Saturday, 22 October 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 30m-99m Twmpau

Moelfre (SH 561 376)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that was surveyed for 30-99m Sub-Twmpau status, with its height, drop and status being confirmed by the survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 which took place on the 23rd February 2016, and which confirmed the adjacent westerly summit positioned at SH 55830 37553 as being higher.    

The criteria for the list that this survey took place for are:

30-99m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at and above 30m and below 100m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub category entitled the 30-99m Sub-Twmau being all Welsh hills at and above 30m and below 100m in height that have 20m and more and below 30m of drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.

The hill is a part of the Moel Hebog range, which is a group of hills situated in the north-western part of north Wales, and it is positioned between the small communities of Morfa Bychan to the west and Borth-y-gest to the east south-east.

The easterly summit of Moelfre (SH 561 376)

The hill appeared in the 30m-99m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the name Coed BorthThis name was found through local enquiry with Dewi Jones and at a later date confirmed by Aled Williams; a resident and native of Porthmadog respectively.  As Ordnance Survey maps of the day did not give a spot height to the westerly summit, it was the easterly summit with its 72m map spot height that was listed, both have now been Trimbled with the westerly summit proving higher.  

Coed Borth

During my early hill listing I paid little regard to name placement on a map, or the meaning of names and to what feature the name was appropriately applied to.  Therefore I prioritised names for listing purposes that I now understand are inappropriate, and Coed Borth is such an example as although this is the locally known name for the wood close to the summit of this hill, it doesn’t take in the actual summit, whilst the same wood has been consistently named as Parc y Borth on Ordnance Survey maps.  However, Aled has confirmed that this hill and its adjacent westerly higher top are locally and collectively known as Moelfre. 

Before enquiring with Aled I checked 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 land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as Cae Bach on the Tithe map

The enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 931 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 Cae Bach on the Tithe map and described as Arable; it appears in the county named as Caernarfon and in the parish of Ynyscynhaearn.

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by is Moelfre, and this was derived from local enquiry, with the caveat that the land where its summit is situated is named as Cae Bach on the Tithe map. 

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel Hebog

Name:  Moelfre

Previously Listed Name:  Coed Borth 

Summit Height:  73.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  124

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 56181 37683 
Drop:  18.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Myrddyn Phillips (October 2016)

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