Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)


The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion) – Significant Name Changes

The Welsh 500m P15s are the Welsh hills at or above 500m in height with a minimum drop of 15m.  Accompanying the main P15 list are three sub lists; these are the 500m Subs, 490m Subs and the Double Subs with their criteria detailed in the respective Change Registers which are linked in their above titles, with details to this list given in the Introduction that was published on Mapping Mountains in November 2015.

The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams and the posts that have appeared on Mapping Mountains detailing the significant name changes to the main P15 list and the sub lists appear below presented chronologically in receding order.








Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Glanfeinion Hill (SO 033 846) - 11th 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 and Aled Williams (January 2019)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Craig Gwrelyg (SO 055 203) - 10th significant name change


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Yr Uchafion and Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of Wales, with the summit height, drop and status of the hill initially ascertained by LIDAR analysis conducted by Aled Williams and later confirmed by a Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips which took place on the 30th June 2018.

LIDAR image of Craig Gwrelyg

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 the list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

Y Pellennig –The Remotest Hills of Wales - Welsh hills whose summit is at least 2.5km from the nearest paved public road and the hill has a minimum 15m of drop.  The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams and is available as a downloadable e-booklet or print-booklet version on Mapping Mountains Publications with the up-to-date master list available on Mapping Mountains in Google Doc format.

The hill is adjoined to the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) group of hills, which are situated in the South Wales Region (Region C, Sub-Region C2), and it is positioned between the towns of Aberhonddu (Brecon) towards its north and Merthyr Tudful to its south.

The hill first made an appearance in a published hill list in the 1940 edition of the Rucksack Club Journal when Ted Moss listed it as Craig Cwareli in his list entitled The Two-thousands of Wales.  The hill has since been listed by a variety of names including; Craig Pwllfa (subsid), Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion, Bwlch y Ddwyallt and Graig Fan Las.

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 Bwlch y Ddwyallt appears close to this hill’s summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps.

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

When this hill was first included in the Yr Uchafion it was listed as Bwlch y Ddwyallt, it was only towards the end of the compilation of this list that place-name enquiries were made with local people including farmers, grazers and landowners.

One of the locals contacted in this area has his family farm to the north of this hill and gave the name of Gurelig Rocks for the cliffs to the immediate north and north-west of this hill’s summit.  This name is an anglicised version of Craig Gwrelyg with the cwm of the same name given on the Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map.

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

The name of the cliffs to the immediate north of this hill’s summit was given this person by his father, and when asked about the name of Cwm Cwareli which appears on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, he had never heard of it.  He also confirmed that Bwlch y Ddwyallt is the name of the bwlch between this hill and Waun Rydd (SO 062 206) and is not applicable to the hill itself.

The cliffs of Craig Gwrelyg

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Yr Uchafion and Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales is Craig Gwrelyg and this was derived from local enquiry.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Bannau Brycheiniog

Name:  Craig Gwrelyg

Previously Listed Name:  Bwlch y Ddwyallt

Summit Height:  753.9m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 05521 20383

Drop:  18.9m (converted to OSGM15)

Gathering data with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 at the summit of Craig Gwrelyg


Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (November 2018)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Grug Crofftau (SN 750 612) - 9th 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 and Aled Williams (October 2018)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Banc y Foel (SN 725 186) - 8th 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 and Aled Williams (July 2018)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Twyn Llech (SO 255 353) - 7th significant name change

Survey post for Twyn Llech

Significant Height Revisions post for Twyn Llech

Summit Relocation post for Twyn Llech


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that appears in the Yr Uchafion and 700m Twmpau lists, with the summit height, drop and summit position of the hill being confirmed by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 which took place on the 28th September 2017, with the height and position of the critical bwlch having been previously determined from LIDAR data analysed by Aled Williams.

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, with the Introduction to the list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 4th November 2015.

700m Twmpau – All Welsh hills at and above 700m and below 800m 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 a part of the Mynyddoedd Duon (Black Mountains) range, which is an extensive group of hills in the south-eastern part of South Wales, and it is situated above and between the upper part of the Olchon Valley to its south-east and the Dyffryn Ewias (Vale of Ewyas) to its south.  The hill is also situated between the small communities of Craswall towards its east and Capel-y-ffin towards its south.

