Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dolgellau - Area 10 Open mountainside - Bryniau Glo (PRN 19189)



Historic background

Much of this area also formed part of the demesne of Cymer Abbey, and the pattern of enclosures which characterises the lower-lying, north-facing slopes of this area is probably part of the post-medieval enclosure of the ffridd, which also extends across areas 08 and 09, although the land here is more desolate and rocky and can never have been very productive.

The 'mine (disused)' shown on the modern map just south of Cae-mawr is shown on the 1901 OS 2nd edition map as ‘Copper mine (disused)', and was probably an outlying part of Berth Lwyd (outside the project area to the north-east). The lower slopes around the settlement, which receive some protection from the worst of the elements, have the same pattern of enclosures in 1901 as shown today, and appear to have some woodland growing in them.

There is a single, now derelict, small farm in the lower part of the area, which is surrounded by a series of smaller, irregular enclosures. Again, there is no evidence for prehistoric activity within the area.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Drystone wall enclosures, sheepfolds, mining remains

This area contains steep and open mountainside at its southern end, while the sheltered northern part contains an interesting series of small, irregular drystone enclosures set around a former farm complex (Cae mawr). The remains of 19th-century mining represent southern outliers from the more extensive complexes around Berth Lwyd to the north. The number of sheepfolds in the area demonstrates the former (and to some extent present) land use here. The area is almost inaccessible, being reached only by a couple of difficult footpaths.


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