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Bro Trefaldwyn Historic Landscape

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Bro Trefaldwyn

The Natural Landscape

Bro Trefaldwyn encompasses the natural basin at the confluence of the Severn and the Camlad bounded by Long Mountain on the north, Corndon Hill on the east, the Kerry Ridgeway on the south and the hills above Montgomery to the west, with some remnant areas of semi-natural deciduous woodland on the steeper slopes. The central part of the area between Montgomery and Chirbury forms a gently undulating plain with the lower-lying and more poorly drained lands along the lower Camlad to the north. To the east of the plain is the deep gorge of Marrington Dingle formed in the late glacial period by water escaping from a lake in the valley of the upper Camlad, east of Churchstoke, held back by ice and glacial debris and represented by drumlins in the valley of the Caebitra, to the east of Sarn. The disruptions to local drainage patterns during the last glaciation have given rise to phenomena, and are the source of a number of local sayings, such as that the Camlad is the 'only river in Shropshire that runs uphill' and that the Camlad is the only river that runs from England into Wales. The valleys of the upper Camlad and the Caebitra tend to be poorly drained, like the lower Camlad, and include some marshy and wetland areas. The solid geology of the hills to the north, west and south is composed of Silurian shales. The higher ground to the east of Chirbury and the north and east of Churchstoke is composed of Ordovician mudstones, shales, grits and flaggy calcareous sandstone, interbedded with thin bands of volcanic tuffs, the upland mass of Lan Fawr, Todleth, Roundton and lower hills north of Hyssington being formed of intrusive igneous rocks. The earliest recorded use of the phrase 'Vale of Montgomery' was in May 1225 when Henry III commanded all those who had mottes 'in valle de Muntgumery' to refortify their wooden defences. The Welsh name for the town of Montgomery is Trefaldwyn 'Baldwyn's town' first recorded in 1231 as tref Castell Baldwin, named after one of a number of Baldwins with whom the town was associated in the 13th century.
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