Claerwen Dam and surrounding pasture
The landscape of the Elan and Claerwen Valleys is dominated by a series of dams and reservoirs built in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries by Birmingham Corporation. This image shows the Claerwen reservoir and dam with sheep pasture on either side. The land and reservoirs are now part of the Elan Valley Estate of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. Grid ref: OS SN 868 637 (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.
This photograph shows the south side of the Claerwen Dam. This was the last of the dams to be completed, in 1952. Grid ref: OS SN 868 637 (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.
View of Cwmdeuddwr Common
This photograph shows part of Cwmdeuddwr Common (CL 36), looking eastwards (the town of Rhayader is hidden in the dip to the right of the picture). The common is crossed by a number of roads, bridleways and paths. The road to Rhayader can be seen running from left to right across the centre of the picture, with the rough track of the old byway also visible on the slopes behind. (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.
Traffic sign, Cwmdeuddwr Common
This sign has been put up by Cwmdeuddwr Commoners and Graziers Association to regulate the activity of vehicles using the byway which runs over the common. Commons which are unfenced and open to traffic can face a number of management issues, including accidents involving stock, and surface damage caused by off-road vehicles. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.
Sheepfold, Cwmdeuddwr Common
This large sheepfold is situated on Cwmdeuddwr Common, near to the Rhayader road. The stone walls of an older sheepfold form part of the structure. Grid ref: OS SN 927 699 (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.
Remains of Lluest-tre-hesgog, Cwmdeuddwr Common
This image shows the remains of a simple stone hut or ‘lluest’, with an embanked enclosure on the slope behind, located beside a stream near to the sheepfold pictured above. ‘Lluest’ is the term generally used to mean a shepherd’s hut or dwelling, where a herd would live while looking after stock pastured on the higher ground. A ‘lluest’ would have originally belonged to a home farm lower in the valley: this hut, known as Lluest-tre-hesgog, was most probably built as the shepherd’s hut or summer cottage for Treheslog Farm (Grid ref: OS SN 944 688). Grid ref: OS SN 929 697 (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.
Maengwyngweddw boundary stone, Cwmdeuddwr Common
This large white stone is a historic boundary marker positioned beside the byway on Cwmdeuddwr Common, and is known as Maengwyngweddw (‘Widow’s white stone’). It marks the point at which two historic territories – the manor of Cwmdeuddwr and the manor or estate of Cwmdeuddwr Grange – meet, and is mentioned in historic documents describing manorial boundaries (e.g. entries made 1797 and 1813, Cwmdeuddwr Grange presentments book, Powys Archives, R/D/LEW/3/96). The high point in the distance is another ancient landscape feature and boundary marker, Crugyn Gwyddel (Grid ref: OS SN 919 687). Grid ref: OS SN 925 705 (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.
Boundary post, Elan Valley Estate and Cwmdeuddwr Common
This is one of a series of concrete posts in the landscape, which may be those described in a documentary source as having been installed by Birmingham Corporation in 1913 to mark the outer limit of their estate (Powys Archives, R/D/Lew/3/107). Definition of boundaries is an important but complex issue in a landscape subject to many different types of territorial unit – old and new. For example, in this northern and eastern area of the case study, there are natural boundaries (the watershed – important in a landscape of reservoirs and dams), boundaries of historic territorial units (manors and estates), traditional agricultural units (sheepwalks), and modern legal boundaries (e.g. areas registered as common or subject to statutory designations such as SSSI). These boundaries might not always coincide. (Photo: Angus Winchester) Click on image for larger version.