Welsh names in the frame in Wrexham and Flintshire

Published date: 03 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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HELP is at hand for people visiting places with names which sound like tongue twisters in Wrexham and Flintshire.

Barcodes have been placed at hundreds of places of interest across Wales by Information network HistoryPoints.

Scanning the codes brings to your screen explanations and audio guides for place names.

In Wrexham, a code has been placed at Pontcysyllte, the UK’s longest and tallest aqueduct.

And in Flintshire, handy hints for pronunciation and information about places of interest are available at Mold (Yr Wyddgrug), Caerwys, Llinegr and Lloc.

The QR (Quick Response) codes can be found at viewpoints beside footpaths or roads to help people identify and hear the names of distant mountains and villages.

There are explanations for the names of rivers, lakes, streets and even pubs.

HistoryPoints provides free information at more than 700 QR-code locations around Wales, and is working with the Welsh Place-Name Society to bring this fascinating aspect of Welsh heritage to a wider audience. editor Rhodri Clark said: “Friends or relatives from outside Wales often expect Welsh speakers to know the meaning of Welsh place names.Some are easy to interpret but many are unfathomable to modern Welsh speakers.

“Perhaps the name has changed over time, refers to a person who lived many centuries ago, or isn’t rooted in the Welsh language.

“In some places, our information about place names is an eye-opener for local residents as well as visitors, and we’re fortunate to have the help of the most eminent authors on the subject through the Welsh Place-Name Society.

“Place names are only part of our remit at HistoryPoints but often we find that they shed light on the distant past.”

Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, said: “It’s natural for us to be curious about the meaning of  names when we drive past the welcome sign on the edge of a village, stroll past a street name or plot a walk on a map.

“When we get back home, however, we may have forgotten the name or don’t know where to find it explained.

“With this new technology, anyone can receive an on-the-spot brief outline of the name’s origin and how it may have changed over time.”

Many of the place-names featured so far are along the Wales Coast Path and the Offa’s Dyke Path, which together form a circuit of 1,047 miles around Wales.

HistoryPoints has created smartphone-based tours along those paths, using QR codes at 300 places of interest.

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