Friday, 10 April 2020

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – Y Trichant – The 300m Hills of Wales

Meifod (SJ 043 595)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the Y Trichant – The 300m Hills of Wales, with the summit height, bwlch height and their locations, the drop and status of the hill derived from detail on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps.

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

Y Trichant The 300m Hills of Wales.  Welsh hills at or above 300m and below 400m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub list entitled the Sub-Trichant with the criteria for this sub category being all Welsh hills at or above 300m and below 400m in height with 20m or more and below 30m of drop.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips, with the Introduction to the list and the renaming of it appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 13th May 2017.

The hill is adjoined to the Mynydd Hiraethog group of hills which are situated in the north-eastern part of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A2), and it is encircled by minor roads with the A543 road further to its north-west, the B5105 road further to its south and the A525 road further to its north-east, and has the town of Dinbych (Denbigh) towards the north.

The hill appeared in the original Welsh 300m P30 list published on Geoff Crowder’s website, under the directional name of Foel Uchaf North-west Top, with an accompanying note stating; Name from hill to the South-East.

Foel Uchaf North-West Top330cSJ044596116264Name from hill to the South-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 Pen, Bryn or Moel in front of them or as in this instance use a directional name based on supplanting the name adjoined to the hill to the south-east and adding a directional component to it.  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 historic documents, through this form of research an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found. 

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

As this hill comprises bounded land the Tithe map was consulted.  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.

Extract from the Tithe map

The enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 120 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 a part of Meifod in the apportionments, with the details on the Tithe map appearing in the parish of Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch and in the county named as Denbighshire.

Extract from the apportionments

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the Y Trichant – The 300m Hills of Wales is Meifod, and this was derived from the Tithe map.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Mynydd Hiraethog

Name:  Meifod

Previously Listed Name:  Foel Uchaf North-west Top

OS 1:50,000 map:  116

Summit Height:  c 330m (interpolation)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 04329 59560 (interpolation)

Bwlch Height:  c 305m (interpolation)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SJ 04576 59489 (interpolation)

Drop:  c 25m (interpolation)

Myrddyn Phillips (April 2020)

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