Ancient Monuments

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Cwm Sidywal settlements

A Scheduled Monument in St. Harmon (Saint Harmon), Powys

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Latitude: 52.3486 / 52°20'54"N

Longitude: -3.5111 / 3°30'40"W

OS Eastings: 297164

OS Northings: 273355

OS Grid: SN971733

Mapcode National: GBR 9J.T26C

Mapcode Global: VH5CJ.375D

Entry Name: Cwm Sidywal settlements

Scheduled Date: 23 November 2006

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4278

Cadw Legacy ID: RD263

Schedule Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Category: Settlement

Period: Medieval

County: Powys

Community: St. Harmon (Saint Harmon)

Traditional County: Radnorshire


The monument comprises the remains of several enclosures and building platforms, settlements probably dating to the late-medieval or post-medieval periods. The larger settlement, that to the S, is situated at the edge of an enclosed field of improved pasture, overlooking the slopes of Cwm Sidwal immediately to the NE and the broader valley to the E. The site comprises a substantial inner subrectangular enclosure or platform, set within a larger enclosure. The inner enclosure measures 18m from NW to SE by 12.5m transversely within grass-covered earthen banks spread c. 3m in thickness and up to 0.7m in height - although the bank on the NE side forms more of a terrace. This inner enclosure probably comprises the platform for a building. The outer enclosure measures c. 50m from NW to SE by c. 40m transversely and is crossed on its SW side by a stob-and-wire fence. The footings of a small subrectangular hut are visible in the W corner of the larger enclosure, measuring c. 9m from NE to SW by c.6m transversely overall. The SW side of the enclosure is less distinct and has been overlain by a track.

The smaller settlement comprises the well-preserved footings of a building and its associated enclosure, situated on the edge of the slope above the steep sided gully of Cwm Sidwal. The well-preserved footings of this hut measure 7.5m from ENE to WSW by 3.1m transversely within grass-covered earthen banks spread to 1.2m in thickness and 0.3m in height. A drainage hood has been terraced into the slope to the rear of the hut, on its WSW end, while an entrance is visible within its ENE end. A small associated subcircular enclosure extends to the NE of the hut.

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. Given the size and shape of the enclosure situated on the S it is possible that the site represents a monastic grange.

The settlements were identified by aerial photography, which revealed traces of further settlements, now lost to the plough.

The areas scheduled comprise the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. That to the S, the larger (Item A), is irregular and measures up to 65m from NW to SE by up to 60m transversely. That to the N, the smallest (Item B), is rectangular and measures 25m from NNE to SSW by 20m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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