Historic Landscape Characterisation

Bala and Llyn Tegid - Area 13 Fieldscape above railway (south) (PRN 24713)



Historic background

Little is known about the historical development of this area. The south-west part of the study area (including this character area) is covered by the tithe map for Llanuwchllyn (1849), when much of the parish was owned by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn who had a shooting lodge built at Glanllyn (area 14).

Although it shares the same steep slopes above the river and lake basin as area 11 (to the north-east), this is a distinctively separate character area, occupying an area leading up to the house at Gyrn. Many of the houses here, scattered farmsteads and other houses, including Felindre, Bryncocyn, Pantymarch, Llechweddystrad and Gyrn, are recorded on the tithe map. Almost all of the settlements remain as shown on the 1840s tithe map, and appear to be early 19th-century houses well-sited on natural prominent hills: all are referred to simply as 'house' (although Felindre is surrounded by an interesting, small enclosure, which might be a garden), and the settlement pattern appears to be much the same as today.

The 1948 RAF vertical aerial photographs (CPE/UK/2492 4072-6 11th March 1948) show the area much the same as today, much less wooded than area 11, but with trees on several of the boundaries. The fields are the same, while the woodland on the southern extent of the area had just been planted in part, part under way. Interestingly a couple of enclosures (possibly prehistoric in date/character) are visible here (probably the best potential evidence for prehistoric settlement in the study area). The group of six regular fields to the north of Pentre-cogwrn were, as now, distinct from the remainder of the irregular enclosures in the rest of the area.

The best potential for prehistoric settlement outside area 07 is the southern (upper) end of area 13. Obvious enclosures on the 1957 aerial photographs (58/2122/145-53 (Flight 22) 12/03/1957), confirmed by more recent maps, show two or three small sub-circular enclosures preserved by later field walls immediately south of Llechweddystrad, near Bryn Hynod and around the other farms here.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Irregular fieldscape, scattered settlement

The fieldscape within the area is dominated by a sweeping (sometimes steep) pasture landscape, divided into large, irregular enclosures by hedgebanks with trees. It is a more open landscape than that of area 11, with fewer trees and boundaries.

The field pattern is also largely unchanged, comprising a series of irregular enclosures divided up amongst the houses already mentioned. A couple of probable cow-houses are recorded in the vicinity of Llechweddystrad, otherwise no details of the agricultural regime are recorded.

The area higher up the slopes to the south (e.g. above Bwlch-y-fwlet) is recorded as ‘Common’, a fact retained in its current status as CRoW-designated 'Access' land. This seemed to form a logical edge to the project area, and in particular character areas 11, 13 and 16.


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