Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 19 Ynys Llanfihangel-y-traethau (PRN 18252)


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

Historic background

The name of this character area betrays its origin as an island off the north-west coast of Meirionnydd, since linked to the mainland by the enclosure and reclamation of the morfa by the estate of Glwyn Cywarch after 1798 (see area 30). The area gave its name to the large parish of Llanfihangel-y-traethau which extended a long way inland in the medieval period.

The church has medieval origins (and is surrounded by a circular churchyard which stands isolated on the eastern side of the island/area, protect from the weather), and although there is no other evidence of early occupation on the ynys, a series of lynchets is quite clearly visible on aerial photographs on the slopes of the central ‘hill’ (which rises to a height of 70m OD).

The principal small, nucleated settlement (‘Ynys’) here lies below the church and a craggy cliff, on what would have been the original shoreline opposite the mainland and on the mouth of where the river (Afon y Glyn, now canalised through the reclaimed marsh), would have entered the sea. Although most of the buildings here are 19th century, an early origin for this settlement is indicated for the reasons given. The village lies at a bend in the main A496 road which now crosses the morfa. Otherwise, there are a few scattered farmsteads across the ynys.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Unenclosed pasture, fieldscape, farmsteads

The Ynys is divided into two different areas. The western end is higher, centred on Ogof Foel which rises to a height of c. 70m OD. It is largely unenclosed, with a few straight walls (probably 19th century) running across the area and dividing it into large enclosures. There are just three farms here, set around the base of the hill. In contrast, the lower, eastern end (sheltered from the worst of the weather) has a series or large, irregular enclosures and five or six farms. The buildings stock of the small nucleated settlement of Ynys is mainly 19th century, stone buildings of various designs, hemmed in against a sheer cliff. There are no amenity buildings, only houses, but the settlement is located on the main road (and only a short distance from the nearest railway station) within easy reach of Harlech. There are no relict archaeological sites here, and only a few short stretches of minor no-through roads.

Back to Ardudwy Landscape Character Map



Visit our social network sites
Ymwelwch a'n safleoedd rhwydwaith cymdeithasol