Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 21 Talsarnau (PRN 18254)


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

Historic background

This small settlement appears to be a 19th-century ribbon development set around an earlier core centred on the church. Some of the non-roadside buildings, above, may be 18th century in date, but the bulk of the building stock is 19th century, with 20th century additions. Again, the railway station is some way below the settlement on the morfa (area 30), reached by a minor road.

Key historic landscape characteristics

19th and 20th century ribbon development

There is a small cluster of stone buildings above the main road, around the post-medieval church which indicate an earlier settlement and the reason for the development of Talsarnau in the 19th century (it is, in effect, the next settlement along the main road from Maentwrog to the north, and in many ways it is similar to that settlement in its architecture and style, but on a less impressive scale). The early houses are straggled around the hill slopes above the present road and are a mixture of types, while the ‘modern’ extension of the village is in the opposite direction (across the morfa).

The core of the village is formed by a single short street lined with terraced houses: those on the east (upper side) are two storeyed and rather plain, especially as they are rendered, but those opposite (see photograph) are more interesting, being a series of short terraces of different designs. On the street side, these are two storeyed in appearance, but as the road was apparently constructed right on the break of slope, the rears of the houses show they are three storeys and quite impressive.

In addition to the domestic buildings, there are a couple of public houses, a chapel, shop and a modern motel (looking rather incongruous on the southern edge of the settlement, but arguably maintaining the tradition of the village providing a stopover opportunity for travellers).

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