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Maelor Saesneg Historic Landscape
Character area map

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Maelor Saesneg: Stimmy Heath
Bronington and Hanmer communities, Wrexham County Borough
(HLCA 1128)

CPAT PHOTO 1328-02 Flat area of late enclosure and conifer plantations around margins of Fenn's Moss.

Historic background

There is little visible evidence of early settlement and land use in the area. The farmland and plantation known as Fenn's Wood on the eastern side of the area is first recorded in the later 13th century as Boscu del Fennes, probably at a time where more extensive areas of native broadleaved woodland still survived in the areas around the mire. Little documentary evidence has survived regarding this woodland during the Middle Ages though around the margins of Whixall Moss, just across the border into England, it is evident that woodland clearance was actively taking place during the 13th and 14th century, the woods there affording common rights of housebote (the right to take timber for the repair or construction of house and hedges and fences, haybote and pannage (the right for swine to take oak mast in the appropriate season). Common rights over the mosses and the areas surrounding them were extinguished by a series of enclosure awards during the 18th century when rights were awarded to the Hanmer family and a number of single individuals. Rabbit farming, probably in the post-medieval period, is implied by the place-names The Conery and Conery Farm Lane.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Relatively flat land around the margins of Fenn's Moss, generally between 80-90 metres above Ordnance Datum, with fieldscapes dominated by large and small straight-sided fields with areas of conifer plantation such as Fenn's Wood and Bronington Wood mostly of post-war date. The distinctive field pattern in this character area has resulted from the pattern of allotment following enclosure during the 18th century, drainage and land improvement since that time having resulted in the reclamation of some areas from the moss. A number of nurseries and market gardens have become established on the light sandy soils in the area. Field boundaries are mostly marked by post and wire fences and single-species hedges.

Settlement is characterised by dispersed post-medieval and more recent houses. Glacial deposits of sand and clay have been exploited on a relatively small scale in the modern period, represented by a number of disused sand pits in the eastern part of the area and by the clay pits of the former Tilstock Lane clay pit and brickyard, near Brickwalls.


Berry & Gale 1996c
Lee 1879
Hubbard 1986
Regional Sites and Monuments Record

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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