Historic Landscape Characterisation

Creuddyn and Arllechwedd – Area 3 Little Orme/Mynydd Pant/Nant y Gamar PRN 15801


SH 811815 looking south-west. Showing the nature of the limestone ridge which underlies this area, with scattered settlements and some improved fields in the lower-lying pockets.



Historical background

This area forms a limestone ridge on the north-eastern extremity of Creuddyn, extensively quarried in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It rises from the low-lying lands of Creuddyn on which Penrhyn Old Hall and Gloddaeth are situated. Gloddaeth, the home of Mostyn family since the fifteenth century, now St David's College, a boarding school, is situated immediately below the break of the south-eastern-facing slope at the foot of the ridge. The dwelling Hen Dwr (‘the old tower) on the summit of Nant y Gamar was the demesne windmill, constructed between 1617 and 1642 and in operation until the 1830s. A number of the farm dwellings are believed to have come about as the result of squatter-encroachment in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, and their right to settlement to have been accepted by the enclosure of 1843.

The area has been extensively quarried for limestone on lease from the Mostyn estate. On the Little Orme (SH 819 823), operations were under way pre-1862 and continued until 1931, shipping out directly to sea by means of a system of inclines. The mill hoppers were only demolished in 1987. The smaller quarries on Nant y Gamar were worked from perhaps the 1850s to the 1970s, and a white silicious sand was extracted from 1856 to 1887.

The Coastal Artillery School was moved to the Little Orme from Shoeburyness in September 1940, and a gun battery established.


Key historic landscape characteristics

The area is characterised by a mixture of unenclosed land and by comparatively small-scale farming units, whose houses have in many cases become second homes. These are generally substantial vernacular dwellings, though many have been significantly altered by their recent owners. The former windmill, Hen Dwr, now a dwelling, is a prominent feature. The only public road access is a winding lane up the north-western part of the ridge. Field boundaries take a number of different forms, including stone walls, hedges and earthen banks. 

Though the ridge divides two major urban conurbations, it is remarkably remote; the paths through the Little Orme limestone quarry are popular with Penrhyn Bay residents, but the higher parts of the ridge are comparatively little frequented.



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