Historic Landscape Characterisation
Merthyr Tydfil

052 Gurnos Farm and Bunker's Hill

HLCA 52 Gurnos Farm and Bunker's Hill Agricultural landscape of late 18th/early 19th century improved medium-large regular (some irregular) agricultural and wooded enclosures; model estate farm (Gyrnos), with contemporary agricultural features; drystone walled enclosures; site of deserted rural settlement of Pantton; transport corridor. road and tram, including course of Roman Road

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(Photo: GGAT Merthyr 052)

Gurnos Farm and Bunker's Hill character area: agricultural landscape of planned medium-large regular enclosures.


A late 18th century agricultural landscape characterised mainly by planned medium-large regular enclosures walled in dry stone, centred on the model estate farm at Gurnos. A deserted settlement at Pantton seems to have been removed to make way for the agricultural improvements. The area is also characterised by a transport corridor which includes a tramroad to Morlais Castle Quarries, and the possible route of a Roman road associated with the crossing of the Taff Fechen at Pont Sarn.

Historical background

The historic landscape area of Gurnos Farm and Bunker's Hill comprises the surviving post-medieval agricultural landscape north of the Heads of the Valleys Road. The area was largely associated with William Crawshay; it included the eastern part of the Cyfarthfa Estate (Glanmol-goch tithe map of 1850, Llwyn-moelgoch OS 6-inch 1875 (later Dan-y-Castell Farm), and the holding of Gurnos, centred on its 'model' farm' owned by David Edwards leased to William Crawshay in 1850. The southeastern corner of the area comprises the surviving portion of Gain, formerly part of the Estate of Robert Henry Clive, the Earl of Plymouth, leased to the Penydarren Iron Company. The industrial agricultural landscape of large regular enclosures and stands of trees associated with the 'model' farm of the area was in place by 1826; cartographic evidence indicates that the area's field and track layout underwent drastic remodelling between 1814 and 1826. This included the removal of the former settlement of Pantton; the element 'Pen ton' retained in the field names of the area is a reference to it, while relict drystone enclosures in the area are surviving elements associated with the earlier agricultural landscape.

The Morlais Castle Quarries Tramroad of 1803 crosses the area on its route to the Penydarren and Plymouth ironworks.


For further information please contact the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust at this address. Link to the Countryside Council for Wales website at www.ccw.gov.uk or Cadw at www.cadw.wales.gov.uk