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Historic Background
An area of planted coniferous forest occupying the western flank of Mynydd MallŠen. It once lay within Cwmwd Caeo of Cantref Mawr which remained an independent Welsh lordship until 1284 and largely retained native systems of tenure throughout the Medieval period. It is an upland area, now enclosed with large, regular fields which are late in origin, having been established since the tithe survey of 1840. There is now no settlement, which may reflect the predominant situation during the historic period, but an abandoned farmstead has been recorded. There is evidence for prehistoric occupation in the form of Bronze Age ritual features (round barrows) and the area is crossed by Roman aqueducts leading to Area 243.

Base map reproduced from the OS map with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, © Crown Copyright 2001.
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Description and essential historic landscape components
This area comprises the high south-east valley side of the upper Cothi valley. It lies between 180 m and 330 m. The area has been enclosed into large, fairly regular fields by earth banks and hedges, but these are now mostly redundant - the hedges either gone or marked by straggling lines of bushes and small trees - and wire fences provide stock-proof barriers. Much of the land is improved grazing, but there is rougher ground on some steep slopes and at higher levels, particularly at the northeastern end of the area where larger former fields merge into unenclosed moorland. There are stands of ancient deciduous woodland on very steep slopes, and a couple of small conifer plantations are also present. Rough tracks and paths are the only transport links. There are no settlements. The earthworks of Roman aqueducts which traverse the valley side are distinct elements of the landscape. Overall the appearance of this area is of improved pasture divided by wire fences, with woodland on steep slopes.

Recorded archaeology comprises two Bronze Age round barrows, a Roman reservoir and aqueducts, and an abandoned farmstead.

There are no standing buildings. Banc Llwynceiliog is a distinct character area. It provides a buffer between farms and fields on the valley floor, and higher open moorland and upland forestry.

To the southwest lies the distinctive area of Dolaucothi Gold Mines.








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