Wales

Register to protect Welsh historical place names launched

Plas Glynllifon, Llandwrog, Caernarfon
Image caption Plas Glynllifon was offered for sale under the name Wynnborn mansion

A new register recording historical Welsh place names to protect them for future generations has been launched.

About 350,000 names are already recorded on the online tool, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

The register will provide insights into land use, the archaeology and history of Wales and reflects how place names have evolved.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said the statutory list would help "keep these precious names alive".

It was introduced as a requirement as part of the Welsh Government's Historic Environment (Wales) Act.

The act gives ministers powers to make owners who damage monuments undertake repairs.

'Hugely important'

Dr Eurwyn Wiliam, chairman of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, compiled the list on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: "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."

In March, a bid in the assembly to protect Welsh historical place names in planning law failed after AMs voted against it.

The proposal had followed a series of rows over changes to names over the years, including a dispute where the Grade I-listed Plas Glynllifon near Caernarfon was referred to as Wynnborn mansion in online marketing material.

Plaid Cymru AM Dai Lloyd, who wanted to introduce the bill, said the list would be "ineffective" as there would be no legal requirement for the names to be protected.

He said: "As a result, if individuals want to change historical place names in Wales, they can do it - this production of this list does not prevent them."

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