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Vale of Llangollen
Historic Landscape
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Historic Landscape Characterisation

The Vale of Llangollen: Cwm Alys
Llangollen Community, Denbighshire, and Llangollen Rural Community, Wrexham
(HLCA 1148)

CPAT PHOTO 1766-252

Broadleaved woodland, scrub and patches of small irregular fields on steep-sided valley slopes on the southern side of the Vale of Llangollen.

Historic background

Little is known of the early history and settlement of the area. Before the Edwardian conquest in the late 13th century it fell within the early medieval kingdom of Powys and latterly within the northern portion of the kingdom known as Powys Fadog. Following the Edwardian conquest in the later 13th century it fell within the marcher lordship of Chirkland. Following the Act of Union in 1536 it formed part of the newly created county of Denbighshire.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Steeply-sloping land on the valley slopes on the southern side of the Vale of Llangollen, between about 100360m above sea level, occupied by broadleaved woodland and scrub interspersed with small irregular fields predominantly for grazing on flatter ground representing piecemeal woodland clearance and enclosure probably from at least medieval times onwards. A variety of field boundary types are represented, including multi-species hedges, earth and stone banks, and some roadside drystone walls, some replaced by modern post and wire fences. Occasional large glacial erratic boulders on field margins.

Present-day settlement is characterised by a pattern of dispersed farms and cottages. Early building traditions in the area are evident at Bryn-dethol, a former farmhouse which originated as a late medieval cruck-built building, with 18th-century and later alterations.


Cadw Listed Building Lists; CPAT Historic Environment Record; Jones 1932; Suggett 2001

For further information please contact the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust at this address, or link to the Countryside Council for Wales web site at

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