Black Mountain?

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Black Mountain?

Postby Alan Bowring » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:34 am

15 Nov 2010 From: Alan Bowring
Black Mountain?
I am looking for a reputable written source (book or map) for the name of the 703m summit at SO 255351 (near the northern corner of the Black Mountains) which backs up the name 'Black Mountain' given to it in the 'Mountains of Wales' - or possibly contradicts it! I've not seen this name (or any other) appear on any OS map of any scale, past or present, and am currently awaiting a reply from OS about it. Good evidence may enable us to get it labelled on the 25K and 50K maps. thanks
Alan Bowring
 
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Carnedd Ugain etc

Postby Richard S » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 am

15 Nov 2010 From: Richard S.
Carnedd Ugain etc
Thanks for the Garnedd Uchaf info, Myrddyn. Looks like that will have to do. The earliest map I have for this area is the 1891 6 inch County Series and this has Carnedd Ugain marked. In reply to Alan B.’s question, unlike the current OS series which has ‘Black Mountains’ marked in one place, the 1891 map has this label in several places, including a couple of these labels running along the ridge in question, following the Offa’s Dyke path. So if you could only see this part of the map you might think that these were the Black Mountains. But ‘Black Mountain’ as such is not there. ‘Black Hill’ is named though.
Richard S
 
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Re: Black Mountain?

