The Royal Commission was established by Royal Warrant in 1908. Its purpose was to prepare inventories of buildings and monuments and specify those worthy of preservation. Initially it was envisaged that this task would be a finite one, but over the years the Royal Commission has taken on further responsibilities, and revised Royal Warrants have been issued.
In 1963 the Royal Commission took over the National Buildings Record, now known as the National Monuments Record, and in 1969 it assumed responsibility for threatened buildings recording. During the early 1980s The Royal Commission took over responsibility for the maintenance of the National Archaeological Survey from Ordnance Survey, and in 1992 it assumed responsibility for recording instances of underwater wrecks and remains in the territorial waters adjacent to Wales. Responsibility for aerial monitoring of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and the recording of the archaeology of the Welsh Uplands was transferred from Cadw to the Royal Commission in the same year.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and is an executive Assembly Sponsored Public Body. It maintains a close working relationship with the Assembly through Cadw, its sponsoring division.
An electronic version of the most recent Royal Warrant, which describes the role and responsibilities of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, is available to download as a PDF document from this page.