Sunday, 26 June 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – Y Pellennig, Yr Uchafion and 700m Twmpau

Trwsgl (SH 664 679)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of Wales, Yr Uchafion and the 700m Twmpauwith the following details relating to a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 10th March 2014.

The criteria for the three listings that this name change affects are:

Y Pellennig –The Remotest Hills of Wales comprise all Welsh hills whose summit is 2.5km or more from the nearest paved public road and which have a minimum 15m of drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams.

Yr Uchafion - All Welsh hills at or above 500m in height that have 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams. 

700m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at or above 700m and below 800m in height with 30m minimum drop.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.   

The hill is situated in the Carneddau, which is a group of hills forming the northern boundary of Eryri (Snowdonia).  This hill range takes in a number of 3,000ft peaks and offers excellent hill walking.  The hill forms a part of the westerly ridge descending from Carnedd Uchaf (SH 686 669) and is positioned to the east north-east of Bethesda and to the south of Abergwyngregyn.

Trwsgl (SH 664 679)

The hill was first listed by Arthur St George Walsh in his late 1920’s unpublished compilation to The 2000-footers of England and Wales, and first made an appearance in a published hill list in the 1940 Rucksack Club Journal in Ted Moss’s list to The-Two Thousands of Wales.  These early listings included this hill under the composition of Y Drosgl and Drosgl respectively, both followed the composition of this hill’s name on maps of the day.

The changes to the composition for this hill's name on Ordnance Survey and Bartholomew maps are detailed below:

OS 1816 Draft Surveyors Map:  Y Trwsgol

OS 1841 One-Inch ‘Old Series’ Map:  Y Drosgl

OS 1888 Six-Inch Map:  Drosgol

OS 1901 Six-Inch Map:  Drosgl

Bartholomew 1920’s Half-Inch:  Y Drosgl

Excerpt from the 1816 Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors Map

Hill list authors usually accept the name given the hill on the map of the day, without further enquiries being made.  However, as with numerical data where there are now independent surveyors producing accurate heights for hills that are fed in to hill lists, there are also people undertaking extensive place-name research that produce more appropriate names for hills than those currently in use and these are also fed in to hill lists.  This research is based on local enquiry and historical documentation, and as with accurate surveyed heights that improve data within listings, place-name research does likewise.

In the case of this hill it was Aled Williams who conducted extensive local enquiries with the people who work the land where this hill is situated and whose families have lived in this area for generations.  During this research he found that the preferred pronunciation of the hill’s name is Trwsgl which favours that first documented by the Ordnance Survey with the variation that the definite article ‘Y’ has been dropped.

This hill has subsequently been listed under the name of Trwsgl in Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales (Europeaklist, Haroldstreet, and Mapping Mountains 2015) with the following explanation appearing in the booklet version of the list:

Names given for the hills in this list follow correct Welsh usage and are taken from a variety of sources, not just the paper and online mapping produced by the Ordnance Survey.  OS maps of Wales are not always correct in the naming of a hill, or may give a spelling that does not conform to correct Welsh usage.  Importantly, if no name has been discovered for a hill from any source, it is referred to as Pt. xxm (Pt. for ‘Point’ or ‘Pwynt’), using the generally accepted convention, rather than making up a bogus name for which there is no historical or local evidence of use.

An example of this thoughtful naming policy is highlighted by the 757m hill at grid reference SH 663 679, which is listed in this booklet as ‘Trwsgl’.  The hill appears under the name ‘Drosgl’ in the Welsh Nuttalls and Hewitts hill lists respectively, following the composition of the name that appears on contemporary OS maps.  The translation of this name into English is rendered as ‘rough land’ and both trosgl (y drosgl) and trwsgl are accepted variations of the same adjective.  However, ‘Trwsgl’ was the form originally recorded for this hill by the OS in 1816 and extensive research conducted for this listing found that this is still the most used form locally.  We believe that instances like this enrich the listing and provide an element of historical interest to the publication.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Carneddau

Name:  Trwsgl

Previously Listed Name:  Drosgl
Summit Height:  756.9m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  115

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 66387 67984 
Drop:  36.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (June 2016)

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