Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dolgellau - Area 13 Llanfachreth (PRN 19192)



Historic background

At odds with the surrounding dispersed traditional farming settlement pattern, the nucleated village of Llanfachraeth is a notable exception within the project area. The church forms the focal point of the village (see photograph): it has medieval origins (as one of only three in the project area mentioned in the 1254 Valuation of Norwich) but in its present form is 19th-century, built under the patronage of the Nannau estate (area 11), and many of the listed buildings in particular are of a distinctive 'estate-derived' style.

The 1846 Llanfachreth tithe map shows just three houses (to the east of the church and north of the road) here, with a larger (scattered) settlement pattern to the east, outside the project area. By 1901 (OS 2nd series map), the village had grown, although it was still very small - settlement (which included the Ty-uchaf public house) was concentrated around the church, but there were other buildings - Ty-isaf opposite, and Capel Bethel, a school and a smithy along the road to the east.

The map evidence ties in with the couple of dated houses in the village (1809 and 1812): nothing appears to be much earlier. There is no suggestion of formal planning in the village, however, which retains a vernacular character principally spread out along a single road, until the building of a small council estate (to the north of this road) in the late twentieth century. It now has its own ‘suburban’ development in the form of a string of bungalows on its edge.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Nineteenth-century estate village

The principal historic interest here lies in the range of varied 19th-century vernacular terraced buildings and single houses which are the result of the most recent period of flourishing patronage of the Nannau estate.



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