Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 26 Fieldscape and woods (PRN 18259)


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

Historic background

The presence of a small stone circle above an area of boggy marsh (partly within area 25) testifies to early prehistoric activity here, but this is likely to be associated the extensive group of funerary and ritual monuments focussed further west in area 25. There are also several hut circles and associated enclosures. Their relatively small size, and the fact that they are unenclosed, might suggest that they are either bronze age in date, or are simply typical of later, upland settlement.

Gerddi Bluog is the largest house in the area, and was originally built probably late in the 17th century: it was associated with the Prys family for many years, and thus has a particular status in Welsh cultural history. It was modernised by Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1960s. It has an interesting set of outbuildings. The only other two farms here (Ffridd farm and Rhyd yr Eirin, both stone-built and solid) are probably 19th century, as are most of the large irregular enclosures which divide up the land, although there are interesting clusters of small enclosures, all stone built), around the three farms.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Irregular enclosures, drystone walls, some relict archaeology

This character area is in some ways an ‘upland extension’ of area 15. It is characterised by its rocky outcrops, relatively-unimproved land (a contrast to area 25 to the west), patches of wood in the lower parts of the area and almost total lack of settlement (in the past as now). Lying between the busy uplands of area 25, and the enclosed valley of Cwm Bychan (area 28 to the east) it has the atmosphere of a remote, possibly inhospitable place. There is just one, single track road which crosses the area, and no permanent settlement (there are only three farms anyway).

There are no proper fields (in the sense of agriculturally-improved spaces), rather the area is divided up into large, irregular enclosures defined by drystone walls which struggle over and around the rocky outcrops which cover the area. There are also several sheepfolds.

The area contains a number of relict archaeological sites, mainly prehistoric huts and associated enclosures, and more are visible on post-war vertical aerial photographs than are recorded on the SMR.

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