TROED Y RHIW LANDSCAPE;TROED-Y-RHIW
Map Reference SN76NE
Grid Reference SN764662
Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion
Old County Cardiganshire
Community Ystrad Fflur
Type of Site LANDSCAPE
Broad Class Unassigned
Site Description As part of the Strata Florida Project directed by David Austin of Lampeter University, a detailed survey and documentary research has been undertaken by RCAHMW and Andrew Fleming of an area (2 sq km) of enclosed upland pasture approximately 300m above sea level associated with the farm of Troed y rhiw. This lies 2km east of the Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida and was once the property of the abbey, lying within the home grange (and former commote) of Pennardd, a large block of mostly upland pasture stretching from the upper Teifi to the edge of the upper Wye Valley. The area also includes a long-established woodland originally known as Yr Allt Goch (NPRN: 405566)
The earliest evidence for activity in the survey area belongs to the Prehistoric period, in the form of possible field boundaries (NPRN: 300572) and two sepulchral cairns (NPRNs: 405567, 405571). The majority of monuments however date to the medieval and post-medieval period. A large animal house (sheepcote or vaccary) (NPRN: 300571) is indicative of the monastic use of the area and associated with this are a number of abandoned medieval farms (NPRNs: 405537, 405538, 405539, 405540), one probably (NPRN: 405539) originating as a monastic sheep handling station. Three of these farms were situated along a contemporary 'early top boundary' (NPRN: 406296) which separated a zone of pasture and perhaps arable land from mountain pasture. Other platforms and hollow ways also related to the Medieval period (NPRNs: 405550, 40628, 405560, 405557, 405558)
Following the dissolution of the abbey in 1539, the grange of Pennardd passed to the Devereux family, later to become Earls of Essex. This estate was then purchased by John Vaughan in 1630 and became part of the core of the extensive Crosswood (Trawscoed) estate. During this time a number of the medieval farms were abandoned and were gradually amalgamated within larger farms, such as Troed y rhiw Issa (NPRN: 405540), until the current farm of Troed y rhiw (NPRN: 405541) was constructed the later 19th century. The contemporary ffridd wall (NPRN: 405565) marks the full extent of in-bye land during this period, and a number of settlements of this date (NPRN: 405542, 406257) are most likely cottages associated with the major farms. One settlement however (NPRN: 405545) lies outside the ffridd wall and may well represent a squatter settlement of the mid 19th century.
More detailed information is available for individual sites under their specific NPRNs. A full list of sites within the survey area can be found through searching under the site name of Troed y Rhiw in the Communtiy of Ystrad Fflur.
Louise Barker, RCAHMW & Andrew Fleming, July 2007.
Fleming, A. & Barker, L. 2008 Monks and Local Communities: The Late-medieval Landscape of Troed y Rhiw, Caron Uwch Clawdd, Ceredigion. Medieval Archaeology 52, 261-290