Ancient Monuments

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Cwm Rhydol settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Ystrad Fflur, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.2886 / 52°17'18"N

Longitude: -3.8087 / 3°48'31"W

OS Eastings: 276731

OS Northings: 267145

OS Grid: SN767671

Mapcode National: GBR 94.XT28

Mapcode Global: VH4G2.XQWY

Entry Name: Cwm Rhydol settlement

Scheduled Date: 29 July 2005

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4210

Cadw Legacy ID: CD207

Schedule Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Category: Longhouse

Period: Medieval

County: Ceredigion

Community: Ystrad Fflur

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of two buildings and an enclosure, probably dating to the medieval or post-medieval periods and situated in enclosed upland pasture on a sheltered terrace in Cwm Rhydol above and to the E of the Nant Rhydol. The main building is subrectangular on plan and contains two compartments - an upper domestic room and a lower byre. The upper compartment measures 7.4m from NNE to SSW by 3.8m transversely within drystone rubble walls measuring 1.1m in thickness and up to 0.6m in height. There is an entrance in the ESE side and a possible partition wall, visible as a large central spread of rubble. The lower compartment measures 12.3m from NNE to SSW by 3.8m transversely within drystone rubble walls measuring 1.1m in thickness and about 0.4m in height. There are opposing entrances and a thin partition wall. The lower compartment is reed filled, suggesting the possible presence of a central byre drain. A smaller building is situated immediately to the N, measuring 6.5m from N to S by 3.3m transversely within grass-covered drystone rubble walls measuring 1m in thickness and about 0.3m in height.

The main building is a well-preserved example of a longhouse and presumably represents the remains of a seasonal hafotai or more permanent lluestau. The associated kidney-shaped enclosure is of massive construction, with a substantial grass-covered stony bank, raised interior ground surface (now reed-filled) and a drain cut around its E side. This enclosure may have functioned as a garden, with vegetables grown in the rich, well-drained soil and protected by a stock-proof palisade.

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 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.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular and measures 40m from N to S by up to 28m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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