Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 12 Dyffryn Ardudwy and Coed Ystumgwern (PRN 18245)


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

This character area comprises, in effect, two adjoining ribbon settlements, Coed Ystumgwern and Dyffryn Ardudwy. Ystumgwern was the commotal centre of Ardudwy uwch Artro in the medieval period, although the exact location of the llys is not known (the farm which retains the ‘Ystumgwern’ name lies just outside the settlement area to the northwest (in area 14)).

As with all the nucleated settlements in Ardudwy, this settlement really developed in the 19th century along the line of the improved road (again the railway lies some distance away to the west), with early cores of buildings (loosely centred around the two churches), although earlier concentrations of buildings exist in small clusters just below the main road. Unlike Llanbedr (area 18) and Tal-y-bont (area 8), both of which grew from strategic road/river crossings, however, there appears to be no apparent reason for the development of Dyffryn Ardudwy (there is no substantial coaching inn, for example).

Dyffryn Ardudwy has seen more expansion in the 20th century, with housing estates built at the south end of the village around the school in the 1930s, and up the hill slope behind in the 1960s. It has a series of commercial buildings which provide local services.

Key historic landscape characteristics

19th century ribbon development around earlier core

There is a loose cluster of late 18th/early 19th century stone buildings in Coed Ystumgwern, centred just below the main road around a square of road. More recent (20th century) housing estates (set out in rows) stretch up the hillslopes on the other side. The main road here runs very definitely along the bottom of the steep hill slope.

The main centre of the Dyffryn Ardudwy conservation area contains a range of 19th century roadside buildings, including shops, a surgery, a bank, post office, primary school and houses (and a modern garage). Most of the houses are individually-named, detached houses (mainly 19th century of various designs), again distributed below the road and apparently pre-dating it, where there was more space: there are two substantial terraces (probably later 19th century) set above the road (eastern side) in the northern part of the village (see photograph).

With the exception of the later 20th century buildings, everything has been built of stone, although many of the earlier houses are distinctively white-washed. Again, the railway station is set below the settlement (interestingly near the medieval church of Llanenddwyn) on a road that formerly led down to the beach.


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