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231 TRICHRUG

GRID REFERENCE: SN 679222
AREA IN HECTARES: 786.10

Historic Background
A southwest - northeast ridge on the southeast side of the Tywi Valley. During the historic period the area lay within Cantref Bychan, divided between two commotes. The western half of the area lay within Iscennen commote, specifically within Maenor Llys. Iscennen remained nominally independent of Anglo-Norman rule until 1284 when it was acquired by John Giffard, and in 1340 it became a member of the Duchy of Lancaster (Rees 1953, xv-xvi). The remainder of Cantref Bychan, including Cwmwd Perfedd within which the remainder of this area lay, was invaded by the Anglo-Normans under Richard Fitz Pons who established a caput at Llandovery in 1110-16 (Rees n.d.), and 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. The boundary between the two areas is still represented by a 'T'-junction on the trackway that follows the spine of the ridge in the western half, which is shown as a trackway on Rees' map of South Wales in the 14th century (Rees 1932). Rees' map also labels this area 'Brenaye Forest', and indeed it appears that the area was probably unenclosed land during the Medieval period and later. The pattern of large, regular enclosures with straight boundaries was in place by 1839 (Llangadog tithe map) but it had probably been recently established; its morphology suggests late enclosure of former moorland. Some subdivision had taken place by 1891 (Ordnance Survey 6" First Edition). The area is dominated by its surviving prehistoric archaeology which provides great time-depth. Sites include a group of Bronze Age round barrows and a possible Iron Age hillfort. The higher ground within the area is pitted with former quarries, presumably Post-Medieval. There has been little recent development.

 

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
Trichrug character area lies across a southwest to northeast ridge. On the flanks of the ridge this area runs down to about 200 m, the highest summit achieved is over 400 m. The crest of the ridge rises from just over 200 m in the southwest to the high point at the northeast end. The whole ridge has been enclosed by medium- and large-sized regular enclosures, but over much of the ridge crest, certainly at the highest point, these have broken down, but on the flanks they survive though in a much degraded form. Boundaries to the fields take a variety of forms, earth banks with hedges, stony banks sometimes with hedges, and dry-stone walls. On the ridge crest hedges are either gone or derelict, but elsewhere they are in better condition, but generally overgrown. Nearly all the dry-stone walls have collapsed. Wire fences provide stock-proof boundaries. At the highest point the ridge essentially consists of a small area of unenclosed moorland. Elsewhere rough pasture and improved grazing constitute the main land-use, though several medium-sized conifer plantations are also present. The remains of numerous small quarries along the ridge comprise important landscape elements. Bronze Age burial mounds are also prominent features of the landscape. There is little present settlement in this character area. Recorded archaeology is rich and important, comprising a Neolithic or Bronze Age findspot, a group of Bronze Age round barrows and, on the edge of the area, a Bronze Age standing stone. There is also an Iron Age or Roman findspot, a possible Iron Age hillfort, Post-Medieval quarries and unknown enclosures .

There are few buildings and none are distinctive.

This is a very distinct area on account of its relative high altitude. Its boundaries, however, are not hard-edged, as the large enclosures of the ridge merge with the smaller fields of neighbouring richer farmland. To the east there is a clear boundary where this area borders forestry.

 

 

 

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