The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd.

Character Areas

Margam Mountain

017 Cwm Dyffryn: Southern Valley Sides

Cwm Dyffryn: Southern Valley Sides.

HLCA 017 Cwm Dyffryn: Southern Valley Sides

Post-medieval settlement/fields; varied field pattern and distinctive field boundaries; settlement pattern: dispersed and minor ribbon development; minor communications. Back to Map

Historic Background

The historic landscape area of Cwm Dyffryn: Southern Valley Sides comprises an area of enclosed agricultural land on the northwestern flanks of Mynydd Margam, which has escaped afforestation. The area, part of the Margam Abbey Estate during the post-medieval period was farmed during the medieval period from Margam Abbey's grange at Hafod-y-porth. Though another monastic grange site has also been suggested at the site of the post-medieval farmstead of Gallt-y-cwm (Evans 1982, 21). Since the break-up of the Margam Estate during the mid-20th century the area's holdings appear to have become fragmented, some farmsteads have even been abandoned, for example Lletty-piod, a post-medieval direct entry, end chimney house with thatched roof.

Historic Landscape Characteristics

Cwm Dyffryn: Southern Valley Sides, the surviving portions of enclosed agricultural landscape, along the southern side of Cwm Dyffryn, is characterised by post-medieval enclosure with a varied field pattern, dominated by evolved/irregular and small regular fields with distinctive and varied field boundaries, including stone-faced banks, stone faced-banks with hedges, hedges, earth banks and post and wire fencing. Settlement in the area is exclusively post-medieval in date and typically comprises loosely dispersed and minor ribbon development of farms and cottages; a pattern typical of settlement along the industrial urban fringe. Smallholdings appear to make up a significant portion of the overall land holdings and there is a notable concentration of corrugated iron outbuildings. Minor communication features make up the area's other characteristic features, ie: footpaths, tracks and winding lanes.