Upland Ceredigion Upland Ceredigion, at 468 square kilometres, is the largest landscape on the Register of Landscapes of Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales. An historic landscape characterisation project in 1998-99 identified, described and photographed 132 historic landscape character areas within this register area. The large number of character areas is a reflection of not just the landscape's size, but also of is very diverse nature. It ranges from large tracts of high, open moorland which is characterised by prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments, occasional upland farms, lead mines and large numbers of deserted medieval, and later, settlements through to farms, fields and villages in the valleys of the Teifi, Ystwyth and Rheidol.
Abandoned dwellings are one of the most distinctive historic elements of the upland fringe landscape. Many of these dwellings did not come into existence until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century when 'squatting' - building tai-unnos or 'one-night houses' - on marginal land became common. A draining away of population from the mid nineteenth century onwards caused many of these to be abandoned. However, the distinctive settlement pattern created by the 'squatters' is still detectable in the modern communities at Cwmystwyth, Ystum Tuen, Rhos y Gell and at other locations. Many of these new communities developed to serve the metal mining industry (chiefly lead). The abandoned mines and spoil tips of this industry form a prominent component of the historic landscape, the Cwmystwyth mines being a particularly well-known and distinctive example. As well as farms and villages, the valley floors and lower-lying areas contain elements such as the eighteenth-nineteenth century picturesque landscape at Hafod, the mansion, park and estate of Trawscoed (Crosswood) and the ruined abbey of Strata Florida.
Project Contact: Ken Murphy
This project was funded by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments
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