Twyn Llech (SO 255 353)

The hill was first listed in the late 1920’s by Arthur St George Walsh as E. Ridge (Large peat plateau).  The next listing was by W.T.Elmslie in 1933 as Black Mountain (Frontier), Elmslie also listed another three points along this ridge by the same name.  The frontier part of this name no doubt refers to the course of the Welsh / English border which has been diverted in subsequent years.  The next listing to this hill was by Edward (Ted) Moss in 1939 and 1940, using the name Unnamed Top.

However, Ted Moss’ unpublished notes to these listings have, and I quote; ‘not named on O.S. maps, other sources indicate the name Black Mountain.  See P.T.Jones’ Welsh Border Country p 10’.  The book Ted Moss refers to was first published in 1939 by B.T.Batsford Ltd of London, its full title is; ‘The Face of Britain Welsh Border Country by P.Thoresby Jones’.  There are two references of interest to the Black Mountain in this book; page 10 footnote; ‘The term Black Mountain (singular) or the Welsh equivalent is given in maps to the group of peaks and moorlands between Carmarthen and the Towy:  also, confusingly, to the ridge stretching from Hay Bluff’, and on page 31; ‘Moreover, from just south of Hay Bluff this ‘Black Mountain’ ridge throws out a long narrow spur towards Longtown’.

We can deduct from this that the main easterly ridge that is commonly known nowadays as the Hatterall Ridge was then known by some as the Black Mountain Ridge.  This is substantiated by the use of a ridge long name of Black Mountain on the 1832 Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ sheet.  The plural form; Black Mountains, also appears as a ridge name taking in just this hill’s summit area on the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1887, but this name was dropped by the 1905 publication.  The singular form of this name also appears as a ridge name on the Bartholomew’s revised ‘half-inch’ map that some of the early hill list authors probably used, and although this name appears directly over this hill’s summit on this map, the font and its size matches that also given to other ridge names that appear on the same map, these include; Fwddog Ridge, Gader Ridge and Penalltmawr Range.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch 'Old Series' map from 1832

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map from 1887

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map from 1905

Extract from the Bartholomew map

The first person to list this hill as Black Mountain was William McKnight Docharty in 1962, over subsequent years there have been a number of list compilers (and republications of their work) who have followed suit; Bridge 1973, Wright 1974, Marsh 1985, Nuttall 1989, Borman 1990, Adams (page 250) 1990, Hermon 1991, Dawson 1992, Harveys 1993, Dewey 1995, Woosey 1995, Kirk 1996/97, Robert Jones 1997 and Dafydd Andrews 1999, all have followed the premise that the name of this hill is Black Mountain.

In the process of investigating the name of this hill it is important to realise that Welsh as a language is no longer spoken in the area that takes in this hill range, therefore although many hill names that appear on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps are still known as such, the evolution of language has dictated that English names for the occasional hill have materialised.

The loss of Welsh as a spoken language is also the reason why some Welsh hill names are no longer known by the farmers in the Dyffryn Ewias (Vale of Ewyas), as they are English speakers with a great knowledge of their patch of land, but the loss of spoken Welsh has resulted in an occasional Welsh hill name being lost.  This includes the knowledge for the name of this hill, and to retrieve the first clue to the Welsh name of this hill we have to venture in to the deepest, darkest depths of England and visit Craswall and David Gains.

At the time of my research in to this hill’s name David was aged over 70, his father was born in the Craswall valley and his mother in the Olchon Valley.  The more people I contacted in this area, it was always David’s name that kept cropping up as the person who knew the most about the hills.  

