Wales' Rich and Diverse Heritage
The heritage of Wales should be accessible to everyone – and reflect the different people and cultures who call our country home.
Cadw is part of the Welsh government, charged with safeguarding the country’s historic environment. It’s a varied landscape, stretching from prehistoric monuments to the remains of 20th-century industry.
Our heritage comes in all shapes and sizes, from fantastical fortresses to more commonplace locations that form part of the everyday environment that surrounds us. It encapsulates everything from major landmarks that are open to the public, to private houses and hidden earthworks strewn across farmers’ fields.
As well as maintaining and interpreting our own sites, and keeping them open for people to enjoy, we also give advice and support to owners and managers of sites. We can sometimes provide grant-aid too, as well as publishing guidance for all those involved in making decisions affecting historic places.
Big or small, each place that Cadw protects is part of a national story told over centuries. The other part of this story are the people of Wales, a diverse array of individuals whose lives have shaped the country’s past and present. We aim to make our heritage available for everybody to experience and enjoy. We’ve put together this section of our website to tell some of our history’s lesser-known stories and provide fresh perspectives on our past.
Recently, the Welsh Government’s Race Equality Action Plan has highlighted the importance of finding new ways to tell the stories of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic cultures, heritage and histories. Coupled with that, there is an increased understanding that there needs to be better representation of the history of LGBTQ+ communities and other marginalised groups, and a more balanced presentation of women’s history.
Explore this section of our website and you’ll discover some of the hidden stories in the history of Wales. Some stories will come from historical research and record, others will be told by the diverse people of Wales from various perspectives of their lived experiences. We’d like you to share your thoughts about the heritage that matters to you and the things that help you see yourself as part of Wales’ rich history.
The way we perceive our past is not set in stone. Societies and attitudes change, giving us opportunities to tell more complete and inclusive stories. To do this, we have to realise that history is complex and that the people and events that drive it are not necessarily all bad or all good.
We shouldn’t be afraid to recognise the negative aspects of our heritage, just as we should be proud to celebrate and commemorate every person who has made positive contributions to it. With your help this website will overcome barriers and make our heritage accessible and meaningful to all the people of Wales (and beyond). You can be part of this journey.