Lottery funding maps Newport’s past
10:12am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Gwent news
ALMOST half a million pounds has been granted by the heritage lottery fund to preserve some of Wales’ earliest maps and Newport’s chartist history.
The £486,000 grant provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been awarded to the ‘Cynefin: Mapping Wales’ Sense of Place’ project. It will ensure that diocesan versions of the Tithe maps of Wales, currently held by the National Library of Wales, are restored, digitised and made available online.
Newport is one of six community projects across Wales to receive the funding, to take the tithe maps as a starting point to delve into their archival heritage. There are 1,091 tithe maps covering the whole of Wales by parish. The maps provide a record of the landscape of Wales in around 1840, when it was largely rural.
The Cynefin project hopes the digitisation of these maps will create opportunities for more people in Wales to get involved with their archival heritage.
The ‘From Trails to Trials (Chartism in Gwent)’ project will open up access to a unique collection of documents relating to the Chartist march of 1839 in Newport.
These original documents were discovered in 1915, in a tin trunk in a Newport office. They form records of the committal proceedings or magistrates’ examinations held at the Westgate Hotel in Newport in the weeks following the rising.
The project will transcribe detailed accounts from over 300 people questioned as part of the treason trials following the march, which will then be geo-tagged to the tithe maps and displayed on the People’s Collection Wales website.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “The tithe maps are a key resource that provides an insight into Wales’ past. This grant will remove many of the past barriers to accessing the maps [...] it is excellent that this project will now ensure that these maps will be available online for all to access, use and enjoy.”
Other partner organisations will be involved to promote the new resource, including up to 12 schools who will get the chance to take part in a drama project recreating the march in Newport. There will also be a community film project, a course on heritage storytelling and a Chartist conference at Newport University.
A group will be formed to coordinate educational resources to schools including St Joseph’s RC and St Woolos’ primary schools in Newport.
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