182 YSTRAD TYWI: CARMARTHEN - LLANDEILO
GRID REFERENCE: SN 530209
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.
Description and essential historic landscape components
The alluvial flood plain of the Tywi was described in the Land Utilisation Survey of Britain, of 1946, as 'the best quality dairying land in the county' (Cadw/ICOMOS, 1998, 27). The area averages one kilometre in width and gains less than 20 m in height over the 20 km between Carmarthen and Llandeilo. Sections of the river are in a cycle of erosion and deposition; some meanders of the Tywi are active, and oxbow lakes are present most notably to the east of Abergwili where the Bishop's Pond is now a nature reserve, and to the west of Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo, but these are old and the majority of the flood plain is stable and has long been enclosed. The fields are small- to medium-sized and tend towards the regular, though many different patterns from the small irregular to the large regular are present. Field boundaries comprise hedges without banks and earth banks topped with hedges. The former are planted on the valley floor presumably to facilitate flood-water drainage. The condition of these boundaries varies. In some locations, such as between Abergwili and Whitemill, they are well maintained and in good condition, but elsewhere they have broken down completely and the hedges are either derelict or gone. Ditches also form some boundaries. Wire fences supplement all historic boundaries. Virtually the whole of the valley floor is now under improved pasture. Woodland is now virtually non-existent, but distinctive trees, in hedgerows, isolated or in small clumps right along the valley, but particularly those close to the estate cores of Dinefwr and Golden Grove/Gelli Aur, provide a 'parkland' aspect. Apart from 'islands' of slightly higher ground, the whole of this area is subject to at least one episode of flooding each winter. It is on these 'islands' that the several farms are located. Of the major routeways the A40(T) runs on elevated ground to the north, and the area is skirted by the B4300 to the south. The old railway line which was built on a low embankment to avoid flooding is a distinctive feature of the floodplain.
Recorded archaeology is of relatively low density. Findspots include Bronze Age finds and a Roman coin hoard. There are three Bronze Age round barrows near White Mill, one scheduled, and at least one Bronze Age standing stone. The Roman Road and the LNWR railway line survive as field evidence, and the line of the Golden Grove Canal is just visible. There are watermill sites, and two lost chapels, from the Medieval period.
There are few distinctive buildings. Of the three Tywi bridges the stone-built Pont Llandeilo Rwnws, built in 1786, is Grade II listed; there are several minor bridges. Golden Grove and Dryslwyn station buildings survive within the area and are now private dwellings, as is one of the Golden Grove lodges. There are few farmsteads and cottages but Glantowylan, Beili-glas, Pentre Davis, Ro-fawr and the home farm of Abercothi mansion, which was established by 1857 (Jones 1987, 1), are substantial. These and other farmhouses are generally 18th- or 19th-century stone-built structures in the 'polite' Georgian style. Farms have substantial ranges of stone-built outbuildings, some arranged semi-formally around a yard. Most farms have large modern agricultural buildings.
This section of Ystrad Tywi is very distinctive and has boundaries defined by the foot of the valley sides. In most locations this boundary definition is very strong, but close to Nantgaredig and on the south side of the valley near to Llandeilo there is a zone of change, rather than a distinct border.
[click for navigation menu if not present]