Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Caeau Cymru


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Llanfihangel-ar-Arth

Fferm Penlan, ger Llanfihangel-ar-Arth, fydd canolbwynt y rhalgen heddiw. Field names in Llanfihangel-ar-Arth lead Brychan to a burial urn from the Bronze Age, a hanging and a w...


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-Let's begin

-by looking at the Tithe maps.

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-Where will you take us

-this week, Rhian?

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-To Penlan farm, which lies between

-Llandysul and Llanfihangel-ar-arth.

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-It's an interesting area,

-historically and archaeologically.

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-What about the field names?

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-What about the field names?

-

-They're equally interesting.

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-Each one has a tale to tell

-and here are a few interesting ones.

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-Cae'r Odyn, Cae Pistyll

-and Cae Bola Hawl.

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-Bola Hawl is a strange name.

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-There's also Cae Lilley here.

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-Are they good stories?

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-Are they good stories?

-

-Yes, including a tale about a wolf.

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-Really? Will we be safe?

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-Really? Will we be safe?

-

-Well, who knows!

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-Arwyn and Lydia Williams

-are the farmers in Penlan.

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-Arwyn has been here for 60 years...

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-..and he has a keen interest

-in field names.

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-Names which are steeped in history.

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-Arwyn, have you always

-farmed here, in Penlan?

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-Yes. For the past 60 years anyway.

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-Did the previous people

-list the field names for you?

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-Yes. We bought the farm

-from a brother and sister.

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-The sister lived here for a year.

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-Her house in Llandysul

-was occupied.

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-She told us a lot of the stories

-linked to the land.

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-We would have heard some of them

-from our neighbours too.

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-Farmers knew the names

-of next door's fields...

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-..because we all helped each other.

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-We knew where everything was

-and we knew the field names.

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-We used the names constantly.

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-The brother and sister

-who owned the farm...

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-..had heard all the stories

-from their family?

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-Yes. They were raised here.

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-One of the Penlan fields

-is called Cae Lilley.

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-That field is linked to an urn.

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-Can you tell me the story?

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-Jams went to plough the field,

-as he'd done many times before.

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-They'd had a lot of rain and

-he hadn't been up there for days.

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-He hit the urn and he came back,

-as white as a sheet.

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-They called the police, the council

-and the curator from Carmarthen.

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-They dug the urn out

-and it drew a crowd from Llandysul!

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-It was 3,000 years old,

-though it contained small bones.

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-They weren't human remains.

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-I think it contained rabbit bones.

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-I don't know, but it must have been

-someone important.

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-How big was it?

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-How big was it?

-

-It's the biggest urn in Wales.

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-Who was buried there?

-There's nothing here.

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-There was nothing anywhere.

-It's old, isn't it?

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-The urn was discovered in 1938

-by Jams Davies...

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-..the previous owner of Penlan farm.

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-The urn dates back to the

-Bronze Age, around 3,000 years ago.

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-It is currently on display

-at Bishop's Palace, Carmarthen...

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-..the home of the county museum.

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-There's a burial place here.

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-In the middle of the Bronze Age...

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-..they would burn the body and take

-the bones of one person, usually...

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-..and place them in an urn

-similar to that one.

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-It would be buried

-next to a smaller urn...

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-..containing food for the journey.

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-They would then create

-a mound of soil above it...

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-..on which

-they sometimes laid stones.

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-It disappeared a long time ago

-from this site.

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-Why bury an urn

-in a field on a hill?

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-For a very good reason.

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-The climate was very mild

-in the middle of the Bronze Age.

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-In Wales, people took advantage

-of the opportunity...

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-..to leave the coastal areas

-and head up, into the uplands.

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-They capitalized on fresh land

-which had remained uncultivated.

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-They also selected

-this particular location...

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-..because you can see the tops of

-the hills all around you.

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-You can follow the hilltops

-with your eyes in a complete circle.

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-It forms a ring around you.

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-Do we know who these people were?

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-It was thought they were people

-referred to as the Beaker People...

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-..because of the shapes of the urns

-in which they buried their dead.

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-It's now seen as unlikely

-that a large number of them...

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-..descended on our shores

-and settled here.

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-It's thought they influenced us...

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-..through people gathering

-to trade goods.

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-If we use our imagination

-and ignore the hedges...

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-..we can imagine an open fire...

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-..with people gathered around it

-for a burial ceremony.

