Fonds GB 0210 FOXCYRIL - Sir Cyril Fox Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Sir Cyril Fox Papers


  • [c.1860]-2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.173 cubic metres (6 boxes; 1 volume).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sir Cyril Fox was an influential archaeologist whose work was closely associated with Wales. Born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1882, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, London, and became a clerk at the bovine tuberculosis research station at Stansted, Essex, and later at Cambridge, during which time he also served in the Essex Yeomanry. After the First World War, Cyril Fox pursued a long-held interest in antiquities by studying archaeology at Magdalene College, Cambridge, rising to prominence in the archaeological world after the publication of his PhD study of the Cambridge region in 1923. He was appointed to a post at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, and in 1924 he was nominated Keeper of Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, although the post was withheld for political reasons. In the same year, he was appointed Keeper of Archaeology at the National Museum of Wales, rising to become Director of the Museum two years later. He remained there until his retirement in 1948, overseeing the NMW's new building and the development of the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans. Always prolific in his fieldwork and publications, Cyril Fox was noted for his inspirational leadership and his literary, artistic and humane sensibility, and also his passion for landscape and craftsmanship. His division of Britain into Highland and Lowland zones was particularly influential, and his work included major studies of Offa's Dyke and Monmouthshire houses, as well as wide-ranging surveys and detailed examinations of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Mediaeval and Modern subjects across Britain and Ireland. He served on the royal commissions for ancient monuments in both England and Wales, and also on many other professional bodies, and he received numerous honours. Cyril Fox had two daughters with his first wife, Olive Congreve-Pridgeon, who died in 1932, and three sons with his second wife, Aileen Henderson, who was also an archaeologist. He died in 1967.

Archival history

The archive remained in the possession of Cyril Fox's family, and was used in the preparation of his biography by his son, Charles Scott-Fox, who later transferred the papers to NLW.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Commander Charles Scott-Fox; Tiverton, Devon; Donation; December 2004 and July 2006; 0200413125, 0200506271.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Sir Cyril Fox, including archaeological correspondence, notebooks, reports, photographs, drawings, and heavily annotated copies of publications and offprints of articles and related press cuttings, together with personal material including letters, essays, poems, certificates, autobiographical notes, and genealogical papers. Also included are papers accumulated by Cyril Fox's son, Charles Scott-Fox, during the preparation of his published biography of his father.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records donated to NLW have been retained..


System of arrangement

The original arrangement has been retained.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers’ Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Latin and French.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Three cassette tapes featuring interviews between Charles Scott-Fox and friends and relatives of his father (Glyn Daniel, Stuart Piggott, Roregh Radford, and Babs, Cyril Fox's youngest sister) have been transferred to ASSGC (CM 11748-50).

Related descriptions

Publication note

Charles Scott-Fox, Cyril Fox: archaeologist extraordinary (Oxbow : Oxford, 2002).

Notes area


Title supplied from contents.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

November 2013.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by David Moore. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: papers within the archive;

Accession area