Saturday, 29 April 2017

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 200m Twmpau

Moel Feliarth (SH 993 117)

This is the seventy 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 4th April 2017.

The hill is adjoined to the Y Berwyn group of hills, which is situated in the south-eastern part of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A4), and is positioned above and to the immediate north of the A 458 and the small community of Y Foel

Moel Feliarth (SH 993 117)

The hill appeared in the 200m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the name Foel.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height, drop and status was confirmed by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000. 

Foel    258m    SH993117    125239

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 either inappropriate or where another name is viewed as being more appropriate.  By using the name Foel for this hill I was conveniently using the name that appears on current Ordnance Survey maps and which is now strictly given to the village immediately to the south of the hill.

During my research for an appropriate name for this hill I consulted 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 with the use of a split screen enabling the boundary of enclosed land to be compared

I took two data sets from the area of this hill’s summit, one on the northern and one on the southern side of the summit fence that is placed in a west to east direction across the upper part of the hill.  The enclosed land where the first data set was taken from (SH 99327 11775) is given the number 1081 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 this first data set was taken is named Coed yr Hen Ffordd on the Tithe map and described as Pasture.  The enclosed land where the second data set was taken from (SH 99345 11749) and which proved to be the higher is given the number 1102 in the apportionments and named as Borfa Hir on the Tithe map and described as Pasture; these appear in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Llangadfan.

The land where the first data set for the Trimble was taken from is named Coed yr Hen Ffordd on the Tithe map

The land where the second and higher data set for the Trimble was taken from is named Borfa Hir on the Tithe map

However, although the Tithe map gives names for the enclosed land at the summit area of this hill, it would be more appropriate to use a name for the hill and since publication of these P30 lists on Geoff Crowder’s website there have been a number of Ordnance Survey maps made available online, some of these are historical such as the series of Six-Inch maps on the National Library of Scotland website, whilst others are current and digitally updated such as the enlarged map on the Geograph website.  Two of the historical maps now available are the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map which formed the basis for the Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map, and it was the former map that gives the name of the hill as Moel Feliarth.

The Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map names the hill as Moel Feliarth

This information is substantiated by detail given in the Dictionary of the Place-Names of Wales (Hywel Wyn Owen and Richard Morgan, published by Gomer Press 2007) where on page 154 – 155 a history and explanation of the composition and the use of this name is given.

Therefore the name this hill is now listed by in the Twmpau is Moel Feliarth, and this was derived from the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map and substantiated by information given in the Dictionary of the Place-Names of Wales.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Y Berwyn

Name:  Moel Feliarth

Previously Listed Name:  Foel 

Summit Height:  259.8m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  125

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 99345 11749 
Drop:  34.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Myrddyn Phillips (April 2017)

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