Many of Cadw's sites are in ruins — but that does not mean they are not cared for!
We look after some of the most significant sites in the world and we aim to conserve them to the highest standard. There is a rolling programme of conservation work to preserve the monuments for future generations to enjoy. It may be carried out by Cadwraeth Cymru, Cadw’s in-house team of skilled craftspeople or through selected contractors who specialise in historic monument conservation. All work is supervised by Cadw's in-house technical and professional staff to ensure alignment with Cadw’s own Conservation Principles.
Cadwraeth Cymru is responsible for carrying out first-time and specialist conservation works to the 127 monuments in Cadw’s care. The task is perpetual, but nonetheless extremely rewarding; evidenced through the social and economic benefits such monuments play in local communities. Some buildings are in need of maintenance. Others have fallen into disrepair because they were no longer needed, and the useful timber and stone was taken away and re-used. In the case of castles, many were deliberately damaged after the Civil War so they could not be used to challenge the new government.
At the end of the eighteenth century it was fashionable to visit 'romantic ruins'. Ivy-covered walls and a wild setting were admired. This is when some of Cadw's monuments became visitor attractions instead of industrial sites.
Conserving ruins is a specialised task. Walls were not designed to be free-standing; without a roof to protect them they are damaged by the weather. Many stone walls would have been rendered outside as well as inside when the building was in use, but the render has fallen away leaving only traces. A lot of effort goes into replacing weathered dressed stonework, replicating the original design and using as close a match of stone as is possible, often from the same historic quarry location.
In this section of the website you can find out about current and recent projects at Cadw sites round Wales.