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The Twentieth Century Military Sites of Wales Project Jonathan Berry Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments Cadw 01443 336 073

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Presentation on theme: "The Twentieth Century Military Sites of Wales Project Jonathan Berry Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments Cadw 01443 336 073"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Twentieth Century Military Sites of Wales Project Jonathan Berry Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments Cadw

2 Introduction Briefly explain the character of C20 military activity in Wales – dispel a few myths! Describe the key developments in the study of this subject in Wales Provide an overview of Cadw’s activities

3 1: The Military in Wales A soldier from 7th Battalion, The Warwickshire Regiment (TA) asleep in a camp in South Wales. (© Getty Archive)

4 The Military in Wales: training WW2 tank range impact area, Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire (© RCAHMW) WW1 practice trenches at Bodelwyddan Park, Denbighshire (© RCAHMW)

5 The Military in Wales: matériel Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring, 1943, Dame Laura Knight (© Imperial War Museum) Asphalt runway and E1 Paste Mixing and Sheeting House, Royal Naval Propellant Factory, Caerwent, Monmouthshire (© Cadw )

6 The Military in Wales: R&D Nant-y-Gro dam, Powys (© Cadw) Ministry of Supply Valley Site, Mold Flintshire (© RCAHMW)

7 The Military in Wales: R&D Cold War Sea Slug test-firing, Aberporth, Ceredigion (© RJC Thomas) WW2 ZAA emplacement (© Imperial War Museum)

8 Military in Wales: Frontline Blitz damage February 1941, College Street, Swansea (© WGAS)

9 Military in Wales: Frontline Heavy anti-aircraft gun emplacement, Mumbles Hill, Swansea (© Cadw)

10 Military in Wales: Frontline 3.7-inch Heavy anti-aircraft gun memorial, Swansea (© Cadw)

11 Military in Wales: Frontline Former Royal Naval Dockyard / RAF flying boat base, Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire (© RCAHMW)

12 Military in Wales: Frontline Coastal crust defences, Fairbourne, Gwynedd (© RCAHMW)

13 Military in Wales: Frontline WW2 defensive loopholed wall, former RAF Bodorgan, Anglesey (© Cadw)

14 2: Research

15 Research Amateur interest from 1972 Increasing professional archaeological interest from late 1980s Cadw and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority study, 1994

16 Research Defence of Britain project Neil Redfern’s 1998 documentary-based study Equivalent of Dobinson’s reports Narrower Shallower

17 Research Established Twentieth Century Military Sites Working Group Designation actions Conservation work Outreach activities

18 3: Cadw’s activities

19 Responses to preservation

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22 Outreach Written to: Raise awareness and inform Support designation work Aimed at: Owners & occupiers Landowners General public

23 Outreach Introduces the range of military sites in Wales Describes the factors affecting their survival Explains simple conservation actions Statement of policy and best practice

24 Our military heritage is important Defence is a re-occurring theme in Welsh history = continuity Dramatic effect of warfare on landscape –Changing defensive strategies –Impact of new technologies Some relate to crucial historic episodes All tell story of profound changes in warfare & impact on Welsh communities

25 Cultural value Remains possess key cultural significance: –Social history, including women’s history Women’s Land Army / Women’s Timber Corps Royal Ordnance Factories –Impact on art and literature: War artists Welsh war poets –Remembrance and commemoration –Protest / archaeology of opposition –Educational potential

26 Threats Many defence works were cleared during and after the Second World War Many structures were only intended as temporary emergency works designed to last the duration Regrettably, first hand accounts are fading as memory becomes history There is a highly fragmentary rate of site survival, that is under threat from...

27 Threats Climate change & our responses to it Forestry / agricultural regimes Neglect & vandalism - graffiti, fly-tipping Lack of maintenance Structural problems - spalling, collapse Insensitive development and tourism Lack of understanding / ignorance Beautifying eyesores Treasure hunting / uncontrolled recovery

28 Threats Ruinous temporary hutting, RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire (© Cadw)

29 Threats Former Cold War LOPGAP (Liquid Oxygen / Petrol Guided Anti-aircraft Projectile) camp, Borth, Ceredigion (© RCAHMW)

30 Threats Remains of Common- y-coed heavy anti- aircraft battery, St Bride’s Netherwent, Monmouthshire (© Cadw)

31 Research and recording Increasingly common from 1990s onwards: Complex sites - archives, fieldwork and aerial photographs Defence of Britain project Data on RCAHMW’s NMRW and the Welsh Archaeological Trusts’ HERs Twentieth Century Military Sites Working Group - ongoing

32 Research and recording Contemporary artwork, Dale, Pembrokeshire (© RCAHMW) RAF / RNAS Dale, Pembrokeshire (© RCAHMW)

33 Protection A number of ways to protect these sites: Cadw’s review of defence heritage and statutory protection for the best examples Advice through planning guidance Local authority Conservation Areas WAG’s agri-environmental schemes Inform owners / occupiers of historic significance and educational potential

34 Protection Variant design pillbox, Nant Francon, Gwynedd (© Cadw) WW1 firing range targets, near Dolgellau, Gwynedd (© RCAHMW)

35 Conservation Groups have started to conserve these important remains for enjoyment, education and community involvement: Lavernock Point Battery, Glamorgan Carew Cheriton Control Tower, Pembs Mumbles Hill HAA Battery, Swansea Holyhead Maritime Museum, Anglesey Rhydymwyn Visitor Centre, Flint

36 Conservation Air Cadets clearing undergrowth from a Bofors 40mm light anti-aircraft gun position, Lavernock Point, Vale of Glamorgan (© Cadw)

37 Conservation 6 conservation principles Principles will inform Cadw’s approach to management of historic environment Policies & Guidance to guide Cadw in applying Principles 30 th October 2009

38 Summary Our understanding of these important sites has grown enormously and will continue to do so Wales has a great variety of sites Wales was not a backwater – much is of national or international importance These sites are vulnerable and at risk The best examples will receive statutory protection, but further research is needed

39 The Twentieth Century Military Sites of Wales Project Jonathan Berry Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments Cadw


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