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Historic Background
A narrow area covering the northern side of the Cothi valley. It once lay within Cwmwd Caeo of Cantref Mawr which remained an independent Welsh lordship until 1284 (Rees n.d.) and largely retained native systems of tenure throughout the Medieval period. It is an area of high moorland pasture. The western section was enclosed at a late date, during the 19th century (Cynwyl Gaeo tithe map, 1840) when it was divided into large fields with straight boundaries. The eastern third is still unenclosed and the entire area was probably open, common grazing during most of the historic period. A Post-Medieval cottage site represents the only recorded evidence of human occupation, and may be a product of squatting. There is now no settlement.

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
Cefn Branddu is a high rounded ridge which peaks at over 400 m. It has been enclosed into large fields by earth banks, but these are now redundant and wire fences provide stock-proof boundaries. Land-use is mixed, but mostly comprises improved pasture, with rougher grazing and bracken on steep slopes and on the highest points. There are individual trees and small stands of semi-natural deciduous woodland on the steep, northwest-facing slopes. There are no settlements, and the only transport links are rough tracks and paths.

The only archaeological site recorded in this area is the one cottage site.

There are no buildings.

This is a well-defined area. It is bounded by woodland on steep slopes to the east and south, and by farms and fields to the west. On other sides landscape character areas have yet to be defined.






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