Historic battlefields in Wales
Historic battles were often iconic events and frequently invoke strong emotions and passions today. The reputations of political and military leaders were often based on success on the battlefield. The locations where battles took place can be significant historic assets. They often retain topographical and archaeological evidence, including war graves, which can increase our understanding of these momentous events.
Public consultation demonstrated strong public support for the recognition of the importance of these pivotal episodes through the creation of a comprehensive record of historic battlefields in Wales. Cadw therefore asked the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales to create the inventory of historic battlefields in Wales.
During the preparation of the inventory, extensive documentary research was undertaken along with the field survey of a limited number of sites traditionally associated with significant engagements. As a result, the inventory adopted the following definition of a battlefield:
An area or location, terrestrial or marine, where a conflict occurred, involving military forces. All aspects of Wales’s past should be considered for the identification of historic battlefield sites, which may include traditional battles, sieges, invasions, skirmishes, ambushes, massacres and sites of civil unrest.
Over 700 battlefields have been identified, ranging from battles of the Roman period to outbreaks of civil unrest in the nineteenth century. The inventory will be amended and added to as and when new information becomes available.
Aimed at a wide-ranging audience, including decision makers, interest groups and individual researchers, the inventory is an interpretative, educational and research resource that will increase knowledge, raise awareness and prompt further research on battlefields and other historic conflict sites in Wales.