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The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust News - old stories

Llannerch-y-cawr June 2008

Medieval farms and farming in the Elan Valley

A group of 11 walkers took part in this guided walk on 14 June 2008 to look at the archaeology of medieval farms and farming in the Elan Valley historic landscape. The walk began by visiting Llannerch y Cawr in the Claerwen valley, shown in the photo alongside, which is one of a number of farmhouses in the area which began life as a late medieval longhouse, with a cowhouse at the lower end. The house is normally let to visitors during the summer by the Elan Valley Trust but we were lucky enough to be able to take a look inside between one party of visitors leaving and the next arriving. The group then went on to look at a cluster of hafodydd or summer-houses on the hills above which once belonged to Llannerch y Cawr and other late medieval farms in the area. The foundations of about four or five houses could be made out next to the Nant Rhyd-goch stream where the farmers brought their cattle to graze during the summer months, between May and August, and to produce dairy products such as cheese and butter. The walk was a joint event organised by CPAT in conjunction with the Elan Valley Trust and the Cambrian Mountains Society. A further walk has been arranged for the 16th August 2008 looking at the Roman Invasion of the Elan Valley.

Bill Britnell, June 2008

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