Sunday, 10 July 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 200m Twmpau

Y Golfa Common (SJ 173 073)

This is the eleventh post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 20th August 2014.

The hill is part of the Carnedd Wen group of hills, which are situated in the southern part of north Wales, and is positioned to the north of the A 458 road that heads west from Y Trallwng (Welshpool).

Y Golfa Common (SJ 173 073)

The hill is listed as a 200m Sub-Twmpau, the name Twmpau is an acronym for ‘thirty welsh metre prominences and upward’, with a Sub-Twmpau being those hills that have 20m or more and less than 30m of prominence.  This category of hill was first listed on Geoff Crowder’s v-g,me website with an accompanying Sub-List entitled ‘Hills to be Surveyed.’  This Sub-List included all known hills that when surveyed may have sufficient prominence to be included in the main P30 list, this was based on map detail with Ordnance Survey spot heights taken at face value, therefore a hill with a 250m summit and a 231m bwlch spot height was not included in the Sub-List as with a 29m prominence it was deemed not to have a chance of inclusion in the main P30 list.  I now know that Ordnance Survey spot heights have a +/- 3m margin of uncertainty applicable to them and therefore the Sub-Twmpau list has been standardised to include all hills that have 20m or more and less than 30m of prominence.

As this hill’s detail on Ordnance Survey maps did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the ‘Hills to be Surveyed’ Sub-List, the first time this hill was categorised was on the Mapping Mountains site after it was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  It then appeared under the point (Pt. 300m) notation, this convention is used when no name has been discovered for the hill from any source rather than use a name for which there is no historical or local evidence of use.

The name this hill is now listed by is Y Golfa Common and this was derived from the Tithe map.  The term Tithe map is generally given to a map of a Welsh or English parish or township and which was prepared after the 1836 Tithe Commutation Act.  This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods.  The Tithe maps gave names of owners and occupiers of land in each parish and importantly for place-name research they also included the name of enclosed land.  This enclosed land is usually based on a field system, however not every field is given a name, but many are and especially so in Wales.

The enclosed land is given a number which can be cross referenced against the apportionments; it is these apportionments that give the name of the owner or occupier of the land as well as the name of the land.  However, in this instance the land where the summit of this hill is situated is on common land and named as Golfa Common; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Castell Caereinion.

Accessing information on the Tithe map is simplified by the use of a split screen enabling the bounded land as it appears today on the map on the right to be compared to how it was enclosed during the time of the Tithe map on the left

The hill this post relates to has a higher adjacent hill named on current Ordnance Survey maps as Y Golfa (SJ 182 070), both summits are now a part of Welshpool Golf Club and are designated open access land.  The land named as Golfa Common on the Tithe map also takes in the higher summit now named as Y Golfa, and although the point notation could have been adopted for this hill; Pt. 300m, Y Golfa, I thought by using its name from the Tithe map it would differentiate it from its higher adjacent hill and provide an element of historical interest.  

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Carnedd Wen

Name:  Y Golfa Common

Previously Listed Name:  Pt. 300m
Summit Height:  299.8m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  125

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 17363 07344 
Drop:  26.4m

Myrddyn Phillips (July 2016)

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