A £10,000 GRANT given to Bangor University is set to help them work with communities in the Ogwen Valley of Gwynedd and explore the lives of those who lived and worked on the Penrhyn estate.

The Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates received the grant of from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will use it to study the estate's history during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Penrhyn estate was a dominant force in the life of north west Wales for centuries, exerting an influence which extended over a massive landholding base and embracing all aspects of society – from industry, politics, culture and religion, through to architecture, farming and land management.

Important parts of this complex and at times contentious story are preserved and interpreted at major heritage sites including Penrhyn Castle and the National Slate Museum.

However the lives and experiences of those thousands of individuals who lived on the estate as tenants and who worked on estate farms, or as woodmen, gamekeepers or in the Castle as domestic servants remain largely untold.

This new project aims to redress this balance by drawing upon the memories and memorabilia of people living in the area, and through research of historical records kept at Bangor University Archives and Caernarfon Record Office.

The three-month heritage scheme will run between January and March and will include a range of events and activities across the region to help collect and share information.

Members of the public wanting to share their insights or get involved in the research are encouraged to attend one of the memory and memorabilia events.

Dr. Shaun Evans, Director of Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates said:

‘‘I am delighted that we have been successful in securing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this exciting project.

"This money will enable the University to work closely with community groups and heritage organisations from across the region to enhance our collective understanding of a neglected aspect of Welsh history.

"I would encourage anyone with a historical connection to the region to get involved with the project by sharing their memories, digging out old family photos, joining the research team or attending the events."