Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 3 Southern coastal strip (PRN 18236)


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

Historic background

There is little evidence for early occupation this area which conjoins the sea. Plas Benar and Benar Isaf in the north of the area may be sub-medieval in date (if the associations of 'uchaf' and 'isaf' placenames elsewhere can be followed, for example on Llyn). The Cambrian Coastal railway (opened in 1867) runs through part of the area, while much of the former pasture is now covered by 20th century caravan sites and associated holiday infrastructure.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Drystone walls, caravan parks, seaside holiday infrastructure

As the photograph shows, the area is an odd juxtaposition of drystone walls defining fields of improved pasture (similar to area 01) (a traditional farming landscape) and caravan parks, entertainment centres, fish and chip shops and beach shops (a distinctive 20th century seaside holiday landscape). In the current economic climate, the latter is tellingly taking over the former. There are a few traditional stone-built farms and farm buildings in the area, as well as a railway station. The caravans are mainly long, rectangular and the newer ones almost uniformly green in colour (to blend in with the landscape!), and laid out in unsympathetic and striking, serried ranks. The associated infrastructure buildings are gaudy and seem out of place in a still largely-rural setting.

Interestingly, the 19th century railway which probably was responsible for the start of the growth of the holiday economy serves to divide this area up from the more-traditional farming landscape of area 01 for much of its length.


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