Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 200m Twmpau

Broniarth (SJ 160 117)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in the 200m Twmpau, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 20th January 2016.

The criteria for the list that this name change applies to are:

200m Twmpau - All Welsh hills at and above 200m and below 300m in height that have 30m minimum drop, with the word Twmpau being an acronym standing for thirty welsh metre prominences and upward.

The hill is a part of the Carnedd Wen range, which is an extensive group of hills situated in the southern part of north Wales.  It is positioned above Dyffryn Meifod and the Afon Efyrnwy (River Vyrnwy) to the north-west, with the small community of Meifod situated to the north north-west.

Broniarth (SJ 160 117)
The hill appeared in the 200m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under the name of Cobham’s Garden, which is a name that appeared close to the summit of the hill on Ordnance Survey maps of the day.  During my early hill listing I paid little regard to name placement on a map, or the meaning of names and to what feature the name was appropriately applied to.  Therefore I prioritised names for listing purposes that I now understand are inappropriate, and Cobham’s Garden is such an example as this name is applicable to a small patch of land to the west south-west of the summit of this hill, and although it can be appropriate to use the main named feature of a hill when naming it for listing purposes, in this instance the hill has its own name, and this is Broniarth.  

Cobham's Garden

Since publication of these P30 lists on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website there have been a number of Ordnance Survey maps made available online, some of these are historical such as the series of Six-Inch maps on the National Library of Scotland website, whilst others are current and digitally updated such as the enlarged map on the Geograph website.  One of the historical maps now available is the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map which formed the basis for the first publicly available Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map, and it was the Draft Surveyors map coupled with detail from other Ordnance Survey maps, as well as the Tithe map and also local enquiry that formed the basis for the change in this hill’s listed name.

The Draft Surveyors maps consist of the preliminary drawings made by the Ordnance Survey’s surveyors between the 1780s and 1840 and formed the basis for the first publicly available One-Inch map.  They were drawn at scales of six inches to the mile for areas considered of particular military significance and down to two inches to the mile for other areas.  Fair copies were then produced from these preliminary drawings to one inch to the mile and then copper plates were prepared for printing.  The Draft Surveyors maps for the whole of Wales are now available online and they form an important part in the study of Welsh upland place-names as they bridge the time frame between the late 18th century and the mid-19th century when the Ordnance Survey produced their first One-Inch maps. 

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map

The name this hill is now listed by is Broniarth and the land that this name is applicable to was confirmed via the Tithe map.  The term Tithe map is generally given to a map of a Welsh or English parish or township and which was prepared after the 1836 Tithe Commutation Act.  This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods.  The Tithe maps gave names of owners and occupiers of land in each parish and importantly for place-name research they also included the name of enclosed land.  This enclosed land is usually based on a field system, however not every field is given a name, but many are and especially so in Wales.

Assessing information on the Tithe map is simplified by the use of a split screen enabling the summit to be pinpointed on the map on the right and for the same point to appear on the Tithe map on the left

An overlay facility enables direct comparison between the Tithe map and the current map

The enclosed land is given a number which can be cross referenced against the apportionments; it is these apportionments that give the name of the owner or occupier of the land as well as the name of the land.  However, in this instance the land where the summit of this hill is situated is on common land and named as Broniarth Common; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Guilsfield.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey One-Inch 'Old Series' map

There are many maps that are now available online and these give the opportunity to compare the composition of a hill’s name and in the instance of Broniarth this can be followed from the Draft Surveyors map, through the Tithe map, to the Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map and to contemporary Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps.  There are of course many other maps also available for this form of comparison, but the study of the ones mentioned above can give us inkling to how this hill’s name was represented through the ages and this is depicted below:

Tithe Map:  Broniarth Common

Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors map:  Broniarth

Ordnance Survey One-Inch ‘Old Series’ map:  Broniarth Hills

Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map:  Not named 

Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in the 200m Twmpau is Broniarth and this was derived from a number of sources, including the Tithe map for consideration of what land the name applied to, the Ordnance Survey Draft Surveyors and One-Inch ‘Old Series’ maps for confirmation of the name, and also through local enquiry.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Carnedd Wen

Name:  Broniarth

Previously Listed Name:  Cobham’s Garden 

Summit Height:  279.2m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  125

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 16075 11772 
Drop:  53.3m (converted to OSGM15)

Myrddyn Phillips (October 2016)

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