Ancient Monuments

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Hafod: Nant Bwlch-Gwallter

A Scheduled Monument in Pontarfynach, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.3392 / 52°20'21"N

Longitude: -3.8197 / 3°49'10"W

OS Eastings: 276121

OS Northings: 272793

OS Grid: SN761727

Mapcode National: GBR 93.TQ6F

Mapcode Global: VH4FW.RG1M

Entry Name: Hafod: Nant Bwlch-Gwallter

Scheduled Date: 7 September 1998

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3786

Cadw Legacy ID: CD173

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Stone

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Ceredigion

Community: Pontarfynach

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument consists of a stone arrangement. Where the Gentleman’s Walk, laid out by Thomas Johnes in 1795, crosses the Nant Bwlch-Gwallter on the return pathway to Hafod Mansion, a group of features were created. Lines of boulders are arranged on the western side of the waterfall. At the base of the waterfall, the path crossed the stream initially on a two slab bridge (one displaced slab remains) and later in the 19th century on a plain chain bridge (three posts and fixings remain). Below the bridge some cyclopean boulder work has been arranged to create the Mossy Seat with elevated views over the Ystwyth Valley to Hafod Mansion. In recent years the pathway has been restored and modern bridges provided, in consultation with Cadw.

From 1780 until his death in 1816 Thomas Johnes transformed the landscape around his mansion of Hafod, high in the Ystwyth valley, into an outstandingly picturesque domain, threaded with walks and rides from which to view picturesque scenes. A number of built features were an integral part of the landscaping, heightening, in their design and location, the picturesque experience. The large scale of the undertaking, combined with the ruggedness of the scenery, has led this type of landscaping to be dubbed the 'wilderness picturesque'. Hafod rapidly became nationally famous and visitors flocked to admire the Hafod scenery, which was much described and depicted. From many contemporary accounts, drawings and paintings, and in particular from George Cumberland's 'An attempt to describe Hafod' (1796) it is possible to gain some idea of the late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century appearance of the landscape and the structures within it. There can be no doubt of the exceptional historic interest of the remains at Hafod associated with its picturesque landscaping.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the use of gardens, parks and urban spaces in the 18th and 19th centuries. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. A stone may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can be further enhanced by their group value. Hafod is registered as Grade 1 on the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.

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

Source: Cadw

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