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Historic Background
A small character area represented by a limestone, dry-stone walled enclosure measuring 400 m north-south by 1000 m east-west, occupying the junction of enclosed farmland and unenclosed moorland of the Black Mountain. The area was once part of Maenor Llys which occupied the eastern part of Iscennen commote. Iscennen, unlike the rest of Cantref Bychan within which it lay, remained nominally independent of Anglo-Norman rule and held under native tenurial systems until 1284 when it was acquired by John Giffard. In 1340 it became a member of the Duchy of Lancaster (Rees 1953, xv-xvi). The enclosure is probably later Medieval/early Post-Medieval in origin and enclosing moorland that had probably been former common grazing. Within the enclosure are a large number of pillow-mounds, probably contemporary with the enclosure and representing a rabbit-warren associated with either Cwrtbrynbeirdd or Carreg Cennen grange (Area 197), Iscennen maerdref (Area 198) or Carreg Cennen Castle (Area 256) - the name Pāl-y-cwrt occurring within the area suggests the former. The wall and pillow-mounds are disused, but survive. Subsequent activity has mainly comprised limestone extraction and processing.


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
Beddau y Derwyddon character area lies on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain at a height of approximately 320 m, comprising enclosed moorland and rocky limestone outcrops. The dry-stone enclosure wall is in a fair state of repair for most of its course. Most of the land is under rough grazing, but in recent years sub-division of the lower, northern parts by wire fences has been accompanied by pasture improvement. A single-track road crosses the area alongside which are the remains of earth-and-stone built lime kilns. There are no buildings, but concrete platform foundations indicate that some form of structure recently stood by the road.

Recorded archaeology includes the wall, lime-kilns and building sites mentioned above, and the pillow-mounds which are a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In addition are several possible Bronze Age round barrows/clearance cairns, and a subsidiary enclosure of unknown nature.

There are no further buildings.

The area is well defined by the stone wall which surrounds it, and stands in sharp contrast with the open moorland to the south, and farmland enclosed by earth banks and hedges to the north.




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