Saturday, 2 July 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – Y Pellennig, Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau

Mynydd Lluest y Rhos (SN 765 920)

This is the eighth post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill whose summit was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 18th May 2014.

The hill is situated in the Pumlumon group of hills, and is relatively remote for a Welsh hill with the nearest towns being Machynlleth towards the north, Tal-y-bont towards the west, Ponterwyd towards the south and Penffordd-las (Staylittle) towards the east.

Mynydd Lluest y Rhos (SN 765 920)

The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as ‘top S Hafodwnog’ in his The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales, and it was later included by Michael Dewey as ‘Foel Grafiau’ in The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales list that appeared in his Mountain tables book published by Constable in 1995.

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on Ordnance Survey maps, without much consideration for its local or historical confirmation, or whether map placement is appropriate.  However, place-name data can be improved by asking local people and examining historical documents and since this hill’s inclusion as a Dewey the area where this hill is situated has been examined via a number of old documents including the Tithe map.

As a result this hill has subsequently been listed under the name of Mynydd Lluest y Rhos in Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales (Europeaklist, Haroldstreet, and Mapping Mountains 2015) with the following explanation appearing in the Notes section of the booklet version of the list:

Name taken from an 1844 tithe map, which confirms this hill as being the highest point on the former sheep-walk of Lluest y Rhos. 

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 sheep-walk is an English term given to enclosed land that is apportioned to a specific farm.  The Welsh term for this land is cynefin, which can be literally translated as habitat, as in that for the sheep.  The cynefin usually takes in high land that is known as the mountain land of the specific farm, therefore the name given to this enclosed land is usually that of the name of the farm prefixed with the word mynydd, this land is usually given over for sheep grazing, hence the term sheep-walk.  When Ordnance Survey maps are examined one can find many examples where this form of cynefin naming system exists, with farms situated in valley’s having their name given to high mountain land and prefixed with the word mynydd.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pumlumon

Name:  Mynydd Lluest y Rhos

Previously Listed Name:  Foel Cerrigbrithion
Summit Height:  528.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  135

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 76543 92029
Drop:  30.0m

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (July 2016)

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