Historic Landscape Characterisation

Vale of Ffestiniog - Area 24 Cwm Bowydd-Gelli

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

Formerly part of Cwm Bowydd and Maenofferen farms, this area lies immediately to the south of the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Cwm Bowydd farm formed part of the Newborough estate, and Gelli farmhouse part of the Peniarth estate, from which it was purchased in 1800 by William Turner, a slate quarry manager from the Lake District.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Improved pasture, unenclosed hillslopes, woodland

The slopes below the blaenau were too steep for building on, and so the southern limits to the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog as it expanded in the 1860s-80s were naturally defined. The area remains largely undeveloped today, although some housing development has spread downhill.

The main historic interest of the area are two sub-medieval farmhouses, Cwm Bowydd, built in the late seventeenth century and extended in the nineteenth (SH 6995 4528), and Gelli (SH 7054 4549), which are set within an area of improved pasture through which the Afon Bowydd flows. The area is situated within a natural bowl below the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and contains evidence of prehistoric settlement. Some of the steeper slopes contain unmanaged woodland.


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