage nationally and internationally.
The role of the Royal Commission
The Royal Commission’s original and continuing core functions are to investigate, understand, interpret and disseminate authoritative information about the historic environment, and to care for and maintain its own and others’ records. The resulting archive, the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW), holds over 1.5 million photographic images (the largest photographic archive in Wales), 70,000 drawings and over 50,000 current and historic maps, as well as over 3 million pages of text. This archive is a ‘place of deposit’ under the Public Records Act 1958 and open to the public. Coflein, its online information service, provides access to the collections, catalogues and a national index of sites. The Royal Commission is recognised in the UK and inter-nationally as the official body of investigation and record for the historic environment of Wales, and it provides a link to other related bodies in the UK and beyond.
Read in full: Strategic Statement 2011-12
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