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Historic Background
An area of modern Pembrokeshire, on the western flanks of Mynydd Preseli, within the medieval Cantref Cemaes. Cemaes was brought under Anglo-Norman control in c.1100 by the Fitzmartins who retained it, as the Barony of Cemaes, until 1326 when they were succeeded by the Audleys. The Barony was conterminous with the later Hundred of Cemais, which was created in 1536, but many feudal rights and obligations persisted, some until as late as 1922. Tregynon character area lies mainly within the hamlet of Cilgwyn, Nevern parish, which was a borough of the barony during the medieval period. The Extent of Cemaes, compiled in 1577, shows that most of the holdings within the present character area had already been established. Chief among them was Tregynon 'with its parcels', first mentioned in 1315, which together paid 2s 3d annually to the Barony of Cemaes. Penrallt(ddu), then held by James Perrott, paid 3d. This was a minor gentry house of the Vaughan family, who were to acquire much land in the region by the early 17th-century. 'Kilykenawon', which was assessed at 8d rent and the site of a medieval chapel, is located on the Rees map within this character area. The 'land at Kilgwyn of David Lloid', liable for 6d rent, may be equated with the gentry-house at Trefach, which was the home of the Lloyd family in the 17th- and 18th- century and assessed for 5 hearths in 1670. These holdings may date from the 16th century; the pattern of medium-sized, irregular fields is typical of enclosure of that period from land that may formerly have been open pasture. However, some narrower enclosures towards the south may preserve the pattern of earlier strips fields. The tithe map of 1843 shows a situation like that of the present day. Land-use is still predominantly pastoral, and there is a sheep-dip at Trefach.

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
Tregynon historic landscape character area occupies a west- and northwest-facing gently sloping shelf of land located at 170m and 320m sandwiched, between the open moorland of Mynydd Preseli and the heavily wooded steep valley sides of the Afon Gwaun. The landscape is divided into small- and medium-sized fields. The smaller fields usually lie close to farmsteads. Field boundaries consist of massive earth banks in the western part of the area through to less substantial earth and stone banks at the eastern end and on higher ground on the fringes of Mynydd Preseli. Apart from alongside lanes and at the eastern end there are no hedges on the banks, and hedges where they survive are generally not in good condition. It is a virtually treeless landscape. Land-use is improved pasture with pockets of rougher grazing, particularly in wet hollows. At higher levels some fields are beginning to revert to moorland. Farms are widely dispersed across the landscape. At higher levels several are deserted. Farmhouses are in a variety of styles. The main type comprises a 19th century, two storey, three bay, stone-built dwelling, with a slate roof, in the vernacular style. Single storey 19th century dwellings in the vernacular style are also present, as well as some 20th century farmhouses. Most farms have a single small, stone-built 19th century range of farm buildings, with a mid 20th-century corrugated-iron barn and other structures and several small late 20th-century steel-, concrete- and asbestos-built structures. The larger farms have several large 20th century agricultural buildings. Trefach House and mill are both Grade II listed. Tregynon House is now a country hotel and restaurant. Transport elements of this landscape consist of local-use lanes and tracks.

Recorded archaeology is fairly rich for such a small area, including two scheduled bronze age standing stones (one of which may be from a neolithic chambered tomb), and the scheduled iron age hillfort of Castell Tregynon. There is a possible Early Christian inscribed stone, while 'Kilykenawon' was the site of the medieval Capel Cynon. Post-medieval features include a well, a deserted rural settlement, and a sheep dip. There is a further earthwork of unknown nature.

This is a distinctive and generally well defined historic landscape area. The lower-lying heavily wooded landscape of Cilgwyn lies to the north, the heavily wooded slopes of Cwm Gwaun to the northwest and to the east lies the open moorland of Mynydd Preseli. Definition is less clear between this area and land to the west, and between this area and Gellifawr, which it virtually surrounds.

Sources: Charles 1992; Howells 1977; Jones 1996; Nevern tithe map and apportionment, 1843; Owen 1897; Rees 1932