Historic Landscape Characterisation

Mawddach - Area 8 Open mountain, Dolgledr (PRN 18338)



Historic background

Although this area is characterised by a lack of modern settlement, there is a considerable amount of evidence for prehistoric activity here. An extensive cairnfield, originally recorded by Bowen & Gresham (1967) stretches along both sides of the (former main) trackway which leads east from Hafod-y-dywyll (area 19) and down eventually to Dolgellau (probably the fore-runner of the current road see also area 16): it includes a variety of different cairn types, including kerb cairns, and was obviously important area in the earlier prehistoric period.

There are also two hillforts here, both confusingly called Craig y Castell, one at the northern and the other (scheduled) at the southern end of the area. To the east of the latter are the remains of 19th-century mining. Those apart, there are only a series of 18th/19th century field walls which divide the area up into a series of large, irregular enclosures.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Relict prehistoric archaeology, field walls, open mountain

The considerable wealth of relict archaeological features and the field walls which characterise this area have been mentioned above. The landscape bears comparison with the volcanic, rocky exposures of Cadair Idris (area 17) and Pared-y-Cefn-hir (area 16), but this has no SSSI designation.


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