Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 500m Twmpau


500m Twmpau – Significant Name Changes

The 500m Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) are the Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have a minimum drop of 30m.  Accompanying the main P30 list is a sub list entitled the 500m Sub-Twmpau with the qualification to this sub category being all Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height with 20m or more and below 30m of drop.

The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips and the posts that have appeared on Mapping Mountains detailing the significant name changes to the main P30 list and the sub list appear below presented chronologically in receding order.









Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Yr Allt (SO 056 162) - 8th significant name change

Survey post for Yr Allt


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau, with the summit height, bwlch height and their locations, the drop and status of the hill initially determined by LIDAR analysis conducted by Aled Williams and subsequently by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Willams on the 19th April 2019.

Yr Allt (SO 056 162) with the Bannau Brycheiniog beyond

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

Yr Uchafion – Welsh hills at or above 500m in height with 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the Introduction to this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

500m Twmpau – Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height with 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub category entitled the 500m Sub-Twmpau consisting of all Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height with 20m or more and below 30m of drop.  With the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.

The hill is adjoined to the Cymoedd Gwent group of hills, which are situated in the eastern part of South Wales (Region C, Sub-Region C2), and it is positioned with a minor road to its north-west and above the Pentwyn Reservoir to its south-west, and has the towns of Merthyr Tudful to its south and Aberhonddu (Brecon) to its north.

The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as Pant y Creigiau in The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales.  When this hill was first included in the listings that later became known as Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau it was also listed by this same name.

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, with little regard for the meaning of names and to what feature the name is appropriately applied to and little consideration for its local or historic confirmation.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with time and inclination place-name information can be improved either by historic research and / or local enquiry.  In the case of this hill the name of Pant y Creigiau appears near to the summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps. 

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

It was during the compilation of the Yr Uchafion list that I first made place-name enquiries with local farmers, grazers and landowners, and it was during this process that the name of Yr Allt was confirmed as being appropriate for this hill.

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau is Yr Allt and this was derived from contemporary Ordnance Survey maps and confirmed locally as appropriate.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Cymoedd Gwent

Name:  Yr Allt

Previously Listed Name:  Pant y Creigiau

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Height:  564.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 05633 16201

Bwlch Height:  493.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 07090 15748

Drop:  71.2m



Myrddyn Phillips (August 2019)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Banc yr Haul (SN 802 828) - 7th significant name change

Survey post for Banc yr Haul


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau, with the drop and status of the hill initially determined by a basic levelling survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips on the 22nd July 2000 and confirmed by a level and staff line survey conducted by Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips on the 19th February 2010, with subsequent LIDAR summit analysis conducted by Aled Williams and the summit height, bwlch height and their locations determined by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips on the 10th April 2019.

Banc yr Haul (SN 802 828)

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

Yr Uchafion – Welsh hills at or above 500m in height that have 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the Introduction to this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

500m Twmpau – Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub category entitled the 500m Sub-Twmpau consisting of all Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 20m or more and below 30m of drop.  With the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.

The hill is adjoined to the Elenydd group of hills which are situated in the central part of the Mid and West Wales Region (Region B, Sub-Region B2), and it is positioned with the A44 road to its west, north and east, and has the villages of Ponterwyd towards the west south-west and Llangurig towards the east south-east.

Graham during the line survey of Banc yr Haul

Graham beside the summit of Banc yr Haul during our line survey

The hill first made an appearance in a hill list in 1997 when John Kirk listed it in his Kirk’s BIG Mountain List as Hirgoed Ddu (S), using a name that appeared to the north of the hill on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps of the day, this list remains unpublished but is available via enquiry with the author.

When this hill was first included in the listings that later became known as Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau it was listed by the directional name of Cripiau South South-east Top, with this name being taken from the hill positioned to its north north-west.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

During my early hill listing I paid little regard to name placement on the map, or the meaning of names and to what feature the name was appropriately applied to.  Therefore if a hill was seemingly unnamed on the map I either invented a name or used a combination of a directional name for it.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with time and inclination place-name information can be improved either by historic research and / or local enquiry.