Postby Myrddyn » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:49 am

16 Nov 2010 From: Myrddyn Phillips
Hill Names - Black Mountain
Hi Alan. I've got pages upon pages of details concerning this hill name. It was through interest in this name that my various bits of research started. I'll try and be concise but I think this particular hill name deserves extensive detailing. The 703m hill at SO255354 was first listed in the late 1920's by Arthur St George Walsh as 'E. Ridge (Large peat plateau)', rather an apt name! The next listing was by W.T.Elmslie in 1933 as 'Black Mountain (Frontier)'. He also listed another three points along this ridge by the same name. The 'Frontier' part of this name no doubt refers to the then continued direction of the Welsh / English border. The next listings to this hill were by Edward Moss in 1939 and 1940, using the name 'Unnamed Top'.
However, Ted Moss' unpublished notes to these listings has, and I quote 'not named on O.S. maps, other sources indicate the name Black Mountain. see P.T.Jones' Welsh Border Country p 10'. The book Ted Moss refers to was first published in 1939 by B.T.Batsford Ltd of London, its full title is 'The Face of Britain Welsh Border Country by P.Thoresby Jones'. There are two references of interest to the Black Mountain in this book; page 10 footnote 'The term Black Mountain (singular) or the Welsh equivalent is given in maps to the group of peaks and moorlands between Carmarthen and the Towy: also, confusingly, to the ridge stretching from Hay Bluff', and on page 31 'Moreover, from just south of Hay Bluff this 'Black Mountain' ridge throws out a long narrow spur towards Longtown'.
We can deduce from this that the main easterly ridge that we know today as the 'Hatterall Ridge' was then known by some as the 'Black Mountain Ridge'. This is underlined by the use of an almost ridge long name of 'Black Mountain' on the 1832 Ordnance Survey One-Inch 'Old Series' sheet. The first person to actually list this hill just as 'Black Mountain' was William McKnight Docharty in 1962. Succeeded by Bridge 1973, Wright 1974, Marsh 1985, Nuttall 1989, Borman 1990, Adams (page 250) 1990, Hermon 1991, Dawson 1992, Harveys 1993, Dewey 1995, Woosey 1995, Kirk 1996/97, Robert Jones 1997 and Dafydd Andrews 1999 and probably others have all unfortunately followed with the same incorrect premise that this hill is named 'Black Mountain'. The original use of this incorrect name can be traced back to the Bartholomew's revised 'half-inch' map that some of the early hill list authors probably used. Do I really have to tell you what ridge name appeared positioned slap bang over this summit, you've guessed it, 'Black Mountain'. So to recap: we've found out which early maps used this name and why, and which hill list authors perpetuated its unfortunate use. Next step, let's get onto the important part - this hills proper Welsh name!!!!!!! Before we do that it's important to know that Cymraeg as a language is no longer spoken in the area of this mountain range. Therefore, although many hill names that appear on current maps are still known as such, the evolution of language has dictated that new English names for the occasional hill have materialised.
The loss of Welsh as a spoken language is also the reason why some Welsh hill names are no longer known by the farmers in the Vale of Ewyas. They are English speakers with a great knowledge of their patch of land, but the loss of spoken Welsh has resulted in one or two Welsh hill names being lost. This includes the knowledge for the name to the 703m hill. To retrieve the first clue to the Welsh name for this hill we have to venture into the deepest, darkest depths of England and visit Craswall and David Gains. David is aged over 70, his father was born in the Craswall valley and his mother in the Olchon valley. The more people I contacted in this area, it was always David's name that kept cropping up as the person who knew the most about the hills.
One of the first names he gave me was 'The Thieves Stone', he continued 'It's hanging out on a slope, straight on top of the ridge, just on the Welsh side and about 3 - 4ft wide'. I asked him when and how he had first heard about this name, he replied that his father had told him, he also told me that he'd heard 'If a sheep grazed the land around the stone and kept by The Thieves Stone it would never get maggots'. David could well be the last person to know the details about 'The Thieves Stone', as I contacted just about every other farmer of note around this mountain range, and the other 34 did not know a name for this outcrop or hill.
Neither did David for that matter for the latter, remember Welsh as a language has been lost in this area, and although the name of 'The Thieves Stone' is now only preserved orally in English, we have to thank our friends the Ordnance Survey for saving its Welsh counterpart, as the name 'Llech y Lladron' is written at SO253360 on current 1:25,000 O.S. maps. The O.S. by the way should be thanked by every person interested in Cymraeg, they get a few things wrong, but if not for this organisation many a Welsh place-name would have been lost. 'Llech' translates as 'Slab', 'Flag', 'Slate' or 'Stone', whilst 'Lladron' translates as 'Thief' or 'Robber'. Therefore, 'Llech y Lladron' could translate as 'The Thieves Stone'. This still doesn't give us the name of the hill, I asked 35 people and nobody knew (this did happen occasionally during my various bits of research).
The next bit to consider is the use of distinctive terms for the word 'hill' in certain Welsh areas, as in 'Moel' in the Moelwynion, 'Tarren' in the Tarennydd, 'Ban' or its mutated form 'Fan' in Bannau Brycheiniog, Fforest Fawr and Y Mynydd Du. The Black Mountains is no different, look at the names and you'll see the word 'Twyn', as in 'Pen Twyn Mawr', 'Pen Twyn Glas', 'Twyn Mawr' and 'Twyn y Gaer', all of which appear on the O.S. map. We know that this hills main named feature is 'Llech y Lladron', it could be justifiable to think that the hill would take its name from this main named feature, and guess what..... it does!!!!!! Look at SO247355 and you'll see its long forgotten proper Welsh name; 'Twyn Llech'!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been on the map all along!!!!
It's just required a bit of detective work to piece the jigsaw together. Don't worry about where the name of 'Twyn Llech' currently resides on Ordnance Survey maps, it's suffered a bad case of hill name slippage over the years (not an uncommon event) and its name being portrayed in small type certainly hasn't helped. For confirmation concerning this name (this is where the ever helpful Richard comes into his own) consult the 2nd edition of the six-inch, Brecon N0. 24 south west map, published in 1905, having been revised in 1903 after being surveyed in 1885 - 86, where the name appears just westward of the highest point of this hill. The name 'Trwyn llech' also appears on the original 1832 O.S. map, slightly on the 'Hay Bluff' side of this hills connecting bwlch.
So there you are, hopefully the use of the name 'Black Mountain' for the 703m hill at SO255354 has been cast into oblivion never to appear again. It's unfortunate but understandable how the name 'Black Mountain' was first used and then how each subsequent hill list author perpetuated its use. But 'Twyn Llech' translated as 'Hill of the Slab or Stone' is a fine name deserving recognition. Let's hope the name is now used for this hill. However, this does prompt the question of hill name usage for the 637m hill at SO266322, but that's another message board posting in the waiting. I'm all hill named out at the moment, so I'm going to take a few days off!! Hope some of this can be of help.
Myrddyn
 
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Black Mountain - Twyn Llech

Postby A.T. » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:33 am

16 Nov 2010 From: A.T.
Black Mountain - Twyn Llech
Wow an epic post Myrddyn, but worth every word! This one was on my list to ask you too. Right there on the map! I hope Black Mountain vanishes from peoples minds, but I doubt it will. The OS should move the name, maybe it will have a chance for recognition then. Excellent research again. I have some more questions regarding your Moelwyns answers, but I'll post them on a later date to let your brain recover!
A.T.
 
