Cymraeg / English
Historic Landscape Characterisation
The Vale of Llangollen:
Llangollen Community, Denbighshire, and Llangollen Rural Community, Wrexham
Rural landscape of dispersed farms and irregular fields of medieval and late medieval origin with 18th- and 19th-century industrial remains associated with the lime industry and dispersed linear settlement originally of quarrymens’ cottages.
Anciently, the area fell within the native kingdom of Powys and subsequently, from the late 12th century, formed part of the commote Maelor Gymraeg to the north of the Dee in the subdivided northern portion of the kingdom known as Powys Fadog. Following the Edwardian conquest in the late 13th century it came to form part of the marcher lordship of Chirk which at the Act of Union in 1536 came to form part of Denbighshire. Welsh land-holdings are first recorded at Trevor Uchaf in the late 14th-century whose produce included corn, but little other evidence of settlement or land use in the character area is recorded before an intensive period of limestone quarrying and lime production carried out between the early 19th century and the earlier 20th century, encouraged by the opening of the Llangollen branch of the Ellesmere Canal in 1805. Together with coal imported from the coalfields in the Wrexham area this produced both agricultural lime and industrial lime for the iron foundries at Plas Kynaston, Broseley and further afield.
Key historic landscape characteristics
The area includes the eastern portion of the distinctive Carboniferous limestone outcrops known as Creigiau Eglwyseg or Trevor Rocks and the lower, steeply sloping and wooded land above Trevor Uchaf towards the east, lying between about 410 and 110 metres above sea level.
A number of distinct historic landscape types including areas of rock outcrop and screes, areas of scrub, fragments of small irregular fieldscapes probably representing medieval piecemeal enclosure, 19th and 20th-century conifer plantation and some probably more ancient broadleaved woodland and on some of the steeper slopes, as well as areas of 19th-century enclosed moorland on the southern edge of Ruabon Mountain.
Surviving remains of the limestone industry in the area including both larger and smaller quarries, former tramlines which carried for transporting the quarried rock. Traces of several banks of limekilns survive as well as a number of more dispersed single limekilns, together with inclines at Trevor Uchaf and to the west of Ty-canol which transported quarried stone, lime and coal down to an up from firstly the canal and latterly the railway, the foot of the incline to the west of Ty-canol having been served by a railway mineral branch line from the 1870s.
The small dispersed settlement of about ten houses at Trevor Uchaf, now mostly modernised, originated as quarrymen’s and kiln-workers cottages in the early 19th century and also formerly included an Independent chapel.
A trackway along the contour of the hill below the limestone became popular as a scenic walk for tourists during the 19th century. This gave dramatic views of the Vale of Llangollen and Castell Dinas Brân and had become known as the Panorama Walk by the early decades of the 20th century.
CPAT Historic Environment Record; Denbighshire Countryside Service 1993b; Jones 1932; Martin 1999; Pratt 1990
For further information please contact the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust at this address, or link to the Countryside Council for Wales web site at www.ccw.gov.uk.
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