Historic Landscape Characterisation

Creuddyn and Arllechwedd – Area 15 Rolling meadows, west of Afon Conwy PRN 15809


SH 768735 looking north-west. Showing the nature of the rolling, enclosed landscape, with scattered settlement and a more wooded appearance which includes both hedgerows as well as areas of woodland



Historical background

Much of the area south of Conwy is characterised by rolling improved pasture and corn-fields, containing a number of small nucleated communities, such as Ro Wen and Henryd, and substantial farms. This area formed the location of many of the Medieval townships of Arllechwedd Isaf, and it is probable that the commotal centre was at one time established within this area, at Tal y Cafn.1

The importance of corn-growing and the flow of the rivers which cross this area has also meant that there is a long tradition of milling, represented in the surviving buildings at Melin Bulkeley, Melin Gwenddar and Melin Pont Wgan, all of which are in re-use as dwellings. Lead mining was also carried out, at Trecastell. These workings may be Medieval or even Prehistoric in origin, but as the Pwllycochion mine these workings had functioned on a small scale in the early nineteenth century. Work began again in 1892, and the mine produced 6,425 tons of lead ore and 12,554 of blende by 1913, making it one of the most profitable concerns of its sort in Wales 2. It closed in 1920, and reopened in 1948, only to be finally abandoned after exploration in the lower levels in 1956.3 The site has been extensively landscaped but a smelter flue and a square-plan chimney survive, probably dating from between 1913 and 1920, together with three levels immediately to the south.

1 C. Gresham, ‘The Commotal Centre of Arllechwedd Isaf' TCHS 40 (1979), pp. 11-16.

2 W.J. Lewis, Lead Mining in Wales (UWP Cardiff, 1967), pp. 238-40.

3 C.J. Williams, Metal Mines of North Wales (Rhuddlan, 1980).


Key historic landscape characteristics

Degraded fields, scattered settlement, villages, routeways

Area of ancient settlement, encompassing both ‘villages' and scattered dwellings (mainly farms, but including other types), as well as terraced housing, which is increasingly favoured by the better-off (symbolised by the preponderance of horses in the fields and out-of-character housing developments).

Field pattern largely disintegrated as fields have been amalgamated: preponderance of post-and-wire fences.

Many types of routeways, from footpaths to major road running north-south (replacing earlier routes across the mountains from the valley which can still be traced running east-west.




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