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You'll have noticed that the 1900 OS map is back online after having disappeared for a few weeks. This was the unfortunate result of some licensing and technological changes under the bonnet that we didn't have control over. We're very pleased to be able to report that the problems have been sorted, and that the technology has been updated. In fact, we're hoping to be able to upload new layers of historic mapping in the future. We apologise for any difficulties that the lack of a map has been causing.

One frequent response that we received in the questionnaires we put out was that the search function needed to be improved and simplified, so that you didn't need to spell the name you were looking for exactly as it appears in the List in order to find anything. In other words, that you can ignore hyphens and diacritics. This has now been done, and the search function is now easier to use than ever, so we're sure that you'll be able to find even more information!

As well as this, we've also added the ability to search by postcode, so you can find the names near your house more easily. We hope that these changes will improve your experience of using the List, and lead to you spending even more time browsing it.

The List of Historic Place Names has existed for five years now, and a great deal has happened in that time. The List was established in response to growing concerns about threats to our historic place names. The List had two purposes: firstly, to raise awareness of the rich heritage of historic place names and encourage their continuing use, and secondly, to create a ,record of the whole wealth of place names in Wales, so that the names could be preserved, even in those circumstances where they are no longer in active use.

After five years of hard work, we’ve enjoyed a great deal of success. The List now contains just under 700,000 names from 1,254 sources and local authorities are using our data and keeping historic place names alive when naming roads, developments and properties. We’ve given dozens of public talks on place names, online and in person, and some of them are available on the Royal Commission’s YouTube channel. Public recognition of the importance of historic place names has grown since the establishment of the List, but nid da lle gellir gwell, as we say in Welsh.

The fifth anniversary of the List has given us an opportunity to take stock and gauge the opinion of the public and the experts as to how we can strengthen the List and promote it more effectively so that as many people as possible in Wales can learn about our place names. The public filled in a questionnaire giving their views about improving the List, and we formed a task and finish group with representatives from the Welsh Government, local authorities, the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Office and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies to consider the next steps. This process is now finished, and you can find the task and finish group’s report here: The recommendations range from improving the functionality of the List, through cultivating fruitful partnerships, to using the List’s resources to develop the National Curriculum. By following the report’s recommendations, we will be able to develop the List further and make sure that Wales’ wealth of place name heritage is kept safe for generations to come.