Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales


Moel y Penmaen (SH 338 386)

There has been an addition to the listing of Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales which has resulted in the hill being added to the Lesser Welsh Dominant list.  The criteria for inclusion in this category of sub list is those P30 hills whose prominence is 33% or more and below 50% of their absolute height.

The details relating to this hill’s inclusion as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill are retrospective as it appeared in the Pen Llŷn group of hills when published on the Mapping Mountains site on the 11th February 2016.

The hill did not appear in the original listing of Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales even though the details on the then current Ordnance Survey maps showed a 153m summit spot height and bwlch contours between 90m – 100m, with an estimated bwlch height of c 92m giving a drop of c 61m and a Dominance of 39.87% which is sufficient for inclusion into the Lesser Welsh Dominant list.

The hill is listed in the Pen Llŷn group and is placed in the Region of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A1) with its Cardinal Hill being Garn Ganol (SH 364 447), and it is situated between the small communities of Boduan to the south-west and Llannor to the south-east.

If wanting to visit the hill a track to the south-east which makes its way toward a small reservoir gives easy access to the upper part of the hill which is on open access land.

The name of the hill is Moel y Penmaen and it qualifies for Lesser Welsh Dominant status based on a 153m summit and a c 92m bwlch height, with these values giving this hill c 61m of drop and 39.87% of Dominance.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pen Llŷn

Name:  Moel y Penmaen

Dominance:  39.87%

OS 1:50,000 map:  123

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 33810 38687

Summit Height:  153m

Drop Summit to Bwlch:  c 61m

Drop Bwlch to ODN:  c 92m 



Myrddyn Phillips (March 2017)






Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales


Pt. c 71m (SH 310 297)

There has been an addition to the listing of Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales due to detail included on the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website.  This has resulted in the hill being added to the Lesser Welsh Dominant list.  The criteria for Lesser Welsh Dominant status is those P30 hills whose prominence is 33% or more and below 50% of their absolute height.

The details relating to this hill’s inclusion as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill are retrospective as it appeared in the Pen Llŷn group of hills when published on the Mapping Mountains site on the 11th February 2016.

Prior to this hill’s inclusion as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill it was listed with c 25m of drop which is insufficient for consideration to this sub category of hill, with this drop value based on an estimated summit height of c 71m based on the size of the uppermost 70m ring contour on Ordnance Survey maps in comparison to the size of contours below it, and an estimated bwlch height of c 46m based on bwlch contouring between 40m – 50m that appears on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer maps.   

The hill is listed in the Pen Llŷn group and is placed in the Region of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A1) with its Cardinal Hill being Garn Fadrun (SH 278 351), and it is situated between the small communities of Llanbedrog to the north-east, Mynytho to the north-west and Abersoch to the south.

If wanting to visit the hill permission to do so should be sought as the summit area is not a part of open access land, however the hill has a number of public footpaths encircling it that start from the A 499 road to its east and the network of minor roads to its north and west.

The hill is being listed by the point (Pt. c 71m) notation as an appropriate name either known locally or from historical research has not been found by the author, although when the hill was first included in the P30 Welsh lists that appeared on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website it was by an invented name of Castellmarch, this name was taken from buildings situated to the east of the summit.

It is included as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill as the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website has contours at 5m intervals giving the hill a 41m bwlch spot height with bwlch contouring between 40m – 45m, as opposed to the previously estimated bwlch height of c 46m based on the 40m – 50m bwlch contouring on the 1:25,000 Explorer map.  With an estimated c 71m summit height and a 41m bwlch height it gives this hill c 30m of drop which is sufficient for consideration to the Dominant list, and as these values give this hill 42.25% Dominance it is now listed as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pen Llŷn

Name:  Pt. c 71m

Dominance:  42.25%

OS 1:50,000 map:  123

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 31034 29730

Summit Height:  c 71m

Drop Summit to Bwlch:  c 30m

Drop Bwlch to ODN:  41m 



Myrddyn Phillips (March 2017)











Monday, 20 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales


Carreglefain (SH 324 410)

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales due to a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  This has resulted in the hill being reclassified from a Lesser Welsh Dominant to a Dominant hill.  With the criteria for inclusion to this list being those Welsh P30 hills whose prominence equal or exceed half that of their absolute height.

