Tuesday, 30 September 2008


Please see previous post referring to my enquiries regards prior marking of Glyndŵr Battle Sites on older O.S. Maps but then their disappearance from new maps. Following correspondence to and from O.S. I finally wrote to the RCAHMW and eventually received the following reply:

Dear Ms Ifan

Thank you for your recent enquiry. I forwarded it to Brian Malaws, who deals with battlefields, and he has responded in the following way:

From: Brian Malaws
Sent: 22 September 2008 12:23
To: Penny.Icke@rcahmw.gov.uk
Subject: Battlesites enquiry

In response to Sian Ifan’s queries to OS (below):

Could you please inform me as to how many Welsh Battlefields are:

1: Marked on your maps at present.

2: How many were marked on your older maps but no longer, and why not?

3: Are you likely to mark further Welsh Battle sites on your maps in the near future and, if so, which?

I would appreciate any information you can provide me, including relevant maps on which above are or, were marked and if such are still available to purchase.


I recieved the following reply:

"I can supply the following info:1. Depends on the scale of map. As far as I am aware, at the present time there are two shown on the large-scale digital mapping, MasterMap (Battle in S.Brecs. and St Fagans), two on the 1:50,000 Landranger maps (Pilleth and St Fagans) and two on the 1:250,000 maps (Pilleth and St Fagans).

2. Again it depends on the scale of mapping. I have counted battle sites marked on the 1:2500 County Series maps (i.e. 25in to the mile, pre-National Grid, dating from approximately the 1880s to the 1930s) and so far have found 26 battle sites depicted. Why they are no longer shown on modern mapping is a decision made by the Ordnance Survey before the Royal Commissions assumed responsibility for heritage depictions on OS mapping in 1984.

3. RCAHMW has made a study of battles and their sites in Wales, primarily for OS mapping purposes, over the last few years and, confirmed by peer consultation, has identified 12 as being suitable for mapping; instructions for depicting these have been sent to OS. They are Mynydd Carn (1081), Crug Mawr (1136), Maes Gwenllian (1136), Coleshill (1157), Painscastle (1198), Pilleth (1402), Campston Hill (1404), Craig-y-dorth (1404), Grosmont (1405), Pwll Melyn (1405), Twthill (1461) and St Fagans (1648). Although RCAHMW can recommend historic sites for depiction on mapping, OS as publishers retain final editorial control, often influenced by reasons of available space.

Regarding maps upon which battle sites were marked, many of these are no longer for sale as paper copies but can be consulted where available at various libraries and county record offices or electronically at the RCAHMW library, where it should be possible to purchase printouts of limited size. Purchase of modern maps, either digital or paper copies, is a matter for Ordnance Survey.

All the battle sites that RCAHMW has identified have been entered into the NMRW sites database, which is available for public consultation at www.coflein.gov.uk ."

Brian Malaws
Pennaeth Mapio Archaeolegol / Head of Archaeological Mapping
Cangen Rheoli Gwybodaeth / Information Management Branch

* Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru / Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Plas Crug
Ceredigion SY23 1NJ

( 01970 621216
2 01970 627701
8 brian.malaws@cbhc.gov.uk / brian.malaws@rcahmw.gov.uk
: www.cbhc.gov.uk / www.rcahmw.gov.uk

"I hope this answers your questions. If we can be of any further assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us".

Yours sincerely

Penny Icke
Cangen Cyhoeddiadau ac Estyn-Allan
Publications and Outreach Branch

Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Plas Crug
Ceredigion SY23 1NJ
Ffôn - Telephone: +44 (0)1970 621210
Ffacs - Fax: +44 (0)1970 627701
Gwefan - Website: http://www.rcahmw.gov.uk

Noddir gan Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru
Sponsored by Welsh Assembly Government

So, there you are, as for what you do about it? 26 Battle sites have disappeared off the O.S. Maps but 12 have been refound, so that leaves at least 14 still missing - but really, we know there are a lot more than 14 worth recording on O.S. Maps - such as the Battle of Bryn Derwin 1255 and the Battle of Coed Llathen 1257 for starters.

I suggest you first visit I'R GAD Welsh Battlefield Campaign blog at http://brwydr.blogspot.com and also view blog Ymgyrch Treftadaeth Cymru at http://ymgyrchtreftadaeth.blogspot.com which also gives some attention to this matter.

The above is a pressing big issue that, to date, has been much ignored by the ''powers that be'' (WAG, CADW, National Trust, National Parks) and the RCAHMW now needs to continue what they have at last started, and all of the other aforementioned bodies should be concerned with such as our Medieval Military History and Heritage in the landscape.