Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – Y Pedwarau

Gaer Fach (SO 009 366)

This is the thirty third 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 18th August 2015.

The hill is part of Mynydd Epynt, which is a group of hills situated in the south-eastern part of mid and west Wales.  The hill is positioned between the small communities of Merthyr Cynog to the west north-west and Lower Chapel to the east south-east.

Gaer Fach (SO 009 366)

The hill appeared in the 400m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the partly invented name Pen Gaer Fach, with an accompanying note stating; Name from summit hillfort.  This listing of hills is now co-authored with Aled Williams and known as Y Pedwarau.  

Pen Gaer Fach
    Name from summit hillfort

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 Pen, Bryn or Moel in front of them or as in this instance, use the name of the summit hillfort and add the word Pen.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with a little research either conducted locally or historically an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found.  

As an appropriate name for this hill already exists on current Ordnance Survey maps; Gaer Fach, the invented and prefixed word of Pen is wholly unnecessary and therefore the name this hill is now listed by in Y Pedwarau (Europeaklist May 2013 and Haroldstreet January 2014) is Gaer Fach.  

Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

Please note, the current Ordnance Survey enlarged map on the Geograph website gives the composition of this name as Caer fach, in this instance it is appropriate to use Gaer with a ‘G’ and Fach with a capital ‘F’.

Extract from the current Ordnance Survey enlarged map on the Geograph website with inappropriate composition

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Mynydd Epynt

Name:  Gaer Fach

Previously Listed Name:  Pen Gaer Fach 

Summit Height:  413.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 00915 36622 
Drop:  35.5m

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (August 2016)

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