Friday, 31 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 200m Twmpau and Y Trechol - The Dominant Hills of Wales

Cefn Nedd (SO 185 965)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the 200m Twmpau and Y Trechol - The Dominant Hills of Waleswith the height, drop, dominance and status of the hill being confirmed by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey which took place on the 9th March 2017.

The criteria for the two lists 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.

Y Trechol - The Dominant Hills of Wales - These are the Welsh P30 hills whose prominence equal or exceed half that of their absolute height.  With the criteria for Lesser Dominant status being those addition Welsh P30 hills whose prominence is 33% or more and below 50% of their absolute height.  

The hill is adjoined to the Beacon Hill range, this group of hills is situated in the north-eastern part of Mid and West Wales (Region B, Sub-Region B1), and the hill is positioned above the B 4385 and the A 483 roads with the Afon Hafren (River Severn) between each, and has the small town of Trefaldwyn (Montgomery) to the east and the village of Aber-miwl (Abermule) to the south-west. 

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Cefn Nedd

The hill appeared in the 200m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the name Goron-ddu.  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, and Goron Ddu is such an example as this name has been consistently applied by the Ordnance Survey to land taking in the lower north-westerly slopes of this hill, and not necessarily to the hill itself or its summit, and importantly the placement of this name in relation to the land it is applicable to has also been substantiated by local enquiry, including with the landowner.  The former 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now advocate as with time and inclination place-name data can be improved either by asking local people or by examining historical documents, through this form of research an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found, and in the case of this hill the name of Cefn Nedd was derived from the Tithe map.  

Goron-ddu      207m      SO185965      136  216

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Historical map showing the placement of the name Gorun-ddu

Alan Harding was the second local farmer who substantiated the land that the name of Gorun Ddu is applicable to, and this matches the name placement on the above map, he also put me in contact with the land owner who also substantiated the placement of Gorun Ddu to be on the lower north-westerly slopes of this hill

The current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map is not the best for name placement

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 enclosed land taking in the summit is given the number 551 on the Tithe map

The enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 551 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 Cefn Nedd on the Tithe map and described as Cloverley; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Llandysul.

When cross referenced in the apportionments the enclosed land is named as Cefn Nedd

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the 200m Twmpau and Y Trechol - The Dominant Hills of Wales is Cefn Nedd, and this was derived from the Tithe map. 

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Beacon Hill

Name:  Cefn Nedd

Previously Listed Name:  Goron-ddu 

Summit Height:  207.2m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  136

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 18524 96503  

Drop:  89.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Dominance:  42.99%

Myrddyn Phillips (March 2017)

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