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Historic Background

An area southeast of the Tywi, once part of Perfedd commote of Cantref Bychan, which was invaded by the Anglo-Normans advancing from the east under Richard Fitz Pons, who established a caput at Llandovery in 1110-16 (Rees n.d.). It was acquired soon after by the Clifford lords of Brecon as the Lordship of Llandovery. However, there were many episodes of Welsh rule and the area retained native tenurial customs until the end of the Medieval period when it was incorporated into modern Carmarthenshire. Most of this character area formed part of the patria of Llangadog which was acquired by the Bishops of St Davids in the late 13th century (Rees 1932). A 'Tyddyn' farm name suggests Medieval settlement and formalised land-division, and the area is characterised by small irregular enclosures which may be at least late Medieval in origin. The present farm Wernfrena appears to represent the site of an early Post-Medieval house which has now been rebuilt (Jones 1987, 89).

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

Cefngornoeth character area lies over a low hilly ridge on the south side of the Afon Tywi, between the valleys of the Tywi and the Bran. The ridge rises from approximately 45m on the Tywi valley floor to over 110 m on the low rounded hills. This is essentially a landscape of small irregular fields, small stands of deciduous woodland, some of which may be ancient, and dispersed farms. Farmland is almost totally under improved pasture. Field boundaries are earth banks topped with hedges. Hedges are generally in good condition, with very few overgrown or derelict. Some possess distinctive hedgerow trees. Close to Cefngornoeth house a small area of parkland merges with the surrounding landscape. The stands of trees on the valley side of the Tywi lend a wooded aspect to this side of the character area. Farmsteads are mostly 19th century date and vernacular, with informal farm buildings that include some modern buildings.

Recorded archaeology is limited to a Bronze Age findspot.

There are few distinctive buildings. Farmsteads are mostly of 19th century date, stone-built and in the vernacular tradition; associated old farm buildings are similarly stone-built and generally have an informal arrangement with the farmhouse, while most farms have a range of modern agricultural buildings. There is the usual scatter of Post-Medieval cottages and dwellings. Wernfrena and Cefngornoeth are more substantial houses in a more polite tradition.

This character area is not easy to define as it possess many historic components that are also possessed by its neighbours. To the north, where it meets the Tywi valley there is a fairly distinct border between it and the rather less intensely enclosed land of the flood plain. There is also good definition to the west against the urban unit of Llangadog. To the south and east there is a zone of change, rather than a clear-cut border, between this area and its neighbour.






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