Coflein is the online database for the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) - the national collection of information about the historic environment of Wales. The name is derived from the Welsh cof (memory) and lein (line).
Coflein contains details of many thousands of archaeological sites, monuments, buildings and maritime sites in Wales, together with an index to the drawings, manuscripts and photographs held in the NMRW archive collections. Sites can be displayed on Ordnance Survey maps and ordered geographically, as well as by text queries. The data can be searched by location (place-name, area or Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map sheet), by type (the classification or function of a site, monument or building) or by keyword.
Coflein is available now as an English language database. A Welsh language version is being developed and this introduction and the 'Help' pages are currently available in either English or Welsh.
What sort of information is available through Coflein now?
The Coflein search facility displays a selection of information from the NMRW database, including the name, location and type of site, monument or building. Information in the form of descriptive text is also provided (where available), together with catalogue information for items relating to the site in the NMRW archive. Users should be aware that the database is still under development and not all the information held in the NMRW is available via this facility. A systematic programme of digitisation and cataloguing is underway to increase the amount of information available online, but users are also encouraged to contact the Library and Enquiry Services staff at the NMRW or telephone: 01970 621200 to check for additional records.
The NMRW archive grows daily as information is gathered directly from RCAHMW survey programmes and from donations of material from other organisations and private individuals. Currently there are over 1.25 million photographs, 70,000 plans and drawings and 50,000 historic maps in the collections in addition to thousands of surveys and reports. Gradually, items from these collections are being digitised and will be available online in addition to the catalogue information. RCAHMW survey programmes increasingly capture information in digital formats, and this data will also be made available online.
Details contained within this database have been drawn together from a variety of sources and often have not been verified in the field by RCAHMW. This is particularly the case for maritime sites, most of which have been recorded from secondary sources, and location data for these should be regarded as indicating general areas only. Further information on locational accuracy, where known, would be welcomed.
The aim is to compile a comprehensive listing of archaeological and architectural sites in Wales, but this is an on-going task as further research, field survey or aerial reconnaissance may reveal additional sites, and there can be no guarantee that it is complete. The information provided here is believed to be correct. However, no responsibility can be accepted by RCAHMW or any of its officers for any consequences of errors or omissions, and no claims for compensation or negligence will be accepted.
Access to sites:
Most of the sites or buildings in Coflein are not open to the public, and permission to visit a site should always be sought from the landowner or tenant. Photographs or drawings record buildings at specific points in time, and the building itself may have been subsequently demolished or altered in appearance.
Details of maritime sites are included in Coflein (but see 'Validation'). For access and safety information divers must consult recognised diving guides. For designated shipwrecks or other protected sites contact must be made with:
Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments
5-7 Cefn Coed
Telephone: 01443 336000
Sites are protected by law:
Many of the sites, buildings and maritime remains are protected, and it is a criminal offence to damage them. It is also an offence to use a metal detector on a Scheduled Ancient Monument or to dive on designated wrecks without a licence. Any alteration to a listed building or work on a Scheduled Monument requires consent from Cadw.
Development Control for archaeological sites:
Coflein is not suitable for development control purposes or for assembling information for agri-environment schemes without further archaeological advice. Further information and advice for these purposes can be sought from the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts, who also maintain regional Historic Environment Records.
Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas:
Coflein lists many records in the NMRW archive originating from development work affecting Listed Buildings, and RCAHMW maintains a specialist team of expert staff who work closely with local authority Conservation Officers to identify, research and record historic buildings. These records are extensively used for local studies and family history research as well as for detailed architectural analysis. They may also be used for development control purposes, but further information and advice should be sought from the relevant local authority Conservation Officer.
Copyright is reserved on Coflein and on all data from NMRW. The data may be used for personal research without charge, but all output resulting from the use of the data must acknowledge the source as follows:- Derived from information compiled by RCAHMW and/or Crown copyright.
Coflein is intended to be used for personal research only. Data may be downloaded to disk or printed out for personal use only, but it may not in any way of trade or otherwise, be lent, sold, or re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the prior consent of RCAHMW.
If you wish to use information derived from Coflein for publication in printed or multimedia form or to compile resources for commercial or organisational use, prior permission must be obtained in writing
A copyright reproduction fee may be charged.
How Coflein has been made available:
Coflein is made available with the support of the National Assembly of Wales and through a ground-breaking partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. RCAHMS has generously shared many years of development experience with Canmore (the online database of the National Monuments Record of Scotland) to provide the first phase of Coflein.
Comments are welcome
The database will be under development for some time to come, and feedback from users is welcomed to help prioritise future work. Although we are aware that there are many improvements that need to be made our resources are limited and comments received really help to direct our efforts. All comments are welcome, so please let us know what features you would like to see in the future and what aspects you feel need improvement. All comments should be sent to: David Thomas