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Explains and holds information about the built heritage of Wales.
This document outlines the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure’s vision for Culture in Wales.
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Cadw is our historic environment service.

We want to make the historic environment accessible to all. Cadw does this by:

  • conserving and protecting the historic environment;
  • promoting public access, appreciation and enjoyment of the historic environment;
  • promoting distinctive regeneration and sustainable development through heritage.
We work to achieve these goals by:
  • identifying places of special historic significance;
  • advising planning authorities as part of the planning process;
  • advising other public bodies on environmental assessments;
  • providing advice and guidance on good conservation practice to property owners and occupiers;
  • giving grants for conservation, maintenance and repair of historic buildings and scheduled ancient monuments.

Enjoying the historic environment

Cadw manages 129 historic monuments. In 2017, it welcomed 1.3 million visitors to its 30 staffed monuments, which include Tintern Abbey and Harlech Castle. Around 2.7 million people visited its 99 unstaffed sites spread across Wales.

World Heritage Sites

Our World Heritage Sites have been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as international sites of outstanding universal value. UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to encourage countries to ensure the protection of their own natural and cultural heritage.

Wales currently has 3 World Heritage Sites:

  • Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd at Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech in north-west Wales; 
  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape in south-east Wales; and 
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal in north-east Wales.

The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd World Heritage Site is in the custodianship of Cadw. A new comprehensive plan for the management of the site for the benefit of future generations has now been published. Further information is available from the Cadw website (external link).


To protect and promote the Welsh historic environment, Cadw works with a range of organisations and networks. From large national institutions to modest local groups, everyone has a part to play in the heritage of Wales.

Archaeological trusts

The 4 Welsh archaeological trusts were founded over forty years ago to provide archaeological advice for all of Wales.

Historic Environment Group

The Welsh ministers established this group in 2004. It takes a strategic overview of issues and opportunities in the historic environment and promote a common approach to addressing them.

Built Heritage Forum

Cadw works closely with Welsh local authorities especially on planning matters. The Built Heritage Forum provides a network for Wales's 25 planning authorities (22 councils and 3 national park authorities) and other sector partners.

More information

More information can be found on the Cadw website.

Visit: Cadw website (external link)