Welsh language campaigners Cymdeithas yr Iaith is today launching a new scheme to protect Welsh house names.
As part of the ‘Diogelwn’ scheme, the language organisation has published legal documents that can be downloaded and used by anyone in Wales who wants to protect the Welsh name of their home, whether they intend to sell their house or not.
Using legal documentation, those who are about to sell can ask their solicitor to include a specific clause in the sale agreement to prevent buyers and their successors in title from changing the name in the future.
And those who do not intend to sell can protect the name by signing and registering an agreement (with the help of their solicitor) to prevent buyers or bequests under their will and successors in title from changing the name in the future.
The legal documents from Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s website can be used as a template to be used for these purposes.
The chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Mabli Siriol, said: “This exciting scheme aims to protect Welsh house names for future generations. The idea behind the scheme is very simple, and applies to everyone who lives in Wales and owns a house with a Welsh name.
“Welsh house names are often meaningful, with many of them including references to the local geography of the area in which they are located, or to a piece of history that is important to the families who live in them; they are an important aspect of the cultural fabric of Wales and the Welsh language.
“It is always unfortunate therefore when these names are substituted for English names that are often completely meaningless. Welsh names for houses and places should be protected by law and we will continue to campaign for this, but in the meantime, we hope that as many people as possible take advantage of this opportunity to protect the Welsh names of their homes by joining Diogelwn.”
Siân Northey, who is in the process of selling her house and will be the first person to take part in the scheme, said she was “delighted” to take part in Diogelwn.
“It is a simple scheme to protect Welsh house names but it will make a big difference as more and more people get involved to protect our linguistic heritage,” she said.
“My home was built in the 17th century and has always had a Welsh name – it would be heartbreaking if a Welsh name with so much history were to be removed completely arbitrarily and replaced with an English name.
“It is my hope that the success of the scheme will put pressure on the Government to introduce legislation to protect Welsh house and place names across Wales.”