Saturday, 27 August 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 100m Twmpau

Gors Leasow (SJ 228 180)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the 100m Twmpau, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 8th August 2015.

The criteria for the list that this name change applies to are:

100m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at and above 100m and below 200m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.

The hill is a part of the Carnedd Wen range, which is an extensive group of hills situated in the southern part of north Wales.  It is positioned between the small communities of Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain to the north, Llanymynech to the north-east, Four Crosses to the east and Ardd-lin (Arddleen) to the south-east.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Gors Leasow

The hill appeared in the 100m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under an invented name of Bryn Trewylan, with an accompanying note stating; Name from hall to the South.   During my early hill listing I thought it appropriate to either invent a name for a hill, or use a name that appeared near to the summit of the hill on Ordnance Survey maps of the day.  My preference was to use farm names and put PenBryn or Moel in front of them, or as in this instance, use part of the name of Trewylan Hall, a large residence to the south of the summit.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with research either conducted locally or historically an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found.  

Bryn Trewylan
    Name from hall to the South

The name this hill is now listed by is Gors Leasow, 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.

Accessing information on the Tithe map is simplified by the use of a split screen enabling the summit to be pinpointed on the map on the right and for the same point to appear on the Tithe map on the left

The enclosed land where the summit of Gors Leasow is situated is given the number 1406 on the Tithe map, this 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.  The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as Gos [sic] Leasow and described as Arable; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Llansanffrraid ym Mechain. 

The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named Gos Leasow on the Tithe map

It is important when studying these apportionments to consider the spelling of each word and in this instance the word Gos precedes that of Leasow.  The latter word means Pasture or Meadowland, whilst the former has no meaning either in English or in Welsh.  However, the Welsh word Cors (mutated to Gors) when translated in to English means Bog or Marsh and local pronunciation favours the ‘r’ becoming silent.  Therefore Gors Leasow can be translated as Marshy Pasture or Boggy Meadowland.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Carnedd Wen

Name:  Gors Leasow

Previously Listed Name:  Bryn Trewylan 

Summit Height:  161.6m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  126

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 22864 18055 
Drop:  c 51m

Myrddyn Phillips (August 2016)

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