Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dolgellau - Area 12 Open mountain - Foel Offrwm (PRN 19191)

 

 

 

Historic background

This dominant mountain upland block comprises a single bare, rocky massif whose most significant historic features are two hillforts which crown the western heights, and afford an excellent view of the Nannau estate parkland (area 11) below. The fort on the summit was built in a naturally strong position but much of the defences are now ruinous. There are several hut circles in the interior. The stone rampart has been strengthened by a second wall at the neck of a south-eastern spur and an annexe extends beyond it. A small stone-walled fortification occupies a boss of rock on the lower slopes. The drystone walls which divide the mountain top into a series of enclosures are probably early 19th-century in date, created by workers in the depression which followed the Napoleonic wars, when the building of stone walls gave welcome work to local people. Sir Robert Vaughan's workmen were reputed to have built 55 miles of walling for enclosures at this time, using mules to cart the stones. The effect on the landscape is still evident today: the long stone walls which seam the friddoedd have created a network of large rectilinear enclosures which contrast sharply with the irregular patchwork of the smaller, older enclosures.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Hillforts, drystone walls

The only historic landscape features within the area are the hillforts and drystone walls described above.

 

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