Home > Historical Landscapes > St David's >

Penmaen Dewi

289 TRELEDDYN - TREGINNIS

GRID REFERENCE: SM730248
AREA IN HECTARES: 454.4

Historic Background
An area of modern Pembrokeshire at the southwest end of St David's Peninsula. It lay within the medieval Cantref Pebidiog, or 'Dewisland', which was held directly by the Bishops of St David's, having represented the core of the bishopric from 1082 when it was granted (or confirmed) by Rhys ap Tewdwr, king of pre-Conquest Dyfed, to Bishop Sulien. The character area lies within the parish of St David's, which had a number of subordinate chapels, and even today preserves a remarkable ecclesiastical topography. However, there is evidence of an underlying, earlier landscape at the southwest tip of the promontory with clearance cairns and a putative field system, possibly from the bronze age. The early medieval significance of the area is confirmed by the archaeology; the late medieval St Justinian's Chapel has produced evidence of a probable early medieval cemetery, there is a possible llys site at Henllys, while Clegyr-Boia appears to be named from a 6th century chieftain. There may also have been a chapel at Porthlysgi during the Middle Ages. From 1115, when Bernard, was appointed Bishop of St David's, Anglo-Norman systems of feudal government and ecclesiastical administration were introduced into Pebidiog, which was conterminous with the later Hundred of Dewsland created in 1536. However, Welsh tenurial systems appear to have persisted, though variously adapted, and many feudal rights and obligations continued into the early 20th-century. Pebidiog was renowned for its fertile arable land and was particularly productive of barley, and had a high population density. The Black Book of St David's, of 1326, lists among the vills of the 'manor' of Welsh Hundred, Treleddyn (and 'Trefuergu' nearby) and, within the 'manor' of Crughely, the vill at Castell Heinif. Not mentioned are Treginnis, which was first recorded in 1335, Clegyr-Boia which was first recorded in 1472 and Rhosson, first recorded in 1490 the latter two both associated with sub-medieval houses - and Pencarnan first recorded in 1602. All were semi-manorial, held by a version of Welsh custom in which an infield-outfield system was practised, where land was held not by an individual, but by two persons and their co-owners. In fact 'gavelkind' had only recently been abolished in Pebidiog when Owen wrote in c.1600, that the land was still unenclosed 'and exposed to tempests'. 18th- and early 19th-century maps show much of the land still unenclosed. This tenure has given rise to the dominant settlement pattern of the area, represented by a high density of small hamlets, mainly with Tre- place-names and largely based on the medieval vills. Each hamlet is now occupied by a group of post-medieval farm buildings. Each appears to have been associated with two small separate areas of common land, one called 'common' and one called Waun or 'moor', the latter being waste. This may have origins within the medieval period but it is interesting to note that Trefeiddan (Pwll Trefaiddan character area), which was not recorded until 1614, shows the same double association of common land so the system could be post-medieval in date. There is also common land at St Justinian's. Treleddyn, Pencarnan and Trefeiddan are among the hamlets shown as small nucleated settlements on two estate maps of 1762 and 1811, surrounded by extensive tracts of unenclosed field systems, probably held as 'shares' in a survival from Welsh tenure. The open field system is very clear on the 1762 map, but by 1811 it had been partially enclosed and transformed to a system of irregular, rectangular fields. The process was complete by the tithe survey of 1840. The tithe map does, however, show the last remnants of a sub-divided strip system at Clegyr-Boia, as a few strips present in large enclosures, but elsewhere the present field pattern was already in place. The economy of the area has remained overwhelmingly agricultural, characterised since the mid 20th-century by early potato-growing, but there is a post-medieval animal fold at Trefeiddan. In addition, many quarries were established along the coast during the post-medieval period, as well as at least one copper-mine which was operational during the first few decades of the 19th century. A lifeboat station was established at St Justinian's during the late 19th-century, an a look-out tower was constructed - apparently by private enterprise - nearby. More recently there has been an emphasis on tourism and leisure with the provision of a caravan park at Pencarnan.