The details relating to this hill’s inclusion as a Dominant hill are retrospective as it appeared in the Pen Llŷn group of hills when published on the Mapping Mountains site on the 11th February 2016.

Prior to this hill’s inclusion as a Dominant hill it was listed as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill with 48.66% Dominance based on its 261m summit spot height that appears on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps and a c 127m drop based on bwlch contouring between 130m – 140m with an estimated bwlch height of c 134m.

The hill is listed in the Pen Llŷn group and is placed in the Region of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A1) with its Cardinal Hill being Garn Ganol (SH 278 351), and it is situated between the small communities of Nefyn towards the west and Llithfaen to the north-east.

If wanting to visit the hill it can be accessed from a number of directions via public footpaths that lead to open access land that takes in the supper section of the hill.

The name of the hill is Carreglefain and the Trimble survey that resulted in its reclassification was conducted by Myrddyn Phillips on the 24th November 2014 resulting in a 260.7m summit height and a 130.1m bwlch height, with these values giving this hill 130.6m of drop and 50.08% of Dominance.



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pen Llŷn

Name:  Carreglefain

Dominance:  50.08%

OS 1:50,000 map:  123

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 32421 41054

Summit Height:  260.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Drop Summit to Bwlch:  130.6m

Drop Bwlch to ODN:  130.1m (converted to OSGM15) 


Carreglefain (SH 324 410) now reclassified from a Lesser Welsh Dominant to a Dominant hill


Myrddyn Phillips (March 2017)




Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales


Pt. 66m (SH 299 270)

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Trechol – The Dominant Hills of Wales due to detail included on the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website.  This has resulted in the hill being reclassified from a Lesser Welsh Dominant to a Dominant hill.  With the criteria for inclusion to this list being those Welsh P30 hills whose prominence equal or exceed half that of their absolute height.

The details relating to this hill’s inclusion as a Dominant hill are retrospective as it appeared in the Pen Llŷn group of hills when published on the Mapping Mountains site on the 11th February 2016.

Prior to this hill’s inclusion as a Dominant hill it was included as a Lesser Welsh Dominant hill based on its summit position being at SH 295 266 where the 64m spot height appears on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps, with its listed drop being c 31m based on an estimated bwlch height of c 33 and a Dominance of 48.44%, importantly this map showed a 60m ring contour to the north-east of this summit, but with no spot height the 64m map heighted summit was listed as the Lesser Welsh Dominant hill.

In more recent years the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website has been made publicly available and this scale of mapping shows many spot heights not on any other publicly available map, and the 60m ring contour to the north-east of the 64m map heighted summit is given a 66m summit spot height on this more detailed and larger scaled map, and therefore the summit position of this hill has changed to the higher map heighted hill and because of this the drop value and Dominance of the hill has also altered, and it is now listed with a 66m summit and 32m bwlch height, with both spot heights taken from the enlarged map on the Geograph website.  These values give the hill 34m of drop and 51.52% Dominance.

The hill is in the Pen Llŷn group of hills and is placed in the Region of North Wales (Region A, Sub-Region A1) with its Cardinal Hill being Garn Fadrun (SH 278 351), and it is situated with the small community of Llanengan to the west and the small town of Abersoch to the north-east.

If wanting to visit the hill it can be easily ascended as it is near a number of minor roads, however its summit is not a part of open access land so permission to visit should be sought.

The hill is being listed by the point (Pt. 66m) notation as an appropriate name either known locally or from historical research has not been found by the author, although when the old summit was first listed in the sub list that accompanied the P30 Welsh lists that appeared on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website it was listed by an invented name of Bryn Llanengan, named after the village to the north-west of the old summit.

