Wednesday, September 09, 2009

New research project launched to examine the Mostyn family and estates

One of north Wales' great landed estates, the Mostyn Estate, closely linked with the town of Llandudno, is to come under the microscope in a new research project conducted jointly by Bangor and Aberystwyth universities

The Mostyn Project, coordinated by the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Aberystwyth and Bangor universities, will study the archives and impact of the Mostyn family and estate, which has played a central role in the life of north Wales from the middle ages through to the modern period.

To launch the project, Professor Tony Carr has been invited to present a public lecture 'The Five Courts: The Making of the Mostyns' at Bangor University's Main Arts Lecture Theatre at 5.00pm on Friday 25 September. This is a public lecture and is open to all free of charge.

"Given the importance of the Mostyns over centuries, the project can cover a huge and fascinating range of sources and subjects. Our findings should be of interest to many local communities, and also a wide spectrum of academics across the world," said Professor Tony Claydon of Bangor's School of History, Welsh History & Archaeology.

"The documents and artefacts produced and owned by the Mostyn family make up one of Britain's most varied collections of historical and literary records. Studying them will provide fascinating insights into the heritage of Wales. The collection is also significant in the context of Europe-wide work on cultural exchange and social and economic innovation." said Dr Elisabeth Salter, of Aberystwyth University's English Department, who is directing the joint project.

Academics hope that the archive will throw further light on a wide range of subjects including the nature and role of Bardic and poetic patronage from the medieval period to the eighteenth century, the unique and flexible development of Welsh law, the social and economic influence of the gentry in county society. It also includes early industrial development, the cultural construction of elite families through such activities as house building or book collecting, the circulation of news away from London in the early modern period, pre modern estate management, and the development of early manuscripts and printed works.

The material to be studied lies in a number of places, including the Bangor University Archive, the National Library of Wales, and the Mostyn Estate itself, as well as international libraries. The project enjoys the enthusiastic support of the Mostyn Estate and the National Library as well as of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth.