The Top (SO 092 887)
This is the sixtieth 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 2oth April 2016.
The hill is part of the Beacon Hill range, which is situated in the north-eastern part of Mid and West Wales, and is positioned above the A 483 and between the town of Y Drenewydd (Newtown) to its north and the small community of Dolfor to its south-east.
|The Top (SO 092 887)|
The hill appeared in the 300m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under the name Pen-y-banc, with an accompanying note stating; Name from buildings to the North-East. The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble.
Name from buildings to the North-East
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, just use the name of the farm that is situated to the north-east of the hill’s summit. 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.
The name this hill is now listed by is The Top, and this was derived from local enquiry, with the below being an extract from the post relating to the survey of this hill:
I then contemplated calling in at Bank farm which is situated at the bwlch for the second and last hill of the day. Deciding to leave the farm until after visiting the summit of the hill I proceeded down the narrow lane to the south-west of the summit, as I did so a vehicle appeared and as it looked as if it may have come from Bank farm I flagged it down. I chatted with the driver for a few minutes; Gwyn Phillips was indeed the local farmer from Bank, and as the hill that I was interested in was straight above us I pointed its way and asked if he knew a name for it, ‘Just know it as The Top’, came the reply, I asked if he had ever heard any other name for it or if he knew of a field name for where the summit of the hill is situated, and he said ‘It’s on my land, but I’ve never heard another name for it’, with that I expressed my thanks and off he sped down towards the main road.
I later 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.
The Tithe map confirmed that the field where the summit of this hill is situated had no name given it at the time of the Tithe, and that the land was adjoined to Bank farm. This information corresponds with the knowledge that the owner of this farm has, as he told me he had lived there all of his life and except for the name he referred to the hill as; The Top, he did not know another name for the hill or for the field where the summit is situated.
Therefore the name this hill is now listed by is the The Top, and this was derived from local enquiry with Gwyn Phillips, who lives at Bank farm and whose land the summit of this hill is situated on.
The full details for the hill are:
Group: Beacon Hill
Name: The Top
Previously Listed Name: Pen-y-banc
Summit Height: 315.5m (converted to OSGM15)
OS 1:50,000 map: 136
Summit Grid Reference: SO 09275 88714
Myrddyn Phillips (November 2016)