It was during the compilation of the Yr Uchafion list that I first made place-name enquiries with local farmers, grazers and landowners, during this process there were many people who gave me an enormous amount of information and one of these was Erwyd Howells who worked as a shepherd, and is now an author and another person who realises the insignificant and importance of documenting upland place-names, and it was Erwyd who gave the name of Banc yr Haul for this hill.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Banc yr Haul

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau is Banc yr Haul and this was derived from local enquiry.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Elenydd

Name:  Banc yr Haul

Previously Listed Name:  Cripiau South South-east Top

OS 1:50,000 map:  135, 136

Summit Height:  525.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 80202 82864

Bwlch Height:  495.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 80293 82632

Drop:  30.6m (line survey and Trimble GeoXH 6000)



Myrddyn Phillips (August 2019)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Glanfeinion Hill (SO 033 846) - 6th significant name change

Survey post for Glanfeinion Hill

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau, with the summit height, drop and status of the hill being confirmed by a Leica 530 survey conducted by John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips on the 10th February 2010, with a subsequent Trimble GeoXH 6000 summit survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips on the 4th August 2018.

Glanfeinion Hill (SO 033 846)

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

Yr Uchafion – Welsh hills at or above 500m in height that have 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the Introduction to this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

500m Twmpau – Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub category entitled the 500m Sub-Twmpau consisting of all Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 20m or more and below 30m of drop.  With the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.

The hill is adjoined to the Pegwn Mawr group of hills which are situated in the Mid and West Wales Region (Region B, Sub-Region B1), and it is positioned with the A 470 road and the Afon Hafren (River Severn) to its north-west and the A 483 road to its east, and has the small community of Llandinam towards the north and the town of Llanidloes towards the west.

The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as top N Caelluest in The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales.  When this hill was first included in the listings that later became known as Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau it was listed by the name of Waun Lluestowain.  This is a name that appeared to the east of this hill’s summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps of the day.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger map

During my early hill listing I paid little regard to name placement on the 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.

It was during the compilation of the Yr Uchafion list that I first made place-name enquiries with local farmers, grazers and landowners and this hill was one of the first that I enquired about.  This was so early in my place-name enquiries that I had not at that stage started to document each enquiry that would later be done in a systematic way.  Therefore I have no record of who I spoke to.  However, the person did have association with the land that this hill is situated on and he told me that it is known as Glanfeinion Hill after the landowning farm of Glanfeinion which is situated to the west north-west of its summit.

The Leica 530 gathering data at the summit of Glanfeinion Hill

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Glanfeinion Hill

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau is Glanfeinion Hill and this was derived from local enquiry.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pegwn Mawr

Name:  Glanfeinion Hill

Previously Listed Name:  Waun Lluestowain

OS 1:50,000 map:  136

Summit Height:  534.9m (converted to OSGM15, Leica 530)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 03338 84670 (Leica 530)

Bwlch Height:  506.5m (converted to OSGM15, Leica 530)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 03043 83053 (Leica 530)

Drop:  28.4m (converted to OSGM15, Leica 530)



Myrddyn Phillips (January 2019)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Grug Crofftau (SN 750 612) - 5th significant name change

Survey post for Grug Crofftau


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau, with the summit height, drop and status of the hill being confirmed by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey which took place on the 25th June 2018, with the position of the bwlch having been ascertained from LIDAR analysis conducted by Aled Williams.

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

Yr Uchafion – Welsh hills at or above 500m in height that have 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the Introduction to this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

500m Twmpau – Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub category entitled the 500m Sub-Twmpau consisting of all Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 20m or more and below 30m of drop.  With the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.

The hill is situated in the Elenydd group of hills which are placed in the Mid and West Wales Region (Region B, Sub-Region B2), and it is positioned in relatively remote land for Wales and has the small community of Pontrhydfendigaid towards the north north-west and Tregaron towards the west south-west.

Heading toward the summit of Grug Crofftau (SN 750 612)

When this hill was first included in the listings that later became known as Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau it was listed by the name of Pen Llyn Crugnant, with an accompanying note stating; Named from lake to the 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 PenBryn or Moel in front of them or as in this instance, use the name of a near lake and prefix it with the word Pen.  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 it was only towards the end of the compilation of the Yr Uchafion list that place-name enquiries were made with local farmers, grazers and landowners.

One of the local farmers contacted in this area shepherds the land above Tyncwm (SN 770 655) and gave the name of Grug Crofftau for this hill when a detailed description of its position was given, the farmer in question is local to the area and has worked this land since 1961.  Another local farmer who when contacted was aged 80, having lived at Crofftau (SN 750 644) and shepherding the hills above this farm for 25 years knew the hill as Grug, explaining that it is the highest part of land associated with the farm of Crofftau.

