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Preseli historic landscape characterisation

Foel Drigarn

Twenty-six historic landscape characters were identified in the Preseli historic landscape. These character areas reflect the diverse and complex nature of the Preseli Mountains and surrounding areas and include: the high, rocky moorland of the Preseli Mountains which includes Carn Menyn the geological source of the Stonehenge bluestones; the regular fields of nineteenth century Parliamentary enclosure on the south and east side of the mountains; the lower lying common land around Mynachlog-ddu in which Cors Fawr stone circle is located; the small, irregular fields, woods and scattered farms close to Pentre Ifan neolithic burial chamber; the rich farmland and large farms to the north of the mountains.

Characterisation has highlighted the changes wrought in the historic landscape over the past few centuries. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the south of the mountains, farms were constructed and ground improved and enclosed into fields, transforming the area from open moorland to a settled agricultural landscape. However, during the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries many of these farms at higher elevations were abandoned and their fields returned to the mountain. In contrast, to the north of the mountains, in the seventeenth century, rich farmland which had been farmed for many centuries in open field systems was transformed into the patchwork of fields, farms and woodland we see today.

Project contact: Ken Murphy

The project is grant aided by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments



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