Historic Landscape Characterisation

Caernarfon/Nantlle – Area 49 Floor of Nantlle Valley PRN 15748


This aerial view, which looks north, shows the one lake remaining (of an original two) on the valley floor, with the village of Nantlle (area 13) just beyond and the working quarry of Pen-yr-orsedd (area 9) beyond that.



Historical background

A flat valley floor, much altered and restricted by the extensive dumping of slate waste in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The area has traditionally been in the hands of a number of lesser local landowners, and represented the lowland holdings of farms situated just above the break of slope. The lower part of the area is dominated by the hill-fort of Caer Engan, associated with Caer Dathyl in the fourth branch of the Mabinogion . The upper part includes the Baladeulyn of the Mabinogion , and forms the foreground setting for Richard Wilson's painting of Snowdon .

Key historic landscape characteristics

Canalised river, road

A mixture of pasture and marsh, with smaller fields on the sides of the hill-fort at Caer Engan. The only major dwelling in the area is Ty Mawr, a farmhouse recently reconstructed after a fire on an inappropriate scale and in an inappropriate manner. The principal historical interest in this flat area of irregular pasture fields are the various communication routes. The river was extensively canalised in the early twentieth century. The area includes the diverted Pen y Groes to Nantlle road and the substantial reinforced concrete bridge at Tal y Sarn, completed in 1929, as well as the course of a tramway and a number of permissive footpaths.



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