Heritage of Wales

The Aerofilms Collection

Aerial photographs are an excellent way of recording the changes in our landscape, providing a unique perspective of the impact of human activity. The Royal Commission's extensive aerial photograph collection has expanded recently with the acquisition of the Aerofilms photographs.

The Aerofilms Collection (1919 to 2006) contains over one million aerial photographs showing the changing face of Britain throughout the twentieth-century. English Heritage and its partners, the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Scotland, are planning to conserve the fragile negatives from 1919 to 1953, scan them, and put them online for everyone to access and use.

  • Trawsfynyndd Nuclear Power Station. Construction commenced in 1959 to architectural specifications by Basil Spence. It started service in 1965 and was commissioned in 1991. the first inland civil nuclear power station in the UK, it used fresh water for cooling drawn from Trawsfynydd lake. the power station is set within extensive landscaped grpunds designed by Sylvia Crowe. (Image:afl03_aerofilms_a177854 / NPRN: 301092)
  • Llyn Celyn, Tryweryn Valley. Completed in 1966, Llyn Celyn was constructed to provide a constant supply of water for Liverpool. Unusually for a reservoir intended for water supply it also generates electricity for the national grid. (Image: afl03_aerofilms_a119365 / NPRN: 632)
  • Llyn Celyn, tryweryn Valley. Completed in 1966. (Image:afl03_aerofilms_a 150809 / NPRN: 632)

Images of Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, which was completed in 1965 and Llyn Celyn, Treweryn Valley, which was completed in 1966, from the Aerofilms collection.

  • Llandarcy oil refinery (Image: AFA5773 / NPRN: 91695)
  • Dolgellau, founded in the early twelfth century was the site of the last Welsh parliament  summound by Owain Glyndwr in 1404. During the seventeenth century many of its Quaker inhabitants emigrated to Pennsylvania, USA. (Image: afl03_aerofilms_278460 / NPRN: 33154)
  • Bala town, Merioneth. Aerofilms photograph taken 27 March 1957 (Image:


  • Aerial view of Cardiff Docks taken by Aerofilms in 1929. The site is now occupied by the Wales Millennium Centre and the Senedd of the National Assembly for Wales. (Image:D12006_0742 / NPRN: 91412)