This article is about the particular significance of the year 1897 to Wales and its people.
- January — Sir Owen Morgan Edwards founds the periodical Heddyw, published in Wrexham.
- 9 April — The Snowdon Mountain Railway resumes operation, a year after a fatal accident on its maiden run.
- c. May — The Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway opens.
- 13 May — Guglielmo Marconi sends the first ever wireless communication over water, from Lavernock Point to Flat Holm.
- 20 June — Celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee is muted in Nonconformist parts of Wales, as the date falls on a Sunday.
- November — Four Customs officers are rescued from the River Usk, near Newport's Alexandra Dock pier-head after their boat capsizes.
- Completion of the first Jubilee Bridge (Queensferry) across the River Dee.
- Opening of the Tal-y-cafn Bridge across the River Conwy.
- Roller coaster erected on Barry Island, origin of Barry Island Pleasure Park.
- Opening of the Grand Theatre, Swansea.
- Construction of Pierhead Building as offices for Cardiff Docks.
- Weaver's Mill, Swansea, becomes the first building in the UK to be constructed from reinforced concrete, by L. G. Mouchel of Briton Ferry.
- Merthyr Tydfil is refused a town charter; it is eventually granted one in 1905.
- Opening of the Canterbury Building at St David's College, Lampeter (demolished in 1971).
- Edgeworth David leads the Royal Society's expedition to the coral atoll of Funafuti.
- Opening of Llanfyllin County School. Politician Clement Davies is one of the first pupils.
Arts and literature
National Eisteddfod of Wales — held at Newport
- Walford Davies — Overture in D minor
- Llyfr Hymnau a Thonau y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd (collection of hymns)
- 14 January — William Basil Jones, Bishop of St David's, 75
- 3 February — David Pugh Evans, songwriter, 31
- 1 April — William Gwynn, Rugby union international
- 12 May — Thomas Llewellyn Thomas, linguist, 56
- 6 September — Thomas Rees Morgan, engineer, 63
- 8 September — James Milo Griffith, sculptor, 54
- 16 September — Edward Edwards (Pencerdd Ceredigion), musician, 83
- 20 September — Hugh Morris, footballer, 25
- 15 October — Charles John Vaughan, former Dean of Llandaff, 81
- 2 December — Thomas Lewis, politician, 76
- 4 December — Griffith Rhys Jones ("Caradog"), choral conductor, 62
- date unknown — Arthur James Herbert, Quartermaster-General