CRAIG Y BWLCH
GRID REFERENCE: SN 719695
In the Medieval Period this area formed part of Strata Florida Abbey’s Mefenydd Grange. On the Dissolution abbey lands were granted to the Earl of Essex, who in 1630 sold them to the Crosswood estate. It is likely that this area has always been unenclosed upland and was therefore considered Crown land. Aerial photographs show the remains of what are probably 18th or early 19th century squatter settlements, but the only large-scale manuscript historic map of this area, the tithe map (Gwnnws Tithe Map and Apportionment, 1847), shows it unenclosed or composed of very large enclosures.
Description and essential historic landscape components
A small block of high, craggy unenclosed land ranging between 270m and 330m in height. The unenclosed land was originally quite extensive, but a large expanse of forestry plantation has been established. The major historic landscape component of this area is the working Hendre Quarry. The pit, spoil heaps and buildings of the quarry dominate this landscape area and have a strong visual impact on the areas to the east. Where the quarry has not affected this area, the main land-use is rough pasture. There is evidence in the form of redundant boundaries for squatter settlements on the open land.
Recorded archaeology consists of the deserted post-Medieval settlements mentioned above and a minor metal mine. Time-depth to the landscape is provided by a Bronze Age round barrow and a Bronze Age burnt mound or hearth, indicating a possible settlement site.
To the north a block of forestry plantation presents a clear border to this area. Elsewhere surrounding areas comprise landscapes of large enclosures with improved pasture and rough grazing. There is a fairly distinct boundary between this area and surrounding areas.
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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