Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 22 Wooded valleys around Bryn Bwbach (PRN 18255)



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

Historic background

This is an elongated area of mixed character which is centred on a north-east south-west river valley (Afon y Glyn). To its north is a spit of higher land which rises above the coastal morfa (area 30), and on the other (southern) side the land again rises steeply on a series of wooded slopes to the open uplands of area 33. To the north, the valley opens out while still maintaining its heavily-wooded character with area 05 defining its northern side.

There are virtually no sites within the area recorded on the SMR, and so no evidence for early settlement or land-use here. Llandecwyn church has medieval origins (the only such church in Ardudwy which does not have a strictly coastal setting) and is probably located on an early route from Traeth bach over the northern mountains inland towards Tomen y Mur. There are no indications of contemporary settlement. Maes-y-neuadd is a major sub-medieval house with a substantial (later) walled garden (now run as a well-known restaurant), and Plas Llandecwyn is an important sub-medieval two-unit, storeyed house: other farms (e.g. Caerwych) are pre-19th century foundations. Further inland, Nant Pasgan-mawr and Nant Pasgan-bach are good examples of 19th-century upland farms in the local vernacular tradition.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Wooded hill slopes, stone-built farmhouses

The principal historic characteristics are the heavily-wooded hillslopes, with intervening pasture fields (see SSSI citation below). The other defining characteristic are the scattered farms of different period and styles which comprise the main settlement pattern (there is a small nucleation of 19th-century houses at Bryn Bwbach which is rather incongruous): amongst these are Plas Llandecwyn, Caerwych, Aberdeunant, Tallin, Yr Onen, Nant Pasgan-mawr and Nant Pasgan-bach. In the upper reaches of the area, around the latter farmsteads, the enclosed fields and woods give way to marshy, upland waste. There are virtually no relict archaeological sites here, and just a couple of minor roads and trackways.

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