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Detail from the Book of Llandaff, (Liber Landavensis), National Library of Wales


The EHC – Enwau Hanesyddol Cymru or Historic Names of Wales – database is a collection of early records of Welsh names compiled at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It contains some 12,000 early spellings of 4,000 towns, villages, hamlets and farms – the principal historic settlements of Wales, as listed in Melville Richards, Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units (1968).


The database aims to capture the earliest records of our settlements, with a particular accent on documentation from the medieval period (when, for instance, the great majority of the country’s thousand historic parishes are first recorded). It draws its spellings partly from original research, but mostly from the range of published research in this field, e.g. H. W. Owen, The Place-Names of East Flintshire (1994), B. G. Charles, The Place-Names of Pembrokeshire (1992), R. Morgan, A Study of Radnorshire Place-Names (1998). A fundamental tool in tracking down early forms is the Archif Melville Richards place-name database [], hosted at Bangor University. Richard Morgan has also contributed a good deal of previously unpublished material.

Spellings from EHC will gradually be incorporated, as they are checked and validated, to the List of Historic Place Names of Wales during the first year after launch.