Fonds GB 0210 STRAFLO - The Strata Florida slates

Identity area

Reference code



The Strata Florida slates


  • [15 cent.] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

35 items.

Context area

Archival history

Discovered in 1946 (?and later) by the abbey site's curator Rhys Jones, during excavation and clearing work by the Ministry of Works.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Ministry of Works; Deposit, with the permission of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales; 1950?

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Thirty-five inscribed slates from Strata Florida Abbey, Cardiganshire, dated to the fifteenth century. Many of the slates are broken fragments with the inscriptions consequently often being incomplete; all are irregular in shape. The inscriptions comprise both text, the majority being in Welsh with examples of Latin and English, and pictures, comprising zoomorphic and anthropomorphic forms, geometric shapes and patterns, as well as other indefinite markings. The majority of the slates are inscribed on one face only, with eleven bearing inscriptions on both sides (SF 1, 3, 5-7, 15, 19, 22, 24, 28-29).
The five slates SF 13-14, 23, 25-26 are all broken fragments of one original slab (along with other still missing sections); with the exception of SF 13 the fragments can be joined up into one larger piece. SF 13-14 and 26 contain parts of a single epitaph, incised in large outline letters, which together appear to read: 'Hic ia[cet] ap ... [a]p ll[ywelyn] [mona]chus'. SF 33 and 35 are also two fragments of a single slate.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW very broadly as follows: items containing text; items containing little or no text.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, Latin, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

A few items are fragile, with the slate beginning to split (SF11, SF19).

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Two further slates, inscribed with Welsh poetry and foliage, are on display in the visitor centre at Strata Florida. Inscribed slates of a broadly similar date were discovered at the site of the old church in Smarmore, County Louth, Ireland, in 1959 (these are now National Museum of Ireland 1961: 8-56 and 1963: 89-91) and during the excavation of the drain of Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1991. Some thirty slate tablets dating from the twelfth century or earlier were discovered at the site of Nendrum Monastery, County Down, Northern Ireland (these are now in the Ulster Museum, Belfast).

Related descriptions

Publication note

E. D. Jones, 'Ysgriflechi Cymraeg Ystrad Fflur', in Llên Cymru, 1 (1950), 1-6.

Publication note

E. D. Jones, 'Inscribed Slates from Strata Florida', in Ceredigion, 1 (1950), 103-105.

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


Dated on the basis of E. D. Jones's analysis in 'Ysgriflechi Cymraeg Ystrad Fflur', in Llên Cymru, 1 (1950), 1-6.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

May 2019.




The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: E. D. Jones, 'Ysgriflechi Cymraeg Ystrad Fflur', in Llên Cymru, 1 (1950), 1-6; E. D. Jones, 'Inscribed Slates from Strata Florida', in Ceredigion, 1 (1950).

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Myra Booth-Cockroft and Rhys Jones.

Accession area