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Twyn Llech

Postby Alan Bowring » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:31 pm

17 Nov 2010 From: Alan Bowring
Twyn Llech
Thanks Myrddyn, nice piece of work! I've looked at the very maps that you cite and see what you are getting at. As another of my correspondents has pointed out, one could venture as far as offering up 'Twyn Llech y Lladron' as a full name, but either way this must be an improvement on 'Black Mountain'- certainly less confusing except if it is adopted we'll perhaps find ourselves referring to 'Twyn Llech - the peak formerly known as Black Mountain'!
Alan Bowring
 
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Re: Black Mountain?

Postby Richard S » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:01 am

Wow! Just one slight query. From the 1st edition of the 6" map published 1889 and onwards through the 2nd edition of 1905 that you mention, 'Twyn Llech' is always marked at the same place, which is almost exactly where it is on today's map: just over half a mile NW of the 703m summit. I don't have access to earlier maps, but you seem to be saying that it's in a different place on these. Nearer the actual summit? (As for a name for the 637m summit, you'd better get in quick before Twyn Gwenllian finds its way onto the maps.)

http://i51.tinypic.com/1zc0f0y.jpg - 1891
Richard S
 
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Re: Black Mountain?

Postby Alan Bowring » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:12 pm

Being new to this forum, I'm not familiar with the range of discussions which may previously have taken place so I hope you'll forgive me but . . . where might we now be in respect of the names of the various eminences along the easternmost ridge of the Black Mountains? I'd venture that it would be desirable to see on the face of the 25K and 50K OS maps, the names appearing against each 'significant top' - I use the phrase loosely! Thus i) Twyn Llech (y Lladron) 703m (SO 255350), ii) ??? at 637m (SO 267322) near 3-way junction of county boundaries, iii) ??? at 616m (SO 277310) northwest of the 610m trig location, iv) ??? at 605m (SO 289296) northeast of Loxidge (or 'Loxy') Tump and v)??? at 552m (SO 304278) (trig point). What evidence I wonder has already been amassed and what can yet be amassed to authenticate any names with a view to approaching OS?

cheers Alan B
Alan Bowring
 
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Black Mountains easterly ridge SO 255 354

Postby Myrddyn » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:49 am

Hi A.T., Richard S and Alan B. My brain has had a few days rest now, so I'll attempt to answer Alan's query on the five specified points on the main easterly ridge of the Black Mountains. I'm going to deal with these points separately, as otherwise the detail may seem all jumbled up when put in just one post. Twyn Llech 703 m (SO 255 354), firstly I would suggest the name is Twyn Llech (however tempting or otherwise the name of Twyn Gwenllian may be!!!), and not Twyn Llech y Lladron. The name of the hill relates to its main named feature but does not incorporate this features full name. Secondly my given grid reference is slightly different to the one that Alan uses, Alan's grid reference of SO 255 350 is correct as of the 1:50,000 map data. However, I think there's higher ground towards grid reference SO 255 354 (we've got this in the in tray of summits to survey, so sometime in the future the height and position of this hill summit should be accurately determined, it could quite easily be SO 255 355). The positioniong of my grid reference may have something to do with Richard's comments concerning the name of 'Twyn Llech' being marked in the same place, just over half a mile NW of the 703 m summit on the old 6 inch maps that he has checked. I do not have the 6 inch map I made reference to in my recent extended posting, I only consulted it once (about four - six years ago), the details I gave were from my notes, these said that; 'The name appears just wetward of the highest point of this hill'. My memory is that the font size used for this name was also larger when compared to its current 1:25,000 counterpart. I hope this explains my 6 inch name position related to this hills highest point. Not much new ground covered in this posting, the next one will be much more interesting as it will relate to the hill name for the 637 m lump of a tump at SO 266 322.
Myrddyn
 
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Re: Black Mountain?

Postby Richard S » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:02 pm

Hi Myrddyn - see the image on my previous post for the positioning of Twyn Llech in 1891: in between the tributaries.
Richard S
 
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Re: Black Mountain?

Postby A.T. » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:57 pm

Looks like its in the same place.
A.T.
 
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