GRID REFERENCE: SN 689757
The settlement history of this narrow, blind, very steep-sided and isolated valley before the mid 18th century has not been researched. Cwm-magor was a tenanted farm in the Nanteos estate, and is shown on a 1764-5 estate map (NLW Nanteos 349) as a holding very similar in character to that of today - an isolated farmstead with small fields on the valley floor, and unenclosed land starting on the lower slopes and continuing up the valley sides onto higher ground. By 1819 the Crosswood estate had acquired Blaen cwm-magor and Cwm-magor. Estate maps of this date (NLW Crosswood Vol 1, 16 and 41) show Blaen cwm-magor farmstead as today with small enclosures on the valley floor. Interestingly the Cwm-magor map shows plots of unenclosed arable land on some of the lower slopes. Owing to the topography it is likely that the fertile valley floor has been subjected to more intensive agriculture and enclosure from at least the Medieval Period, than the little used, rough ground of the steep valley sides.
Description and essential historic landscape components
Traditionally access into this blind, narrow valley has only been from the open, southwestern end, but in more recent times track-ways have been cut into the northern side and northeastern end. However, it is still a relatively isolated valley. The valley floor is at approximately 120m; the sides rise up to over 300m. Three farmsteads are distributed along the valley. On the valley floor and lower slopes, close to each farmstead, are small, irregular fields. Still on the valley floor and lower slopes but further away from the dwellings, slightly larger and more regular fields indicate a later episode or episodes of enclosure. Boundaries to the fields are formed from earth banks topped with hedges. Hedges are in fair to good condition, but some are neglected and, in a few instances, becoming overgrown. Some hedges have been replaced with wire fences. Towards the southwestern end, on the banks of the Nant Magor are some small stands of deciduous woodland. Virtually every field is of improved pasture.
The houses appear to be in the typical regional mid-to-late 19th century Georgian vernacular style –gable end chimneys, central front door, and two windows either side of the door and one above. They are built of rendered stone with slate roofs. Small ranges of stone built outbuildings and small modern agricultural buildings are associated with the farms.
The bounds of this landscape character area are quite well defined. Unenclosed
land on steep-sided valley sides lies to the north, east and west, but
to the southwest this area merges with the enclosed land of visually similar
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.
[click for navigation menu if not present]