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Historic Background
A small character area within the foothills of the Black Mountain, once forming part of Maenor Llys which occupied the eastern part of Iscennen commote. Iscennen, unlike the rest of Cantref Bychan within which it lay, remained nominally independent of Anglo-Norman rule until 1284 when it was acquired by John Giffard, and in 1340 it became a member of the Duchy of Lancaster (Rees 1953, xv-xvi). Part of Area 254 may, like neighbouring Area 197, have formed part of the estate of the Maerdref of Carreg Cennen (see Area 198); a settlement is marked (as 'Penthill' ) at Penhill Farm on Rees' map of 14th century south Wales (Rees 1932). However, the bulk of the area, around the large, central farm of Cilmaenllwyd, appears to have belonged to the Premonstratensians of Talley Abbey (Rees 1932). The holding had fallen to the Lloyds, a recusant family, by the 17th century, when horse races were held nearby (Jones 1987, 34); it was later let to tenants. In the western part of the area are a group of narrow fields which may represent former open fields; the reminder of the enclosures, however, are large and fairly regular, and may be Post-Medieval in origin. There has been little recent development.


Base map reproduced from the OS map with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright 2001.
All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Licence Number: GD272221

Description and essential historic landscape components
This character area lies on fairly gentle south- and southwest-facing slopes between 180 m and 240 m. It comprises dispersed farms and other dwellings situated in medium-sized irregular and regular fields. The fields are defined by earth, and stone and earth banks, topped with hedges. Apart from alongside roads and tracks hedges are not generally in good condition, and are either derelict or have many gaps. Wire fences provide stock-proof boundaries. There are very few hedgerow trees, and this, coupled with just a few small deciduous woods, lends an open appearance to much of the landscape. Most of the farmland is improved pasture, though there are isolated pockets of rough grazing and rushy ground. Transport links are purely local - lanes and tracks. Farmhouses are stone-built, three-storey, and three-bayed, 19th century and generally in the vernacular tradition. Smaller stone-built 19th century cottages in the vernacular tradition are also present. 19th century farm outbuildings are of stone, and generally of one or two ranges. Most farms have modern agricultural buildings.

Recorded archaeology is limited to the Medieval settlement at Penhill, a mill site and dwellings.

There are no listed buildings.

Cilmaenllwyd is not an easy character area to define as many of the neighbouring areas share similar landscape components. Thus there tends to be a zone of change between this area and its neighbours.