Travelling Exhibition – Britain from Above: Wales

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Britain from Above: Wales is the Royal Commission’s travelling exhibition of the oldest and most intriguing of Aerofilms’ historical photographs of Wales.

  • Picture of a view of Caernarfon showing the castle, port and town, c.1934. The street plan of the medieval borough is clearly defined. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

    A view of Caernarfon showing the castle, port and town, c.1934. The street plan of the medieval borough is clearly defined. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

  • Harlech Castle is a spectacular structure set on a rocky crag overlooking the sea. It was one of a series of castles established in north Wales by Edward I in 1282. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

    Harlech Castle is a spectacular structure set on a rocky crag overlooking the sea. It was one of a series of castles established in north Wales by Edward I in 1282. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

  • A view of the romantic towers of Castell Coch, designed by William Burges c.1875 and often described as a ‘fairy-tale’ castle (1947). © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

    A view of the romantic towers of Castell Coch, designed by William Burges c.1875 and often described as a ‘fairy-tale’ castle (1947). © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

  • An unusual and dramatic close-up view of Conwy Castle during a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) as part of his north Wales tour of 1923. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

    An unusual and dramatic close-up view of Conwy Castle during a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) as part of his north Wales tour of 1923. © Crown Copyright RCAHMW. Aerofilms Collection

The Aerofilms Collection is a unique archive of one million aerial photographs dating from 1919 to 2006. The collection was acquired for the nation in 2007 by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

With photographs drawn from across Wales, this exhibition of unfamiliar images of familiar places will encourage audiences to explore the meaning and impact of change, place and memory.  The exhibition includes images of iconic castles, emerging Welsh cities and bustling towns, national events and famous sporting venues. The images of the World Heritage castle sites at Conwy and Harlech, now in Cadw’s guardianship, are of special interest.

Unique occasions captured in Wales by Aerofilms include: the ceremony at the recently erected Cenotaph war memorial in Llandudno during the visit of the Prince of Wales in November 1923; the mooring of a First World War battleship at Giant’s Grave, Briton Ferry, in May 1921; and the eerie stillness of Gresford Colliery, one month after the mining disaster of 22 September 1934, when a major explosion and subsequent fire killed 266 miners.

In addition, the exhibition includes a number of images of historical events drawn from England and Scotland including: the 1935 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium; the flooding at Jaywick Sands, Essex, in February 1953 ─ a sobering reminder of the great storm of 1953; and the Queen Mary in John Brown’s Shipyard, Clydebank, the flagship of the Cunard White Star Line, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California.

To be held at:
• Castell Coch, October – December 2015
• Tretower  Court  and Castle, January – March 2016
• Plas Mawr, April – June 2016
• Caernarfon, July – September 2016
• Harlech, October – December 2016

For further information and images, please contact the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.