SN1532 : Llethr, Mynachlog-ddu

taken 4 years ago, near to Mynachlog-Ddu, Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro, Great Britain

Llethr, Mynachlog-ddu
Llethr, Mynachlog-ddu
The three southern outcrops of Carn Menyn dominate the horizon. In the centre foreground are Llethr-isaf (far side of the road) and Waun-lwyd (near side).

Mynachlog-ddu means “black monastery”. The parish was a grange of the Tironian monastery of St Dogmaels. Charles in “Place Names of Pembrokeshire” insists that the adjective “black” refers to the place, and not the appearance of the monks as is sometimes supposed. Those familiar with the early census returns will see the place often referred to simply as “The Black Parish”. The parish occupies the peat-lined bowl from which the headwaters of the Eastern Cleddau spring.

In the picture can be seen a wedge-shaped area of green below the moorland to the left, and above the soggy valley bottom. This is Llethr (which just means “slope”). As the map shows, most of the slope was forested, but in earlier times it was divided into small fields of pasture, and before that, crops were grown on upwards of a dozen small-holdings. As late as the Tithe Survey ca. 1840, some fields were assessed as producing oats and barley. The upper slopes were settled around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, and the economy remained viable as long as cereal prices held up. After 1815, poverty struck. Insult was added to injury by the imposition of increased Turnpike tolls. These were the economic conditions of the Rebecca Riots.

Although it is nearer to the Workhouses of Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn, Mynachlog-ddu was the most northerly parish of Narberth Poor Law Union. This was logical since the only effective way to transport surplus produce (such as it was) was the turnpike southwards towards Narberth (now the A478). The burning of Narberth Workhouse was one of the earliest and most significant events of the Rebecca Riots. Many of the erstwhile farmers of this area would have ended up there. Another sore point not often mentioned in the history of the riots is that the poor from this uncompromisingly monoglot Welsh area were transported to a Workhouse in the Englishry.
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SN1532, 8 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 10 October, 2013   (more nearby)
Sunday, 13 October, 2013
Geographical Context
Uplands  Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening  Woodland, Forest  Rocks, Scree, Cliffs 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 15467 32258 [1m precision]
WGS84: 51:57.4863N 4:41.2239W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 17136 31662
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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