Historic Landscape Characterisation
The Rhondda

022 Ffaldau

HLCA 022 Ffaldau
Relict agricultural landscape; distinctive field boundaries; detached part of HLCA 023 Rhondda Fach: Eastern Enclosed Valley Sides.

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(Photo: GGAT HLCA022)

Aerial view showing the northern edge of Blaenllechau, Ffaldau lies to the right.
Historic background

The historic landscape area of Ffaldau is a detached portion of HLCA 023 Rhondda Fach: Eastern Enclosed Valley Sides. An outlying parcel of enclosed land separated by more precipitous topography allowed from HLCA 023 Rhondda Fach: Eastern Enclosed Valley Sides to the southeast, specifically comprising surviving medieval/post-medieval enclosure as documented in cartographic sources. The place-name Ffaldau, 'enclosures or holding pens' reflects the importance of the area in the pastoral economy of the area. Exactly what purpose these features carried out is largely conjecture. The location of Ffaldau near the former farmstead of Maerdy, the Maerdy or Medieval Reeve's or steward's house or settlement might provide a clue as to the area's origin and primary purpose; as holding pens, a collection point for sorting livestock to facilitate accounting and/or control movement to and from the upland pasture or neighbouring administrative areas. However, the name might equally indicate an area of fairly late post-medieval (i.e. 18th century) encroachment or enclosure of formerly open mountain pasture, perhaps based around pre-existing sheepfolds.


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