Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 300m Twmpau


Racecourse (SO 091 862)

This is the fifty eighth 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 2oth April 2016.

The hill is part of the Beacon Hill range, which is situated in the north-eastern part of Mid and West Wales, and the hill is positioned above the A 483 and between the town of Y Drenewydd (Newtown) to its north and the small community of Llanbadarn Fynydd to its south.  

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of the Racecourse

The hill appeared in the 300m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under the partly invented name Glog Wood Top, with an accompanying note stating; Name from wood to the West.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble.  


Glog Wood Top
    371m
    SO092863
    136
  214
    Name from wood to the West


During my early hill listing I thought it appropriate to either invent a name for a hill, or use a name that appeared near to the summit of the hill on Ordnance Survey maps of the day.  My preference was to use farm names and put Pen, Bryn or Moel in front of them or as in this instance, use the name of the wood which takes in the lower westerly slopes of this hill and add the word Top.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with a little research either conducted locally or historically an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found. 

The name this hill is now listed by is the Racecourse, and this was derived from local enquiry with the Morris family who live at Garth-Heilyn which is positioned under the hill to its north.  When I made enquiries Gwyn Morris told me that he didn’t know why the hill is known as the Racecourse and explained that Gilfach farm used to own the land, with his family moving to Garth-Heilyn in 1935 and purchasing the land from Gilfach in 1969, and the hill was known as the Racecourse even when Gilfach owned the land.

Gwyn Morris

I then spoke to Gwyn’s brother; Andrew Morris, and as soon as I mentioned the hill, he said ‘You mean the Racecourse.’  He proceeded to tell me that he didn’t know why it was called by this name, but that was the name the locals had known it by for decades.

Andrew Morris

I later 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 enclosed land where the summit of this hill is situated is given the number 236 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 Race Course on the Tithe map and described as Pasture; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Ceri.

The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as the Race Course on the Tithe map

Therefore the name this hill is now listed by is the Racecourse, and this was derived from local enquiry, as well as the land where the summit of this hill is situated being confirmed by the use of the same name on the Tithe map.   


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Beacon Hill

Name:  Racecourse

Previously Listed Name:  Glog Wood Top 

Summit Height:  370.7m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  136

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 09122 86296  

Drop:  44.0m (converted to OSGM15)





Myrddyn Phillips (November 2016)







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