Sunday, 4 October 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Y Berwyn

04.09.15  Foel Hill (SJ 214 205)  

Foel Hill (SJ 214 205)

Another evening walk in the company of Mark, and one where we parked in the same spot as we had done one week earlier.  Last Friday’s walk was to the top of Winllan Hill (SJ 217 214) and this Friday’s walk was planned to take in Foel Hill, which is situated opposite Winllan Hill.

We met in Llanymynech and proceeded in one car to Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain and parked to the north of the town on the grass verge beside the road at approximately SJ 213 214.  From here, we had two options for our onward route to Foel Hill, and decided to try and combine each for an extended small walk.

Foel Hill is also known as Soldier’s Mount, with the latter strictly applicable to the summit area of the hill.  It is shapely in profile and has the remains of an Iron Age fortification at its summit. 

Leaving the car we walked down the beginnings of a paved lane which soon gave way to a track, this quickly turned into a narrow path and led down into woodland  with steep slopes on our right and a stream below.  These old ways through country landscape have a beauty all to their own, part being forgotten and part breathing ancient and gentle ways into a modern world.  As we continued through the wood we passed a gate with a sign advertising the prospect of Free-Range products that were on offer in a near-by farm, I just hope Social Services do not come this way anytime soon!

On the lower part of the wooded track

Sounds like a good upbringing

As we emerged out of the wood we found the continuation of our onward route past the old house of Ffinnant and proceeded to walk through open fields with the rising slopes of Foel Hill in front of us.  Down to our right and beside a large pool not marked on current maps was a field of Lamas happily lazing in the quietness of the evening.

An inquisitive Lama

And a field full of Lamas

After the enclosed wooded path we emerged onto open fields leading toward Foel Hill

As I packed my one skin summer walking jacket away in my rucksack Mark wandered up a gravelled lane that in time would lead to the Afon Cain, I quickly caught him up and we found a gate that gave convenient access onto the open and upper hillside of Foel Hill.

The hill’s upper slopes are steep and its western and northern part wooded with mature and elegant deciduous trees.  As we slowly made progress toward the summit the first signs of evening colour emanated from the sky, however we knew this was short lived as the forecast proved correct as on our descent the grey clouds were massing from the west bringing spots of rain after darkness had fell.

On the steep slopes heading toward the summit

Once at the top we walked straight toward the easily identifiable high point, this is a patch of grass above a small and attractive outcrop of rock that clings in view emerging out of the cropped grasslands of the hill.

Within a few minutes the Trimble was set up on its tripod operating with its external antenna.  I had brought this as maps suggest that the summit is immersed in trees, although in a slight clearing the summit still has a number of mature trees overlooking it.  As the Trimble did its stuff we relaxed a few metres away and waited for the five minute data collection to be completed.

Gathering data from the summit of Foel Hill

Last Friday's (and for me last Saturday's) hill - Winllan Hill (SJ 217 214)

The Trimble connected to its external antenna and set up 1.14m above the ground

On our ascent we passed over the remains of this hill’s Iron Age fortification, and once the surveying equipment had been packed away, we descended our inward route down and over the scarps which represent a single bank and ditch, this is impressive and on the eastern side there are traces of an ancient entrance with the westerly aspect appearing to be scarped / terraced.  The upper section of the hill is another fine example of ancient fortification and one, like numerous of its counterparts, that is positioned above a near river.

On our way back to the car we diverged from our inward route and tried following a footpath back to the road, but hedges and wired fences made progress problematic and we headed toward our wooded path.

Foel Hill from our upward route across the field back to the car

Once back at the car I quickly got changed and we headed towards our reserved table for evening grubby-kins at the Lion Hotel in Llansanffraid, a lovely way to end another excellent evening walk.   

Survey Result:

Foel Hill

Summit Height:  182.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 21407 20593

Drop:  c 76m

Dominance:  41.63%

For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here}

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