Architectural secrets of Cardiff Castle amongst collections being protected in Wales
Four Welsh cultural organisations are to be funded through a partnership between the Welsh Government and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust (NMCT).
The NMCT is the only UK grant-giver that focuses solely on the care and conservation of manuscripts in the UK.
A collection of c.2,000 drawings and paintings compiled by William Burges, the respected architect and designer, that relate to his redevelopment of Cardiff Castle from 1868 until his death in 1881. The collection is held at Glamorgan Archives and conservation of the collection will ensure informed and sympathetic restoration of the Castle itself in years to come; safeguarding one of the Capital’s most iconic landmarks
Other funded projects include:
Firing Line Museum - The King’s Dragoon Guards Recruiting Instructions of 1787 explains the process of joining the senior Dragoon Guards regiment and includes instruction on matters such as pay and purchases, health and medicine, religion, inter-regimental relations and the civilian situation of recruits. Conservation will ensure this rare piece of military history is preserved.
Gwent Archives – This collection of Risca North Colliery Pre-Shift Inspection Reports (1920s to 1960s) cover a time of great change and activity in the industry, from strikes and economic difficulties of the 1920s, through the second world war and nationalisation in 1947. This work will ensure a catalogue for the collections will be available online for researchers for the first time.
Swansea Museum - Pioneering business women, Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Dillwyn experimented with designs and ceramic body types at the famous Cambrian Pottery (circa 1836), her sketches are to be conserved and put on display alongside the finished pieces within the museum’s collection.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, & Chief Whip, Dawn Bowden said:
“This partnership, established in 2008 with Welsh Government support, continues to widen access to collections of national significance in Wales. This year’s projects will ensure greater access to Wales industrial and regimental past and ensure a greater understanding of the history of one of our Capital’s most iconic buildings, Cardiff Castle, for years to come. I am grateful to the NMCT Trustees for their continued support in preserving our rich archival heritage.”
Prof David McKitterick, NMCT Chairman, said: “Once again the NMCT was delighted to collaborate with Welsh Government to support the care and conservation of a range of material, including William Burges’s astonishing drawings for Cardiff Castle, designs for celebrated ceramics, an unusual glimpse of eighteenth-century army life and important records of the coal industry. These will now be available for public enjoyment and understanding of key parts of Wales’s history over many years to come.”
Notes to editors
The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust (NMCT) (www.nmct.co.uk) offers grants for the conservation and preservation of manuscripts and archives across the UK. Since the NMCT was founded in 1990 it has awarded grants of over £3m, which have enabled the conservation of hundreds of historical, literary, musical, architectural and other nationally significant documents. NMCT’s grants ensure that these important collections can once more be made accessible to the public and researchers.
Additional information on funded projects:
Glamorgan Archives - Preserving the Cardiff Castle collection, Phase 1
The Cardiff Castle collection is a recent deposit at Glamorgan Archives and forms an important and hugely significant set of material that will be of interest to academics and the general public worldwide.
The collection comprises c.2,000 drawings and paintings compiled by William Burges, the respected architect and designer, and relate to his redevelopment of Cardiff Castle from 1868 until his death in 1881.
“Glamorgan Archives is delighted to be awarded funding towards the conservation of the William Burges drawings. This is a hugely significant yet hitherto hidden collection that will be made available for the first time following the work of this project.” Laura Cotton, Glamorgan Archivist
In addition to making the collection accessible for the public, conservation of the collection will ensure informed and sympathetic restoration of the Castle itself in years to come; safeguarding one of the Capital’s most iconic landmarks.
Contact: Laura Cotton, Glamorgan Archivist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 029 2087 2202
Firing Line Museum - 1787 King’s Dragoon Guards Recruiting Instructions
This manuscript dates from 1787 and is a valuable piece of the British Army’s military and social history. It explains the process of joining the senior Dragoon Guards regiment and includes instruction on matters such as pay and purchases, health and medicine, religion, inter-regimental relations and the civilian situation of recruits.
Recruitment documents are extremely rare to find and eighteenth-century documents even more so. There are no other recruiting instructions from this regiment known to the Museum. This project will give insight into regimental dynamics, concerns, and priorities of the late eighteenth-century cavalry (a relative dark-period for this regiment’s surviving history).
"Remembering regimental heritage and traditions is extremely important to us - thanks to this grant, we are able to conserve one of the oldest and most significant manuscripts in the Queen's Dragoon Guards Heritage Trust Collection." Jonathan Beatson-Hird, Chairman of Firing Line Museum of The Queen's Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh.
Contact: Hannah Searle, Assistant Curator, email@example.com, 07934 189583.
Gwent Archives - Black Gold: Conserving the Risca North Colliery Collection
The greater part of the collection consists of Pre-Shift Inspection Reports (1920s to 1960s). The records cover a time of great change and activity in the industry, from strikes and economic difficulties of the 1920s, through the second world war and nationalisation in 1947.
“We’re delighted to receive funding to ensure this significant collection, which until recently has been in private ownership, becomes available to the public.” Rhiannon Griffiths, Conservator Gwent Archives.
The collection complements the National Coal Board collection at Glamorgan Archives (previously conserved through NMCT funding) as well as those in mining areas in the north of England, providing additional information for research on the industry.
Contact: Rhiannon Griffiths, Conservator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01495 353363
Swansea Museum - Cambrian Pottery Archive
The Cambrian Pottery operated between 1764 and 1870. In 1836, Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn took over the company. His business partner and wife, Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Dillwyn experimented with designs and ceramic body types using red clay from the family estate, Penllergaer. Such involvement in the decision making of a business was unusual for a woman at this time.
This project will conserve Dillwyn’s sketches which are designs for Etruscan Ware. On completion of the project the designs will be displayed within the museum along side the finished pieces and a digital catalogue of the collection will be available online for researchers for the very first time.
“These items have never been seen by the public before; their conservation will allow us to open up access to the collection, and unlock the contribution both Elizabeth Dillwyn made to the history of our city” Danielle Jenkinson, Documentation Officer.
Contact: Barry John Hughes, Swansea Museum Manager, email@example.com, 01792 653763