The hill is now listed with a 66m summit and 32m bwlch height, with both spot heights taken from the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website.  These values give the hill 34m of drop and 51.52% Dominance.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Pen Llŷn

Name:  Pt. 66m

Dominance:  51.52%

OS 1:50,000 map:  123

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 29957 27041

Summit Height:  66m

Drop Summit to Bwlch:  34m

Drop Bwlch to ODN:  32m 




Myrddyn Phillips (March 2017)

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Beacon Hill


08.03.17  Pt. 394.1m (SO 327 838)

Pt. 394.1m (SO 327 838)

The Bury Ditches form an impressive earthen rampart system of embankment and ditch which dates from approximately 500BC; this Iron Age Hill Fort is one of the most extensive in the country and sits atop a hill whose slopes are immersed by conifer plantation.

My goal for the day was a hill that I had not yet visited and one that was close to Lydbury North, whose village hall Jim Perrin was speaking at, at 7.00pm; and this hill fitted perfectly into this plan.

The hill is enclosed by Forestry Commission conifer plantations that until the mid-1970s shrouded the summit, thankfully a storm blew many trees down and sensible action prevailed and the remaining trees from the area of the summit were then felled.  This now gives the summit a spacious feel and affords extensive views to the higher Shropshire peaks.

The hill is listed as a Submarilyn and a 390m Sub-Four (The Fours - Europeaklist December 2013 and Haroldstreet January 2014) with c 146m of drop; both compilations list the hill by the name of Sunnyhill, which is a name that appears on current Ordnance Survey maps.  Local enquiry suggests that this name is more applicable to the southern slopes of the hill and not the hill itself, therefore the point (Pt. 394.1m) notation is being used until the listing of The Fours is updated and published by Mapping Mountains Publications toward the end of this year.  

I waited until 3.00pm before packing the car and driving toward Bishop’s Castle, and as the summit is positioned closer to Lydbury North compared to its col, I decided to investigate the col first and leave the summit for a late afternoon ascent.  The critical col for this hill is positioned in or next to a field that has a bump in it, the top of this bump is given a separate 250m ring contour on Ordnance Survey maps.

The first of four data sets taken at the area of the col with the Trimble gathering data on top of the gate post.  The field where the col is situated is beyond the gate entrance with the top of the 250m ring contour bump just above the hedge on the left hand side of this photograph.

I squeezed my car against a hedge on the minor lane just to the west of this field and set about trying to work out the lay of land, I imagined that the hill to hill traverse was more critical than the direction of the valley to valley traverse, as contours and a whizz around in a Google car suggests.  I wanted to take at least two data sets from the col, one either side of the 250m ring contoured bump, and I ended up taking four and spent a contented hour doing so.  Time spent standing in a field next to a main road and minor lane is an unusual occupation to say the least, but there is a pleasure in doing such a thing.  Once four data sets had been taken I drove north and then south toward Lower Down and the car park that gives access to the summit of the hill.  The car park is positioned on the eastern side of the hill and at 310m high it gives easy access to the Bury Ditches.

Gathering data at the critical col with the 250m ring contour bump to the left

As I pulled up a woman was heading toward her car, we talked for ten minutes or so, she lived in Churchstoke having relocated from Birmingham and told me that she used to bring her young children here for walks, they are now in university.  She kindly pointed me in the right direction and told me about other paths and how they connect.  As another car pulled up I headed up the good track toward the summit.

Information board at the start of the track leading to the summit

I stopped occasionally to take photographs and peer through the trees to the blued sky beyond, there was a distinct smell of awaking to the land, with slight warmth heralding the onset of spring and catkins slumbered down from their delicate branches, motionless they hung, as neither wind nor breeze blew.

A sign of spring

Wood carving beside the track leading to the eastern entrance gate

The track led to a gate which gave access to the eastern entrance and the impressive earthen ramparts, these consist of at least four with their ditches accentuating their form, each a shaped series of ovals, and they stood similar to a flowing wave caused by plopping a small stone in a pond.  I followed the path to the viewfinder; just beyond on the inner rampart is the high point of the hill.  Within a few minutes the Trimble was set up on my rucksack and five minutes of data collected.

