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Project requests assistance to save the names of Welsh fields

Half a million field names - that is an estimate by The National Library of Wales of how many field names are recorded in tithe documents. The Cynefin project run at the Library aims to digitise more than 1200 maps and transcribe over 30,000 apportionment documents and link them to the relevant location on the map.

According to Einion Gruffudd, Cynefin Project Manager:

"More than 26,000 field names have already been recorded by volunteers,  but it is expected that there are over half a million records in total."

This will be discussed at the conference of the Association of Welsh Place Names in Builth Wells on Saturday October 3, 2015.

Einion Gruffudd added:

"This is a unique record of our Welsh history and culture; the vast majority of these names are in Welsh, even in areas where there are not many Welsh speakers. The names often refer to an old way of life, mentioning oxen, scythes, and so on. We already can see patterns of language and dialect in the data we have so far, and we hope to get a lot more data in the coming year. " is making it much easier for people to discover the old local names. When new houses and streets are built, there is a good tradition to reuse field names in Wales, but it is important that developers have access to the information that is readily available or there is a danger for the names to be forgotten. People expect to be able to find information quickly these days.

The project will also help people who buy new farms and do not know the field names; information from 1840 is available for approximately three quarters of the fields of Wales.

All are welcome to help this effort to save these names, in particular transcribers, people who are happy to read images of old documents and type in what they see, and of course anybody who is interested in maps. The opportunities are on the website.

Further information

Einion Gruffudd: 01970 632 842
Elin-Hâf 01970 632471

Notes for editor

  • Images for this article are available upon request
  • The ‘Cynefin: Mapping Wales’ sense of Place’ project is run by a partnership led by Archives Wales, and also includes The National Library of Wales and People’s Collection Wales.  The majority of its funding comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund; the project is also supported by the Welsh Government through the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division, the National Library of Wales and Archives Wales.
  • Cynefin was launched in November 2014 and is due to be completed by the end of September 2016. To find out more visit the website:; follow Cynefin on twitter, @CynefinProject, or contact or 01970 632 416.