Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 15 Fieldscape, mid-hill slopes around Cae'r Meddyg (PRN 18248)



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

Historic background

There are a few relict late prehistoric settlement sites in the area, but nothing which can be dated to the medieval period. The settlement pattern is of scattered farmsteads, of which there are many of different periods and characters from sub-medieval (for example Penarth and Coed mawr), through 17th century (Gilfach goch) to 18th and 19th century examples (notably Gwynfryn and particularly Penrallt (which has an impressive range of stables and outbuildings) north of the river. There is a single small nucleated settlement at Pentre Gwynfryn which is recorded as nucleated in the medieval period, although the buildings there now are 18th and 19th century in date.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Pasture, woods, farmsteads

This area is quite unlike any other in Ardudwy. It is divided into two by the east-west running Afon Artro but is generally of consistent, although varied, character. Generally low-lying, it has a variety of different characters based on intermingled areas of largely improved agricultural pasture (for example, around Hendy and Gilfach Goch south of the river), rocky outcrops (particularly north of the river, for example the one on which the scheduled Clogwyn Arllef is situated), ancient and semi-natural woodland (Coed Lletywalter being the best example, see below) and unimproved marsh wastes (for example, above Alt-goch in the upper part of the southern area.

Apart from Clogwyn Arllef and Gelli-las hut circle, there are no virtually recorded relict prehistoric or medieval archaeological sites in the area (although no fieldwork has been undertaken here), and generally fewer sites recorded on the SMR. Outside Pentre Gwynfryn the settlement pattern of post-medieval scattered farmsteads has already been described. The area does contain several good examples of outlying field barns (for example connected with Penrallt), and there are also sheepfolds. All the building stock is of stone, mostly with slate roofing (although in places tin is a common roofing material for farm outbuildings).

The main north-south road runs through the lower part of the area, while another important heads off east from Llanbedr and divides in two to carry on up Cwm Nantcol and Cwm Bychan. There are just three other roads which cross the area. Most of the smaller farms lie at the end of minor trackways.


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