Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 30-99m Twmpau and Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales

Ton (SO 499 117)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the 30-99m Twmpau and Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales, with the summit height, bwlch height and their locations, the drop, dominance and status of the hill confirmed by LIDAR analysis conducted by Myrddyn Phillips.

LIDAR image of Ton (SO 499 117)

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

30-99m Twmpau - Welsh hills at or above 30m and below 100m in height with 30m minimum drop, with an accompanying sub list entitled the 30-99m Sub-Twmpau with the criteria for this sub category being all Welsh hills at or above 30m and below 100m 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.

Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales – Welsh P30 hills whose prominence equal or exceed half that of their absolute height.  With the criteria for Lesser Dominant status being those additional Welsh P30 hills whose prominence is between one third and half that of their absolute height.  The list is authored by Myrddyn Phillips with the Introduction to the start of the Mapping Mountains publication of this list appearing on the 3rd December 2015, and which is now available in its entirety on Mapping Mountains in Google Doc format.

The hill is adjoined to the Mynyddoedd Duon group of hills which are situated in the eastern part of South Wales (Region C, Sub-Region C3), and it has the B4233 road to its north and the A40 road to its south, and has the town of Trefynwy (Monmouth) towards the north-east.

The hill originally appeared in the Welsh 30-99m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under the partly invented and transposed name of St Dial’s Hill, with an accompanying note stating; Name from farm to the South.

St Dial's Hill83mSO50011716214Name from farm to the South

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 transpose the name of a farm and add the word Hill 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 the summit of this hill comprises bounded land the details for it were examined on the Tithe map.  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 666 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 Ton in the apportionments, with the details on the Tithe map appearing in the parish of Monmouth and in the county named as Monmouth.

Extract from the apportionments

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the 30-99m Twmpau and Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales is Ton, and this name was derived from the Tithe map.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Mynyddoedd Duon

Name:  Ton

Previously Listed Name:  St Dial’s Hill
OS 1:50,000 map:  162

Summit Height:  83.2m (LIDAR)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 49966 11745 (LIDAR)

Bwlch Height:  35.6m (LIDAR)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 49172 11501 (LIDAR)

Drop:  47.6m (LIDAR)

Dominance:  57.18% (LIDAR)

Myrddyn Phillips (April 2020)

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