Historic Landscape Characterisation

Llŷn - Area 11 Caer Saethon, Carneddol, Mynytho and Mynydd Tirycwmwd PRN 33490


Foel Gron, Mynytho

Mynydd Tirycwmwd

Historic background

Early activity is evidenced by a chambered tomb on the neck of Mynydd Tirycwmwd promontory and to the west of Mynytho at Hen Efail (PRNs 445, 1250). At Carnedd y Brenin Engan, the site of a cairn and the possibility of burial remains at Hen Fynwent, east of Foel Gron, suggest further burial activity of the Early Bronze Age in that area and, immediately to the south, burials at Pen-y-Graigwen (PRNs 1249, 1796, 3657). Cremations have been recorded near Nant y Castell PRN 3656).

A concentric enclosure at Cefn Deuddwr, to the south of Mynytho (PRN 1241), and a defensive enclosure at Gadlys (PRN 1240) are indicative of settlement in later prehistory. Hut circles have been recorded south of Mynytho Common (PRNs 1244, 6885); and also near Gadlys. Hillforts are known at Carn Saethon where a small stone-walled rampart which utilises the outcropping rock for defence (PRN 415); at the south end of Mynytho Common (PRN 5795) and either side of the ravine between Mynytho and Mynydd Tirycwmwd at Nant y Castell and Pen y Gaer (PRNs 442, 443).

Several wells and springs issue from the rocky landscape. Two, within the character area are considered to have special properties. These are Ffynnon Arian, east of Foel Gron and Fynnon Fyw near Gadlys (PRNs 409, 1251).

Key historic landscape characteristic

•Colonisation of common land at Mynytho before regular enclosure. The settlement pattern still retains evidence of more ancient encroachments recognisable by their irregular outline within the enclosure area

•Parliamemtary Inclosure in early 19th century with ruler-straight plots and paddocks

•Several traditional cottages retain the character of both the encroachment period and the Inclosure period

There is a chain of igneous intrusions and high ground which run from north-west to south-east from Carn Fadryn in the parish of Llaniestyn to the sea at Llanbedrog. This character area describes the Parliamentary Inclosures at Mynytho and Mynydd Tirycwmwd and the contiguous high ground of Carn Saethon, Carneddol and Foel Fawr.


Carn Saethon and Carneddol are included within this character area, together with Mynytho, as they continue the line of volcanic intrusions from Carn Fadryn to Mynydd Tirycwmwd. Carn Saethon and Carneddol lie between Carn Fadryn and Mynytho. Mynydd Tirycwmwd extends, as a promontory, into the sea at Llanbedrog.

The landscape of Mynytho is undulating and much of it rough ground at around 80m to 140m OD, wet and moorish in places with several springs. Igneous intrusions at Foel Fawr (179m OD), Mynytho Common (170m OD) and Foel Gron 170m OD) puncture the landscape with rock outcrops.

Mynydd Tirycwmwd is an extension of this chain of igneous rock, projecting into the sea as a visually dramatic bare, rounded headland, rising above the shore to 132m OD.

The colonisation of the common land of Mynytho had begun before the early nineteenth century Inclosure Act and continued after it. The character of the landscape now reflects this process of settlement, with its characteristic early nineteenth-century ruler-straight plots and paddocks, in contrast to the irregular pattern of fields in the wider landscape. Nevertheless the settlement pattern of Mynytho still retains evidence of more ancient irregular encroachments recognisable by their irregular outline within the enclosure area.

Although several new houses have been built at Mynytho in the recent past and their concentration at two focal points, Pen Lon and Pen y Groeslon, has dislocated the original dispersed pattern, there are still sufficient traditional cottages in the area which retain the character of both the encroachment period and the Inclosure period. Several of these are Listed Buildings in respect of their context and character. Good examples may be found at Rhedyn and Tyn y Mynydd, both encroaching on the very edge of the common and at Bryn yr Efail, a single storey, crogloft cottage, built with local stone rubble walls. The roofs of these cottages are uniformly slated but it is well to remember that thatch was predominant in the Llanbedrog area at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

There is a ruined windmill on the summit of Foel Fawr. It was ruinous in 1810 when Hyde Hall saw it. The elevated position was eminently suitable for a windmill but, as our laconic chronicler observes, ‘with the general supply of water in this part of the country, it is not so much surprising that a mill of this sort should be permitted to go to ruin, or that one should ever have been built’.

Back to Llŷn Landscape Character Map



Visit our social network sites
Ymwelwch a'n safleoedd rhwydwaith cymdeithasol