50 Buildings that Built Wales, 2016
50 Buildings Tell the Story of Wales’ Past
50 Buildings that Built Wales by Mark Baker, Greg Stevenson with photographs by David Wilson
Published by Graffeg on 25 November,
Hardback £25, 216pp, ISBN 9781905582808
The history of Wales in 50 landmark buildings, spanning more than 800 years, will be revealed in a new book published this November. 50 Buildings that Built Wales explores the idea of identity as expressed through a nation’s ‘bricks and mortar’, considering the industry, culture and language of Wales and the way in which these have all come together to form the Wales we know today.
Written by architectural historians Dr Mark Baker and Dr Greg Stevenson, with photographs by noted Welsh photographer David Wilson, this rich book is filled with the stories of the people who helped make these buildings so iconic.
• Discover the beginnings of industrial Wales, and the economic boom that followed;
• How Welsh culture has travelled all over the world;
• Protests that have helped preserve the Welsh language;
• How a little building in the valleys changed the face of British healthcare forever.
The book is also filled with trivia such as when and where the world’s first £1million cheque was made; what secret ingredient makes the bricks of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct red; where Doctor Who’s weeping angels come from; and where the Bible was first translated into Welsh.
Buildings include: Llandudno Promenade; Gwrych Castle; Cathays Park, Cardiff; St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire; Caernarfon Castle and the Industrial Terraces of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Mark Baker says ‘The diverse built heritage of Wales is captured here with 50 buildings that show the development of an intricate and highly cultivated cultural heritage. Some of the sites included are personal to us as authors, but we felt that they illustrate the breadth of architectural history and buildings archaeology that Wales is famed for.’
Greg Stevenson says ‘People often incorrectly assume that Britain is architecturally homogenous. It isn’t, but I developed this book idea to reflect some of the characters that have formed the history of Wales and her sense of nationhood. Not every building in this book is uniquely Welsh, but each has a fascinating story to tell. I hope that readers will enjoy dipping in and out of this book – think of it a little like having a dinner party where you meet fifty of Wales’ greatest historical characters, but each of them is a building.’
David Wilson says ‘As a photographer who strives to include buildings in their landscape work the prospect of producing a book of such iconic structures was irresistible. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding project.’
Dr Mark Baker is an architectural historian based in Wales. He read History and Archaeology at Bangor University, and Medieval British Studies at Cardiff University, where he also completed his doctoral thesis on The Development of the Welsh Country House in 2015. As a freelance architectural historian, researcher and writer, Mark has worked with organisations such as the National Trust, Cadw, Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, building preservation trusts and private house owners.
Dr Greg Stevenson is an architectural historian and Research Fellow of the University of Wales, where he lectured in the history of Welsh architecture at Lampeter. Known to viewers of S4C television for his series Y Ty Cymreig and Y Dref Gymreig , Greg has authored and co-authored several architecture books including Cartrefi Cymreig / Welsh Homes, Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru / Houses of the Welsh Countrywise. He restores vernacular and traditional buildings across Europe for Under the Thatch.
David Wilson is a fine art photographer based in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. His images depict the breathtaking beauty and raw majesty of a land and seascape sculpted by extreme elements and partially shaped by man. His acclaimed books include Pembrokeshire, Wales: A Photographer’s Journey and The Starlings & Other Stories , a unique collaboration with some of the finest crime fiction writers in Britain.
Graffeg publish illustrated books and gifts by best-selling authors, photographers, artists and illustrators. Graffeg publish Jackie Morris, Nicola Davies, Tom Cox, Celestine and the Hare and Amanda Owen AKA The Yorkshire Shepherdess. They produce calendars, non-fiction illustrated books about Wales, landscape, photography and food, along with a growing range of greetings cards and notecards including ‘Dylan Thomas Quotes’, ‘Castles of Wales’, and Jackie Morris’ popular greetings card range. All products are available from Graffeg’s online shop. Graffeg has offices in Cardiff and Llanelli. www.graffeg.com