Home > Historic Landscape Characterisation > Dolaucothi >



Historic Background
A small area of modern coniferous forest in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains. It once lay within the former Cwmwd Caeo, specifically Maenor rhwng Twrch a Chothi, 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, but has probably always been subject to fairly intensive land-use and is enclosed with two distinct field patterns. To the west, an east-facing hillslope, Troed-y-rhiw, and the valley of the Nant y garth exhibit a pattern of small, rectilinear enclosures, some of which are long and narrow suggesting the enclosure of former strip-fields, perhaps a manorial infield. To the east, the hills Allt Bryn-tęg and Allt-yr-hebog are enclosed with very large, regular rectangular fields which are late in origin, having been established since the tithe survey of 1840 (Cynwyl Gaeo parish). There are a number of abandoned early dwellings/farmsteads, including the interestingly-named Erw-hen and Erw-newydd. The area has no recent settlement and now lies entirely beneath late 20th-century coniferous plantation.

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.
All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Licence Number: GD272221

Description and essential historic landscape components
This character area comprises woodland on steep slopes of the Upper Cothi valley. It lies between approximately 180 m and 340 m. The woodland consists of ancient deciduous woods interspersed with which are large conifer plantations. Most of the plantations seem to have been established in what was once open land, though small areas had been enclosed into small fields. A small surviving pocket of dispersed trees, small clumps of trees, and rough grazing on steep craggy slopes, give an impression of the appearance of much of the landscape prior to afforestation. It is possible that this pre-afforestation landscape was established by the Dolaucothi estate. The main components of the historic landscape now comprise plantations and their associated tracks and drives.

Recorded archaeology is limited to abandoned farms and cottages, and a Roman coin hoard.

There are few buildings and none of them are distinctive.

This area is well-defined to the south and west by farms and fields in the valley bottom. Elsewhere character areas have yet to be defined.







[click for navigation menu if not present]