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Clywedog Valley
Historic Landscape
Character area map
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Historic Landscape Characterisation

The Clywedog Valley: Bryn y Fan
Llanidloes Without community, Powys
(HLCA 1194)


Distinctive hills east of Clywedog Reservoir with small Iron Age defended settlement on a lower spur; largely regular fieldscapes representing 19th-century enclosure of common land.

Historic background

The southern part of the area probably fell within the lands of Deupiu, part of which was granted to the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella near Welshpool by Gwenwynwyn, prince of southern Powys, in the early years of the 13th century, and probably held by the abbey until its dissolution in about the middle of the 16th century, when it formed part of the manor of Talerddug. The area subsequently fell within the manorial township of Manledd in the 19th-century Montgomeryshire tithe parish of Llanidloes.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Distinctive, steep-sided hills at a height of about 250-480 metres above sea level to the east of the Clywedog Reservoir between the watershed of the Clywedog and Trannon-Cerist drainage systems. Predominantly well-drained fine loamy or fine silty soils overlying rock, which historically has been best suited to stock rearing and woodland.

Later prehistoric settlement and land use is indicated by the Pen-y-clun hillfort which encloses and area of up to about a hectare on a hill spur towards the head of the Cerist valley. The hillfort, which was probably built and occupied during the pre-Roman Iron Age, has been affected by some quarrying and mining activity possibly related to the Pen-y-clun mine, several hundred metres to the east.

Fieldscapes are predominantly composed of both large and small straight-sided fields and moorland enclosures. Bryn y Fan in the northern part of the character area was unenclosed upland common until it was the subject of parliamentary enclosure in the earlier 19th century. The hill of Bryn-y-tail in and Pen-y-clun in the southern part of the area formed part of the manor of Talerddig that was excluded from parliamentary enclosure, but appears to have enclosed by private enclosure, perhaps by the earlier 19th century.


Historic Environment Record; Cadw Listed Building descriptions; modern Ordnance Survey 1:10,000, 1:25,000 mapping and 1st edn Ordnance Survey 1:2,500 mapping; Burnham 1995; Forde-Johnston 1976; Jones 1983; RCAHM 1911; Richards 1969; Soil Survey of England and Wales; Spurgeon 1972; Thomas 1997; Williams 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

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