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau is Grug Crofftau and this was derived from local enquiry.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Elenydd

Name:  Grug Crofftau

Previously Listed Name:  Pen Llyn Crugnant

Summit Height:  533.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  146, 147

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 75031 61257

Drop:  29.0m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips (October 2018)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Banc y Foel (SN 725 186) - 4th significant name change

Survey post for Banc y Foel

Significant Height Revisions post for Banc y Foel


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau, with the summit height and drop of the hill being confirmed by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey which took place on the 6th May 2018.

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

Yr Uchafion – Welsh hills at or above 500m in height that have 15m minimum drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the Introduction to this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

500m Twmpau – Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.

The hill is adjoined to the Mynydd Du range of hills, which are situated in the western part of South Wales (Region C, Sub-Region C1).  The hill is positioned with the A 4069 road to its east, and has the village of Llangadog towards the north and Brynaman towards the south.

Banc y Foel (SN 725 186)


The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as Carn Pen-rhiw-ddu in The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales, and was later included by Michael Dewey by the same name in his list entitled The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales that appeared in his Mountain tables book published by Cicerone in 1995.

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, without much consideration for its local or historical confirmation, or whether map placement is appropriate, and in the case of this hill the name of Carn Pen Rhiw-ddu appears beside an ancient cairn on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps on the northern periphery of this hill’s summit plateaux and which is approximately 300 metres from the high point of the hill.

When this hill was first included in the Yr Uchafion and the list that later became known as the 500m Twmpau it was listed as Pen Rhiw-ddu, it was only towards the end of the compilation of the Yr Uchafion list that place-name enquiries were made with local farmers, grazers and landowners.

One of the local farmers contacted in this area grazes this hill from the south and he immediately gave the name of Banc y Foel when a detailed description of its position was given.  The farmer in question had grazed and gathered sheep on this hill for 50 years and was the third generation of his family to do so, saying that the names he gave were passed down to him by his father, a later enquiry with his mother who was then aged in her 80s also resulted in the same name being given for the hill.

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau is Banc y Foel and this was derived from local enquiry.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Mynydd Du

Name:  Banc y Foel

Previously Listed Name:  Pen Rhiw-ddu

Summit Height:  531.6m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 72536 18670

Drop:  38.9m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips (July 2018)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Tor Du (SN 842 856) - 3rd significant name change

Survey post for Tor Du


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpauwith the summit height and its position confirmed by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 which took place on the 18th July 2016, and the bwlch height and its position confirmed by LIDAR analysis initially conducted by Aled Williams and subsequently by Myrddyn Phillips.

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

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

500m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at and above 500m and below 600m in height with 30m minimum drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.  

The hill is a part of the Pumlumon range, which is an extensive group hills in the north-western part of Mid and West Wales, and it is situated above the A 44 road which is to its south and is positioned between the small communities of Llangurig to its south-east and the even smaller community of Eisteddfa Gurig to its west south-west.

Tor Du (SN 842 856)

The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as Tor Du in The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales, and was later included by Michael Dewey and listed as Esgair y Maesnant SE Top in the April 2002 edition of Strider which included the updates to The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales list that appeared in his Mountain tables book published by Constable in 1995.

These two listings relied upon Ordnance Survey maps of the day for the hill names used within their compilations, and as shown below by extracts taken from a number of Ordnance Survey maps there are hill names that for inexplicable reasons do not appear on subsequent published maps, and this is what has happened in relation to this hill and its name. 

When this hill was first included in the Yr Uchafion and the list that later became known as the 500m Twmpau it was listed as Esgair y Maesnant South-East Top, with the use of a directional name based on its adjacent peak toward the north-west, and this is the name used when the details relating to a rudimentary survey that gave the hill over 30m of drop were sent to Michael Dewey, who excepted the survey result and listed it as Esgair y Measnant SE Top.  The information sent to Michael was reliant upon Ordnance Survey maps of the day and these did not show a name for the hill.

Over recent years 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 hosted on the Geograph website.  Three of the historical maps now available are the Ordnance Survey One-Inch Seventh Series, One-Inch New Popular and the historical 1:25,000 map, all of which relied heavily for their place-name detail on the series of Six-Inch maps.

