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Tanat Valley Historic Landscape
Character area map

Historic Landscape Characterisation

The Tanat Valley:
Waen Llestri, Llangynog, Powys
(HLCA 1014)


Forestry plantation on upper valley edge and upland to south and west of Cwm Pennant, with mining reservoir and leats

Historic background

The area formerly formed part of the upland commons of the medieval parish of Pennant Melangell, and fell within the commote of Mochnant Uwch Rhaeadr.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Broken upland landscape and steep upper valley sides, with crags and rocky outcrops, between a height of about 250-560m OD. Predominantly north and east-facing slopes. Boggy areas.

Extensive modern conifer plantation covers most of the area, overlying former upland commons and rough grazing of the farms in Pennant Melangell parish. A number of footpaths and forestry roads lie on earlier trackways, particularly up the head of Cwm LlÍch and the valley of Nant Trefechan, overlie earlier routes between lowland farms and areas of upland summer grazing, with sheepfolds, some now overlain by forestry.

The lower margins of the forestry above Cwm LlÍch and Cwm Pennant overlies a number of abandoned fields, some with field banks and lynchets, of late medieval to 18th-century date. Pre-afforestation boundaries on the uplands above the valley edge represent 19th-century partitioning of the upland common, the boundaries being principally of post and wire.

Scattered disused trials and levels in the forestry. The unplanted area on the western side of the character area surrounds Llyn y Mynydd, a reservoir with a substantial stone and earth dam constructed at great cost in the 1860s, together with an extensive system of leats, to provide water-power for the South Llangynog mine, about 4km to the east.

Moel Dimoel and the head of Cwm LlÍch have legendary associations with the exploits of the giant Cawr Berwyn and the Gwylliaid Cochion, a legendary, 15th- and 16th-century band of brigands.


Walters 1993
Williams 1985
Wren 1968

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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