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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Researching your House History

Cilgant Maesderwen, Pontypool (2010).
DS2010_286_001 NPRN 410898

House History

The National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) holds a wealth of information relating to domestic properties, which can help provide historical and contemporary context to the history of your house. Our collections encompass reports, surveys, maps, drawings, photographs, and aerial photographs, relating to all aspects of the built environment. We are also home to a specialist library, with many varied publications relating to the history of buildings across Wales.

If your house was formerly a chapel, a school, a pub, a mill, a lighthouse, or a commercial or industrial property, we may well have material relating to it in our collections.

Back Row, Onllyn: two-storey workers cottages, now demolished.
DI2008_1332 NPRN 407800


  • Drawings, architectural plans, site surveys and highquality reconstruction drawings are an excellent resource for architectural detail.
  • Images (photographs and postcards) can provide a wealth of background, contextual, and sometimes distinctly individual, information on the history of your property. Our collections hold both interior and exterior photographs showing how these properties have changed over the decades.
  • Use our large collection of Ordnance Survey maps to locate buildings, ascertain land and fi eld boundaries and see how these may have altered over time.
  • The collections of Estate Plans and Sales Particulars can provide fascinating building descriptions and information on associated land holdings and usage.
  • Aerial photographs can be used to locate your property within its wider context. We hold large collections of aerial photographs, ranging in date from 1918 to the present day. Check to see if your house is covered.

Plan and elevation of Acorn Cottage, The Close, Llanfairfechan.
DI2010_1096 NPRN 96649

The NMRW also holds descriptive accounts of individual
properties, including:
  • Survey reports
  • Historical accounts
  • Newspaper cuttings
  • Notes
  • Watching briefs
  • Cadw Listed Buildings
Our small but extensive collection of specialist library books, journals, and pamphlets can also help to provide contextual and specifi c architectural, historical, economic and social details. The historic county inventories published by RCAHMW can be a useful starting point. Other, more specifi c publications include those on farmhouses, cottages, chapels, mills, and industrial properties.

Landscape view of Sawmill Cottage, Garthmyl Canal Settlement, Berriew.
DI2006_1042 NPRN 400741


Use COFLEIN, our online database, to search for sites of interest, check our catalogued collections, and view images from across Wales –

Visit our library and search room to view books and original archive material from the NMRW. We are open Monday – Friday 09.30 – 16.00, Wednesday 10.30 – 16.30.
An appointment is advisable.

View of sixteenth century roof timbers at Cefn-caer, Pennal.
DI2006_0988 NPRN 28277

For further information, please contact our friendly and professional staff at:
NMRW Library and Enquiries Service
Crown Building, Plas Crug, Aberystwyth
Ceredigion, SY23 1NJ

Telephone: +44 (0)1970 621200

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