Extracts from a number of Ordnance Survey maps appear below giving detail relating to the name Tor Du and its placement at or near the summit of this hill, and its exclusion from current Ordnance Survey maps.

Extract from the series of Ordnance Survey Six Inch maps

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch Seventh Series map

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch New Popular map

Extract from the Ordnance Survey historical 1:25,000 map

Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map with the hill without its name

It was because of these earlier Ordnance Survey maps that this hill was subsequently listed in both Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau compilations as Tor Du.  However, place-name data can be substantiated by making local enquiries, and on the day when this hill was Trimbled I asked a number of farmers who were relaxing in the early morning sunshine vapouring, the names of the hills.  I was subsequently offered a lift up to the bwlch between Y Drum and Esgair y Maesnant by Huw Meyrick, who had lived in the area for twenty years and was only too happy to talk about the hills and their names, and along with giving many other hill names Huw named this hill Tor Du, substantiating the hill’s name that unfortunately no longer appears on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps.

Huw Meyrick

Therefore, as a result of detail on old Ordnance Survey maps which has been substantiated by local enquiry the hill has subsequently been listed under the name of Tor Du in the Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pumlumon

Name:  Tor Du

Previously Listed Name:  Esgair y Maesnant South-East Top

Summit Height:  505.6m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  135, 136

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 84268 85679  

Drop:  33.0m (Trimble summit and LIDAR bwlch)



Myrddyn Phillips (December 2016)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Bryn Llwyd (SN 835 920) - 2nd significant name change

1st survey post for Bryn Llwyd

2nd survey post for Bryn Llwyd

Summit Relocations post for Bryn Llwyd


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that appears in the following listings, Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of WalesYr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpauwith the height, drop, summit relocation and status of the hill being confirmed by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 which took place on the 5th May 2016 and the 13th May 2016.

The criteria for the three listings that this name change applies to 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. 

500m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height with 30m minimum drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.  

The hill is a part of the Pumlumon range, which is an extensive group of hills in the north-western part of Mid and West Wales, and it is relatively remote for a Welsh hill with the nearest small community being Penffordd-las (Staylittle) to the east.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Bryn Llwyd

The listed summit of this hill has been relocated from Bryn yr Ŵyn at SN 83919 92571 to Bryn Llwyd at SN 83574 92022, with the latter surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 as being 1.5m higher.  

The hill first made an appearance in a hill list in 1997 when John Kirk listed it as Bryn Yr Wyn, using the name of the adjacent hill but with the correct grid reference in his Kirk’s BIG Mountain List, this list that remains unpublished but available via the author.  The adjacent lower hill was later included by Michael Dewey and listed as Bryn yr Wyn in the April 2002 edition of Strider, which included the updates to The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales list that appeared in his Mountain tables book published by Constable in 1995.  The summit of the Dewey was later relocated due to the Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey to the higher summit and listed as Esgair Greolen.

Prior to making local place-name enquiries the now known higher summit was accepted as being named Esgair Greolen, and since this summit has usurped its neighbour as being the higher, this is the name used in Michael’s list to The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales. 

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, without much consideration for its local or historical confirmation, or whether map placement is appropriate.  However, place-name data can be improved by asking local people and examining historical documents, and on the way to survey this hill for the second time with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 I made place-name enquiries with the local farmer, who kindly took me up in his two seater quad bike toward the hill.  Afterward both Aled and I examined a number of historical maps for evidence of where the name of Esgair Greolen originated and where it is applicable to.

The local farmer I met is named Gareth Griffith and he had farmed from Nant-yr-hafod for forty years, he was out with his dogs heading up the hill to feed the sheep.  As we chatted I asked him about the names of the local hills, and he rolled off name after name of the local hills and streams, one in particular proved extremely interesting, it related to the hill that Ordnance Survey maps name as Esgair Greolen, which was the hill I wanted to concentrate the morning’s surveying activities on.  Gareth knew this hill as Bryn Llwyd, and said that ‘this name doesn’t appear on the map.’  I asked him about the name of Esgair Greolen, and he had never heard of it.

Gareth Griffith

Gareth gave me a lift up the hill on his two seater quad bike and dropped me off at the end of the track close to the forested summit of Fedw Ddu.  From this vantage point we were looking across to Bryn yr Ŵyn and also the hill I planned on prioritising to survey, and Gareth pointed toward each and named them, Bryn yr Ŵyn and Bryn Llwyd, the latter is the hill named as Esgair Greolen on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps.

