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Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

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Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.
Person using surveying equipment
The Royal Commission investigates the historic environment of Wales and keeps the national archive.

The Royal Commission was established in 1908 and is based in Aberystwyth. It is an Assembly Government Sponsored Body and recieves funding through Cadw.

Its staff ensures that Wales’s rich archaeological, built and maritime heritage is authoritatively recorded and properly understood.

It takes responsibility for the care and development of the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) and provides online access to the record through a dedicated website, Coflein (external link).  

The Commission promotes understanding and appreciation of the historic environment nationally and internationally. Its outreach activities include:

  • publishing books and leaflets
  • The Royal Commission website 
  • a free library and enquiry service
  • learning services
  • lectures and training days
  • Community outreach.

Members of the public are able to consult the archive material, including drawings, maps, plans, photographs and aerial photographs, research reports and written accounts, stored in the search room and library. It is advisable to make an appointment first. You can contact the NMRW Library and Enquiries Service on 01970 621200 or by email:

The future delivery of historic environment services at a National Level

Information on the future of functions delivered by Cadw and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, following a consideration of options and decision by the Minister for Sport and Culture in January 2014, can be accessed here.

More information

More information is available on the Royal Commission website (external site).