Gathering data at the summit

As the Trimble gathered its allotted data the late afternoon cast shadowed colour across distant hills, a slight chill had now replaced the early sprint warmth and the land seemed ready to slow and become darkened by the onset of dusk.

Shadowed colour across distant hills

I stood and soaked in the scene before packing the Trimble away and proceeded to follow the inner rampart for the whole length of its journey through the ancient western gate where overlapping ramparts and ditches are still on view, and onward back to the modern entrance gate and the descending track toward my car.

By the time I had changed and driven to Bishop’s Castle for food, the sun had sank leaving streaked greying cloud, it had been a good day, and one that still held the prospect of the evening spent listening to the eloquent openness and beauty of Jim Perrin. 



Survey Result:


Pt. 394.1m

Summit Height:  394.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 32753 83805

Col Height:  247.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Col Grid Reference:  SO 29512 83148

Drop:  146.7m

Dominance:  37.21%  





Friday, 17 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Pedwarau


Carreg y Gwynt (SN 956 776)

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Pedwarau with a Pedwar being reclassified to the ranks of 400m Sub-Pedwar by analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  The 400m Sub-Pedwarau is one of five categories of sub hills that accompany the main Y Pedwarau list, with the criteria for 400m Sub-Pedwar status being all Welsh hills at or above 400m and below 500m in height with 20m or more and below 30m of drop.

The hill is situated in the Pegwn Mawr group with its Cardinal Hill being Garreg Lwyd (SN 942 733) and is placed in the Region of Mid and West Wales (Region B, Sub-Region B1).  The hill is positioned between the small community of Llangurig to the west north-west and the town of Llanidloes to the north.

The hill can be ascended from the north, south or east where public footpaths leave minor narrow roads and circumvent its summit.  As the hill is not a part of open access land permission to visit its summit should be sought.

The name of the hill is Carreg y Gwynt and prior to the analysis of LIDAR data and its subsequent listing as a 400m Sub-Pedwar it had been listed as a Pedwar with 32m of drop based on a 104ft (31.7m) basic levelling survey conducted by Myrddyn Phillips on the 23.04.04.

As Aled was analysing other hills in the vicinity against LIDAR data, he did likewise with Carreg y GwyntLIDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) is highly accurate height data that is now freely available for much of England and Wales.

Aled’s analysis of LIDAR data gives the hill the following details:


Carreg y Gwynt

Summit Height:  426.7m

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 95698 77665

Bwlch Height:  398.6m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 95153 78738

Drop:  28.1m


Therefore, the 426.7m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SN 95698 77665 and the 398.6m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SN 95153 78738 is insufficient for this hill to retain its Pedwar status, and therefore it is reclassified to a 400m Sub-Pedwar with 28.1m of drop, and the list of Y Pedwarau will be updated accordingly.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Garreg Lwyd

Summit Height:  426.7m (LIDAR data)  

Name:  Carreg y Gwynt  

OS 1:50,000 map:  136, 147  

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 95698 77665  

Drop:  28.1m (LIDAR data)  


This now brings the overall total for Y Pedwarau to 444 hills with seven additions, and ten reclassifications to 400m Sub-Pedwar status since publication of the list by Europeaklist in May 2013.  The hill will be taken out of the Pedwar list and added to the 400m Sub-Pedwar list in forthcoming publications.  The list of Pedwar hills is available from the Haroldstreet website (January 2014) with all subsequent changes available via the Mapping Mountains site, with the list having also commenced publication on Mapping Mountains on the 30.01.17.

The list of additions and reclassifications from the Pedwar list since the 1st edition of Y Pedwarau was published by Europeaklist are as follows:



PEDWAR ADDITIONS













PEDWAR RECLASSIFICATIONS











Carreg y Gwynt (LIDAR data) (SN 956 776) Pedwar reclassified to 400m Sub-Pedwar with 28.1m of drop



Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (March 2017)