Saturday, 22 October 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 30m-99m Twmpau

Moelfre (SH 561 376)

This is the fifty second post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 23rd February 2016.

The hill is part of the Moel Hebog range, which is situated in the north-western part of north Wales, and it is positioned between the small communities of Morfa Bychan to the west and Borth-y-gest to the east south-east.

The easterly summit of Moelfre (SH 561 376)

The hill appeared in the 30m-99m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website under the name Coed Borth.  This name was found through local enquiry with Dewi Jones and at a later date confirmed by Aled Williams; a native of Porthmadog.  The listing that this hill’s adjacent westerly top is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height, drop and status was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble with the adjacent summit at SH 55830 37553 confirmed as being higher.     

Coed Borth

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 Coed Borth is such an example as although this is the locally known name for the wood close to the summit of this hill, it doesn’t take in the actual summit, whilst the same wood has been consistently named as Parc y Borth on Ordnance Survey maps.  However, Aled has confirmed that this hill and its adjacent westerly higher top are collectively locally known as Moelfre

Before enquiring with Aled I checked 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.

Accessing 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

The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as Cae Bach on the Tithe map

The enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 931 on the Tithe map, this 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.  The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as Cae Bach on the Tithe map and described as Arable; it appears in the county named as Caernarfon and in the parish of Ynyscynhaearn.

Therefore the name this hill is now listed by is Moelfre, and this was derived from local enquiry, with the caveat that the land where its summit is situated is named as Cae Bach on the Tithe map. 

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel Hebog

Name:  Moelfre

Previously Listed Name:  Coed Borth 

Summit Height:  73.3m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  124

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 56181 37683 
Drop:  18.5m

Myrddyn Phillips (October 2016)

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