One of the first names David gave me was The Thieves Stone, he continued; ‘It’s hanging out on a slope, straight on top of the ridge, just on the Welsh side and about 3-4ft wide’.  I asked him when and how he had first heard of this name, he replied that his father had told him, he also told me that he’d heard; ‘If a sheep grazed the land around the stone and kept by The Thieves Stone it would never get maggots’.  David could be the last person to know the details about The Thieves Stone, as I contacted just about every other farmer of note around this hill range, and the other 34 people did not know a name for this outcrop or hill.  Neither did David for the latter, remember Welsh as a language has been lost in this area, and although the name of The Thieves Stone is now only preserved orally in English, its Welsh counterpart is still written on Ordnance Survey maps and appears as Llech y Lladron on the 1:25,000 Explorer map.  Llech translates as SlabFlagSlate or Stone, whilst Lladron translates as Thief or Robber, therefore Llech y Lladron can translate as The Thieves Stone.  This still doesn’t give us the name of the hill, I asked 35 people in all, all from the farming community, both on the Welsh and English side of the hill range and nobody knew a name for it.  Thankfully such events were uncommon during my place-name research, but as evidenced for this hill, it did happen on occasion. 

The next part of this ever expanding jigsaw puzzle to consider is the use of distinctive terms for the word ‘hill’ in certain Welsh areas, as in; Moel in the Moelwynion, Tarren in the Tarennydd, Ban or its mutated form; Fan in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), Fforest Fawr and Y Mynydd Du.  The area taking in the Y Mynyddoedd Duon (The Black Mountains) is no different, look at the names and you’ll see the word Twyn, as in; Pen Twyn Mawr, Pen Twyn Glas, Twyn Mawr and Twyn y Gaer, all of which appear on current Ordnance Survey maps.

We know that this hill’s main named feature is Llech y Lladron, it may be justifiable to think that the hill would take its name from this, well, it does!  The long forgotten name of the hill appears at SO 247 355 on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map; Twyn Llech, it’s been on the map all along!  It has just required a bit of detective work to piece the jigsaw together.   Don’t worry where the name Twyn Llech currently resides on Ordnance Survey maps, it has suffered a bad case of hill name slippage over the years, which is not an uncommon event.

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

The name Twyn Llech can be followed back in time, as it appears as Trwyn Llech on the 1832 Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map positioned on the connecting bwlch between this hill and Hay Bluff, whilst this same bwlch is named as Waun Llech on the preceding Draft Surveyors map, with the present lower position of the name Twyn Llech on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps being traced back to the early Six-Inch maps.   

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch 'Old Series' map from 1832

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map

When the hill was first included in the listings that would later become the Yr Uchafion and the 700m Twmpau, it appeared under the name of Black Mountain, as previous compilations were followed.  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 it was the detective work as laid out above that concluded the name Twyn Llech as being the most appropriate for this hill.

Therefore, as a result of local enquiry and detail from historical and contemporary Ordnance Survey maps this hill is now listed under the name of Twyn Llech in the Yr Uchafion and the 700m Twmpau.


The full details for the hill are:


Group:  Mynyddoedd Duon

Name:  Twyn Llech

Previously Listed Name:  Black Mountain 

Summit Height:  703.6m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  161

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 25520 35383  

Drop:  154.5m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (November 2017)





Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Tor Du (SN 842 856) - 6th significant name change

Survey post for Tor Du


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that appears in the Yr Uchafion and 500m Twmpau lists, with the height, drop and status of the hill being confirmed by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 which took place on the 18th July 2016.

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:  33.2m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (December 2016)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Bryn Llwyd (SN 835 920) - 5th 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 and Aled Williams (December 2016)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Craig Berwyn (SJ 071 323) - 4th significant name change

Survey post for Craig Berwyn


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that appears in the following lists; Y Pellennig, Yr Uchafion, 800m Twmpau and Y Trechol - The Dominant Hills of Waleswith the following details relating to a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 21st June 2014.

The criteria for the four 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. 

800m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at or above 800m and below 900m in height with 30m minimum drop.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips.  

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 situated in the Y Berwyn, which is an extensive group of hills positioned in the south-eastern part of north Wales, and is relatively remote for a Welsh hill with the nearest towns being Llandrillo to the north-west and Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog to the east.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of Craig Berwyn (SJ 071 323) with the trig pillar atop Cadair Berwyn (SJ 072 327) in the background on the left

The hill first made an appearance in a hill list as Cader Berwyn, S. Top in a 1929 update to the Twenty-Fives which was compiled by John Rooke Corbett and published by the Rucksack Club Journal.  Since this time the hill has been listed a number of times and usually by names associated with that of Cadair Berwyn, which strictly speaking is the hill to its north positioned at SJ 072 327, and which has a triangulation pillar situated at its summit and a map height of 827m.