When back home I examined old Ordnance Survey maps and forwarded the details of my meeting with Gareth Griffith to Aled, who proceeded to research where the name of Esgair Greolen originated and what feature this name may be applicable to.  Aled’s comments relating to this appear in the 2nd edition of Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of Wales, and are reproduced below:

The OS have applied the name Esgair Greolen to this hill since the 1901 Six-Inch map, however earlier OS maps provide conflicting information regarding the positions of the steams named Nant Esgair Greolen and Nant y Barcud, which casts uncertainty over the exact position of Esgair Greolen.  A single local contact failed to confirm Esgair Greolen as the name of this hill, but instead visually identified the hill as being known as Bryn Llwyd.

Extracts from a number of Ordnance Survey maps appear below giving detail relating to the name placement of Esgair Greolen and the steams of Nant Esgair Greolen and Nant y Barcud.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch 'Old Series' map

Extract from the 1886 Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map

Extract from the 1903 Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map with the stream previously recorded as Nant y Barcud now recorded as the Nant Esgair Greolen


Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1903 Six-Inch map where the name Esgair Greolen first appeared on an Ordnance Survey map


Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

As a result of this research the hill has subsequently been listed under the name of Bryn Llwyd in Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales, Yr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpau, and this name was derived from local enquiry and does not appear on any Ordnance Survey map.


The full details for the hill are:


Group:  Pumlumon

Name:  Bryn Llwyd

Previously Listed Name:  Esgair Greolen 

Summit Height:  501.4m (converted to OSGM15 and average of four summit surveys)

OS 1:50,000 map:  135, 136

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 83574 92022 

Drop:  30.3m (converted to OSGM15)


For details on the 1st survey and the 2nd survey of Bryn Llwyd

Myrddyn Phillips (December 2016)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - 500m Twmpau

Mynydd Lluest y Rhos (SN 765 920) - 1st significant name change

Survey post for Mynydd Lluest y Rhos


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that appears in the following listings, Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of WalesYr Uchafion and the 500m Twmpauwith the following details relating to a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 18th May 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. 

500m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at or above 500m and below 600m in height with 30m minimum drop.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.  

The hill is situated in the Pumlumon group of hills, and is relatively remote for a Welsh hill with the nearest towns being Machynlleth towards the north, Tal-y-bont towards the west, Ponterwyd towards the south and Penffordd-las (Staylittle) towards the east.

Mynydd Lluest y Rhos (SN 765 920)

The hill first made an appearance in an unpublished hill list in 1985 when Tony Blackburn listed it as top S Hafodwnog in his The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales, and it was later included by Michael Dewey as Foel Grafiau in The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales list that appeared in his Mountain tables book published by Constable in 1995.

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on Ordnance Survey maps, without much consideration for its local or historical confirmation, or whether map placement is appropriate.  However, place-name data can be improved by asking local people and examining historical documents and since this hill’s inclusion by Michael Dewey in his 500-Metre Tops list the area where this hill is situated has been examined via a number of documents including the Tithe map.

As a result this hill has subsequently been listed by the name Mynydd Lluest y Rhos in the Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales list, with the following explanation appearing in the Notes section of the booklet version of the list:


Name taken from an 1844 tithe map, which confirms this hill as being the highest point on the former sheep-walk of Lluest y Rhos. 


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 sheep-walk is an English term given to enclosed land that is apportioned to a specific farm.  The Welsh term for this land is cynefin, which can literally be translated as habitat, as in that for the sheep.  The cynefin usually takes in high land that is known as the mountain land of the specific farm, therefore the name given to this enclosed land is usually that of the name of the farm prefixed with the word mynydd, this being the Welsh word for mountain, this land is usually given over for sheep grazing, hence the term sheep-walk.  When Ordnance Survey maps are examined one can find many examples where this form of cynefin naming system exists, with farms situated in valley’s having their name given to high mountain land and prefixed with the word mynydd.



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pumlumon

Name:  Mynydd Lluest y Rhos

Previously Listed Name:  Foel Cerrigbrithion

Summit Height:  528.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  135

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 76543 92029
  
Drop:  30.0m (converted to OSGM15)




Myrddyn Phillips (July 2016)