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A new online resource that has already recorded nearly 350,000 historic place names in Wales and will capture their historical importance for generations to come.

First published:
8 May 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The List of Historic Place Names of Wales aims to promote Wales’ rich legacy of place names through the ages and encourage their modern day use. The statutory list is the first of its kind in the UK and is being launched by the Economy Secretary at an event in Yr Hen Lyfrgell in Cardiff.

The online list pulls together place names gathered from a variety of historical sources. It provides fascinating insights into the land use, archaeology and history of Wales and reflects how place names have evolved over centuries of Welsh life.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:

“Wales’ historic place names are an important part of our history and culture, which is why the Welsh Government included the requirement for a statutory list in its Historic Environment (Wales) Act.

“It is just one of a series of historic firsts that the act has introduced for Wales and it is important to stress that the list we are launching today, with already nearly 350,000 entries, is just the beginning.

“With ongoing support from the Welsh Government, the list will continue to expand to record the rich legacy of our nation’s historic place names. It will help to emphasise their value to our heritage and encourage individuals and public bodies to keep these precious names alive.”

Dr Eurwyn Wiliam, Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, who have compiled the list on behalf of the Welsh Government said:

“We are delighted to be launching this ground-breaking website today. The enormous value of historic place names is that they can record the sometimes forgotten people, practices, monuments or events of the past, fixing them at a point in the landscape.

“The study of these names reveals the legacies of past environments, battles, invasions, industrial and agricultural revolutions. They are a hugely important element of the historic environment of Wales and we hope that many people will enjoy using this new website to learn more about, and recognise the value of, the historic place names of Wales.”

The List of Historic Place Names of Wales is available at (external link)