Unfortunately all previous hill list authors have used the map name that appears nearest to this hill’s summit, although doing this is convenient it has conjured up all manner of  combinations of inappropriate names centred around that of its adjacent hill, these names include; Cadair Berwyn New Top, Cadair Berwyn South Top as well as the use of the adjacent hill’s name; Cadair Berwyn.

The hill was only confirmed by the Ordnance Survey as the highest in the Y Berwyn when contacted by Bernard Wright who had recognised that the summit of the hill was higher than its adjacent northerly peak; Cadair Berwyn, and also higher than its adjacent southerly peak; Moel Sych, Bernard suggested the name of Craig Uchaf for this hill as it seemingly had no name for it on the map of the day.  This is the name previously given the hill in unpublished format within the Yr Uchafion prior to extensive place-name research for this area taking place.

As a result of this research the hill has subsequently appeared under the name of Craig Berwyn in all four of the previously mentioned lists, this is the name that some local farmers and shepherds know the hill by, ironically this name already appears on Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer maps.



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Y Berwyn

Name:  Craig Berwyn

Previously Listed Name:  Craig Uchaf 

Summit Height:  832.0m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  125

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 07163 32351 

Drop:  c 346m

Dominance:  41.59%



Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (July 2016)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Mynydd Lluest y Rhos (SN 765 920) - 3rd 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 and Aled Williams (July 2016)







Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Bwa’r Llyn (SN 798 214) - 2nd significant name change

Survey post for Bwa'r Llyn


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of Wales and the Yr Uchafionwith the following details relating to a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 14th April 2014.

The criteria for the two 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. 

The hill is situated in the Y Mynydd Du, which is a range of hills forming the western part of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog) in south Wales, and is relatively remote for a Welsh hill with the nearest towns being Ystradgynlais to the south and Llanymddwfri (Landovery) to the north.

Bwa'r Llyn (SN 798 214)

The hill first made an appearance in a hill list in the late 1920’s when Arthur St George Walsh listed it as Bannau Sir Gaer, and it was also included by Ted Moss under the name of Banau Sir Gaer Point W in The Two-Thousands of Wales which was published in the 1940 Rucksack Club Journal.

Unfortunately these early listings are now almost forgotten, but their use of 50ft, either as a prominence value or as a single ring contour, has been used in more recent times in its 15m whole numbered metric equivalent, one example being by John and Anne Nuttall within their guide to The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1 Wales.  However, this hill was not included in their first edition to the Welsh mountains and was only later included due to details sent them after a rudimentary survey of the hill had taken place.

This hill’s prominence was surveyed using a rudimentary staff five times over four visits, with the details forwarded to John and Anne Nuttall who subsequently surveyed the hill using their own rudimentary method.  Importantly the details of the surveys were sent to John and Anne under the hill name of Waun Lefrith, which is the name that appears closest to this hill’s summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger maps.

This hill’s inclusion as a Nuttall was confirmed via a letter and it made its appearance under the name of Waun Lefrith in the 2nd Edition of their guide which was published in 1999.

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.  However, place-name data can be improved by asking local people and examining historical documents and since this hill’s inclusion as a Nuttall extensive place-name research has taken place for this hill range, and the subsequent details are included in the Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales list. 

The name used for this hill in Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales (Europeaklist, Haroldstreet, v-g.me and Mapping Mountains 2015) is Bwa’r Llyn.  This name is based on local enquiry and historical Ordnance Survey maps.

   
The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Y Mynydd Du

Name:  Bwa’r Llyn

Previously Listed Name:  Waun Lefrith 

Summit Height:  676.2m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 79820 21451 

Drop:  15.9m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (June 2016)






Mapping Mountains - Significant Name Changes - The Welsh 500m P15s (Yr Uchafion)

Trwsgl (SH 664 679) - 1st significant name change

Survey post for Trwsgl


There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of WalesYr 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, v-g.me 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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