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
Treleddyn - Treginnis historic landscape character area occupies the extreme southwestern point of the St David's peninsula. Sea cliffs border the area to the west and south. These rise to about 30m, the land then levels out to a gently undulating plateau lying between approximately 30m and 50m. Tor-like rock outcrops - monadnocks - which rise 10m to 20m out of the plateau are a distinctive feature of the natural landscape. The historic landscape is characterised by dispersed farms and fields. The field pattern is of small irregular enclosures. Rubble banks, dry-stone walls, and earth and stone banks comprise the main field boundary types. Hedges are absent on the banks close to the exposed coastal fringe, and where present further inland they consist of low straggling lines of windswept bushes and gorse. It is a treeless landscape. Land-use is mainly improved pasture, with some arable land. Rough grazing and scrubby land is mainly confined to the rocky tors and the narrow coastal strip which lies between the limit of enclosed land and the top of the sea cliffs. An unusual and distinctive aspect of the settlement pattern is the location of farms in the lee of the rocky tors, so affording some protection from the prevailing southwesterly winds. These sheltered locations are often shared by more than one farm, as at Rhosson and Clegyr-Boia, giving the impression of small agricultural hamlets, rather than isolated, dispersed farms, though this pattern is not so pronounced as that in the Treleddyd - Tretio - Caerfarchell historic character area to the north and east. For such a relatively small historic landscape character area, there is a great variety in the type of farmhouses, ranging from a sub-medieval house complete with circular 'Flemish' chimney at Rhosson through to an 18th century, two storey, double pile gentry house at Treleddyn. Most houses are, however, of 19th century date, fairly modest in size, two storey, three bay and generally in the vernacular tradition, though there are examples in the more polite Georgian style. 20th century farmhouses and other dwellings in a variety of styles and materials are present, but, apart from along some coastal sections, do not form a strong element of the landscape. Old farm buildings are stone-built and 19th century in date. Most consist of just one small range, though larger assemblages exist at Rhosson and Treginnis Isaf. At the latter site the buildings have been converted for accommodation. Modern agricultural buildings in steel, concrete and asbestos sheet are relatively modest in size and rarely overwhelm the older buildings. A small collection of buildings at St Justinian's, including the ruined medieval chapel, lifeboat stations and modern buildings, provide a tourist attraction. There are several camp sites and caravan parks, most lying close to the coast. Local-use roads and tracks are narrow and winding and enclosed by high banks.

There are 32 listed buildings in the area. Rhosson Uchaf farm, a classic example of the sub-medieval North Pembrokeshire house with a round chimney and lateral outshut, is Grade II* listed. Clegyr-Boia and Trefaiddan farmhouses were also similar examples of the sub-medieval North Pembrokeshire house. The wellhead at Rhosson Uchaf, and Waun Rhosson cottage, are also both Grade II listed, as are Rhosson-ganol and an outbuilding, and Rhosson Sunday School, built in 1864. Most of the remaining listed buildings are 18th-19th century. Treginnis Uchaf farmhouse, with a round chimney, and its range of outbuildings, are both Grade II listed. Eight buildings at Croeswdig, including the farmhouse and three ranges of outbuildings, are all Grade II listed, as are Treleddyn Isaf farmhouse and two ranges of outbuildings. The garden wall with built in crosshead at Treleddyn Uchaf is Grade II* listed, while one of the farm outbuildings is Grade II listed. Six buildings at Treginnis Isaf comprising the farmhouse, four ranges of outbuildings and the dovecote, are each Grade II listed. Plyg-y-tywyn at the northern edge of the area, on The Burrows, is a Grade II listed early 19th-century cottage. Both the lifeboat stations at St Justinian's, one from 1885 and the other from 1911, are Grade II listed, as is the early 20th century look-out tower

Recorded archaeology is fairly diverse. There have been mesolithic finds at St Justinian's and a flintworking floor at Porthlysgi, while there is a scheduled neolithic chambered tomb, and a neolithic settlement at Clegyr-Boia beneath the later iron age hillfort, also scheduled. From the bronze age are a findspot, clearance cairns and a possible field system, two possible standing stones and a possible round barrow. There is another scheduled iron age hillfort, and Roman finds on the shoreline. A place-name may record a possible llys site, while the scheduled and Grade I listed, later medieval chapel at St Justinian's is associated with early medieval and post-medieval findspots, an early medieval cemetery, and a scheduled and Grade II listed holy well. There is another holy well at Clegyr-Boia and a possible medieval chapel at Porthlysgi. There is a post-medieval fold at Trefeiddan, building platforms at Porthlysgi, and post-medieval quarries, a copper mine, and a possible mining feature on the coast.

Treleddyn - Treginnis historic landscape character area is defined to the west and south by sea cliffs. To the north there is good boundary definition against an area of former unenclosed wind-blown sand. It is only to the east that there is no hard-edged boundary but rather a zone of change. Here the neighbouring areas share many similar characteristics, but there are sufficient differences to warrant the division into separate historic landscape character areas.

Sources: Charles 1992; Dicks 1968; Fenton 1811; Fox 1937; Howell 1993; Howells 1971; Howells 1987; James 1981; James 1993; National Library of Wales Map 7574; Pembrokeshire Record Office HDX/1006; Romilly Allen 1902; St David's tithe map and apportionment, 1840-41; Williams 1953; Willis-Bund 1902

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[click for navigation menu if not present]