Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dolgellau - Area 8 Forestry, Cym yr Whin (PRN 19187)



Historic background

There is no evidence for prehistoric activity in this area. However, much of the area was owned and farmed (probably for cattle) by the monks of Cymer Abbey after their charter was granted to them by Llywelyn in 1209 (see Gresham, 1984, and Williams, 1990), as part of the demesne attached to the abbey itself. The pattern of enclosures which characterises this area is part of the post-medieval enclosure of the ffrîdd, which also extends across areas 08 and 10. The 1843 Llanelltyd tithe map shows a couple of settlements (Cae Beudy isaf and Tan y graig) here, but only the extent of the properties owned, not any detail of field patterns. The enclosures which underlie the woodland (most of which is 20th-century forestry) probably belong to the post-medieval enclosure of the ffrîdd (represented, for example, by place-names such as Ffrîdd Beudy-isaf).

A couple of disused gold mines (un-named but probably part of the former Prince of Wales mining complex) are shown on the 1901 OS 2nd edition map in the western part of the area, just north of Maes-y-garnedd. Most of the area is shown as unenclosed mountainside, criss-crossed by a series of footpaths and trackways. There is some woodland shown (for example Coed Ffordd gôch on the lower slopes just north of Llanelltyd and further up Cwm yr Wnin (Cym yr Whin). However, most of the area is shown as open mountainside.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Woodland, forestry, field boundaries

Most of this character area is covered in forestry, which appears to contain areas of more ancient woodland. These mask an earlier series of drystone wall field boundaries which have broken the area into a series of large, irregular enclosures. (See also areas 09 and 10 whose enclosures form part of the same pattern spreading across this extensive area of moutainside.)



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