Ancient Monuments

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Coed Ddu house platforms and enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Crynant (Y Creunant), Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.7431 / 51°44'35"N

Longitude: -3.7302 / 3°43'48"W

OS Eastings: 280638

OS Northings: 206354

OS Grid: SN806063

Mapcode National: GBR H6.16G6

Mapcode Global: VH5G9.9GB1

Entry Name: Coed Ddu house platforms and enclosure

Scheduled Date: 28 September 2006

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4276

Cadw Legacy ID: GM593

Schedule Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Category: House platform

Period: Medieval

County: Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

Community: Crynant (Y Creunant)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of two house platforms and a large enclosure, all probably dating to the medieval or post-medieval periods and situated within enclosed moorland on the west-facing slopes of Hirfynydd, above and to the north-east of Crynant. The larger, south-westernmost platform is subrectangular on plan and measures 17m from north-west to south-east by up to 9m transversely. It is terraced out on its north-west end, rising above the slope to a height of about 2m; and is terraced into the slope on its south-east end to a depth of about 2.5m. A short stretch of grass-covered wall footings is visible, running parallel to the rear of the north-east side of the platform. This wall presumably survives from the original building - it measures 7m in length, 1m in thickness and up to 0.2m in height. Furthermore, a rubble face is visible within the north-west end of the platform, indicating the presence of structural foundations to the platform itself.

The second platform is situated within the south-west side of the large enclosure situated to the north-east of the large house platform. This enclosure is subrectangular on plan and measures about 105m from north-west to south-east by 105m transversely. Although the majority of the enclosure has been ploughed for forestry, the outline of the inner bank and external ditch is still visible - and survives intact on its south-west side. The second building is subrectangular on plan and measures 16m from north-west to south-east by about 7m transversely, within a grass-covered bank c. 1m in thickness and 0.2m in height. The building is terraced into the slope on the south-east end and there is an entrance visible within its north-east side.

The settlement presumably represents the remains of seasonal hafotai, the platforms once boasting buildings associated with summer grazing - perhaps a dwelling house and barn (respectively represented by the main house platform and that associated with the enclosure). There are historical references to a monastic grange at Crynant, belonging to the Abbey at Neath - it is possible that this enclosure (typical of an upland monastic grange) and its associated house platforms represent the surviving remains of the Crynant Grange (RCAHMW 1982).

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval and post medieval land use, settlement and economy. It is a relatively well preserved example of an upland settlement and retains great archaeological potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval and post medieval stock rearing practices in the upland zone, whether as permanent settlement, regular transhumance (such as the hafod system of summer pasture), or intermittent opportunistic expansion. Its importance is further enhanced by the possibility that the site represents the remains of the Crynant monastic grange.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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