Historic Landscape Characterisation

Caernarfon/Nantlle – Area 11 Drws y Coed PRN 15710


This view, which looks north-west, shows some of the extensive industrial remains on the valley floor in the foreground, while the scheduled hut group settlement is located on the level area at the foot of the mountain which shows as a green patch in the centre of the photograph.



Historical background

A mining complex, possibly bronze age in origin and almost certainly medieval, but actively exploited from 1768 to the early twentieth century. Remains include a miners' village, now largely deserted, dating from c. 1830. The farmhouse at Drws y Coed Isaf is traditionally associated with the Moravian connection, and with the Griffith family. Drws y Coed farm was owned by Vaynol, and other lands in this area formed part of the Garnons estate.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Industrial remains (adits, tips, dam), relict archaeology, settlement

There is considerable relict industrial archaeology, including a largely deserted village (SH 5414 5341), believed to date from the 1830s, made up of two-room single-storey dwellings, identified by Jeremy Lowe as exemplifying an important early stage in the evolution of industrial housing. These have been recommended for scheduling but are mostly roofless and in poor condition. Water-supply systems, extraction points and processing sites associated with the mines, dating from the mid eighteenth-century to the early twentieth, survive in a number of locations; some of these are scheduled. These include the eighteenth-nineteenth century Fronfelen workings at SH 5441 5339. These survive as elements in a landscape that is partly industrial, partly agricultural.

The area also contains a major prehistoric hut circle settlement (also scheduled), situated on a ledge above the valley floor near the end of the valley, a situation mirrored locally in Nant Gwynant, although there are no obvious field system remains connected with this.



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