Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 200m Twmpau

Rhos yr Ŷd (SH 903 343)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the 200m Twmpauwith the height, drop and status of the hill being confirmed by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey which took place on the 31st May 2017.

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

200m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at and above 200m and below 300m 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 adjoined to the Arenig range, which is a group of hills situated in the south-western part of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A3) with its Cardinal Hill being Arenig Fawr (SH 827 369), and it is positioned above the A 494 road and Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) which are to the south-east, with the small community of Llanycil and the town of Y Bala positioned to the north-east. 

Rhod yr Ŷd (SH 903 343)

The hill appeared in the 200m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the name Y Fedw, with an accompanying note stating; aka Bryn-moel-uchaf.  

Y Fedw  299m  SH903344  12518/23  aka Bryn-moel-uchaf. Included by contour configuration.

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 in this instance, use the name of a farm without an additional word.  This practice is only compounded by the stated note in the P30 list on, for as well as Y Fedw being a name of a farm; Bryn-moel-uchaf is also a name of a farm building.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with time and inclination place-name data can be improved either by asking local people or by examining historical documents, through this form of research an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found, and in the case of this hill the name of Rhos yr Ŷwas derived from the Tithe map.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map with Y Fedw, Bryn-moel-uchaf and Bryn-moel-isaf all being farms or farm buildings

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

The enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 196 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 Rhos yr ud (which is an anglicised version of Rhos yr Ŷd) on the Tithe map and described as Arable; it appears in the county named as Merioneth and in the parish of Llanycil.

When cross referenced in the apportionments the enclosed land is named as Rhos yr Ŷd

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the 200m Twmpau is Rhos yr Ŷd, and this was derived from the Tithe map. 

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Arenig

Name:  Rhos yr Ŷd

Previously Listed Name:  Y Fedw 

Summit Height:  298.8m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  125

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 90324 34367 
Drop:  30.3m (converted to OSGM15)

My thanks to Aled Williams for his help in studying this name on the Tithe map

Myrddyn Phillips (July 2017)

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