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-Yes, we can imagine these things

-in the absence of any evidence.

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-It's important

-to use your imagination.

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-The landscape was important to them.

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-If we look at our map...

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-..we'll get an idea of the fields

-surrounding Penlan farmhouse.

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-Some of the names listed

-on the Tithe map are still in use...

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-..and others have been changed.

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-Cae Pistyll and Cae'r Odyn

-are original names...

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-..but Cae Lilley,

-where the urn was discovered...

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-..is listed in the schedules

-as Cae Cely.

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-Cely may be

-a corrupted form of Lilley.

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-There's a fascinating story

-behind the name Lilley.

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-Local historian, David Thorne,

-knows all about it.

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-We're sitting in Cae Lilley.

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-What's the story behind the name?

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-Lilley is the name of a person.

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-We can make a direct link

-between the name Lilley...

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-..and a real person.

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-Lilley was a villain

-from Pembrokeshire.

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-He was imprisoned

-in Haverfordwest...

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-..but he managed to escape

-while he was awaiting deportation.

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-He went on the run and he ended up

-here, in Llanfihangel-ar-arth...

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-..where he met the

-equally villainous Captain Owens.

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-Lilley was shot by Captain Owens

-and he was buried in this field.

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-They say Lilley's ghost

-still wanders around this land.

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-Captain Owens was prosecuted

-for murder and he was hanged.

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-As the legend spread

-through word of mouth...

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-..the name changed from Lilley

-to Lili Wen.

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-Nantlais, the poet, was a minister

-in Llanfihangel-ar-arth.

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-He refers to

-the legend of Lili Wen...

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-..in one of his

-autobiographical essays.

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-Apparently, the ghost of Lili Wen...

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-..appeared regularly

-on Alltwalis hill.

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-One of the local boys decided to

-challenge the ghost one night.

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-Out he went, wielding an axe.

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-He felt the need to be armed,

-in case of emergency.

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-And that was the last anyone heard

-of the ghost of Lili Wen...

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-..but the legend lives on,

-especially here in Cae Lilley.

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-Arwyn, you've lived in Penlan

-for almost 60 years.

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-You must have seen

-countless changes.

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-Yes. Incredible changes.

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-The biggest change has happened

-during harvesting time.

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-A crowd would come and help with the

-harvest but there's nothing today.

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-There would be a full house

-here to eat meals.

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-The women worked hard.

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-The pace of life was slower.

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-There was plenty of time

-to get everything done.

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-It's all changed.

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-When I was a boy,

-horses did the work.

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-Two loads done by lunch,

-two more done by tea...

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-..and two done by milking.

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-We did everything by hand.

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-We used a pick, a shovel,

-a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow.

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-What's been the biggest improvement?

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-The tractors on the farm

-are the biggest improvement.

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-The milking machine too.

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-Everyone sold milk,

-even if they only had three cows.

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-You don't see that any more.

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-The milk tanker signalled the end

-for small dairy farms like us.

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-It wasn't worth their while.

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-We often hear people say

-the characters have disappeared.

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-Nonsense!

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-There are still

-people like Arwyn around.

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-Something about Llanfihangel-ar-arth

-must attract them.

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-The story of Lilley being killed

-by Captain Owens in that field...

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-..itself proves that the legend

-of the ghost of Lilley is alive.

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-Who knows what might

-have happened...

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-..had that lad not tackled

-the ghost of Lili Wen with an axe!

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-Maybe the ghost

-would still be with us.

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-.

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-So far, we've heard a handful of

-stories relating to Penlan fields...

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-..and there's more to come.

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-One field is linked

-to a fierce creature...

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-..which roamed the land

-before fields existed.

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-First, a field linked to a farming

-tradition which vanished long ago.

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-David, here we are

-in Cae'r Odyn - Oast Field.

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-What was an oast?

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-It was a primitive but effective

-kiln which was used to dry grain.

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-It included a deep ditch

-which was five or six metres long...

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-..with a firepit built

-at one end of it.

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-At the other end, there would be

-a fragile, thatched timber building.

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-That would be the drying room.

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-A kiln cloth

-would be draped over the roof...

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-..and the grain

-was placed on this cloth to dry.

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-Would it be dynamic, visually, with

-the huge fire and all that smoke?

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-Yes, but the stoker

-controlled the smoke.

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-Excessive smoke

-would ruin the grain.

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-He was responsible for controlling

-the intensity of the fire.

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-He was also responsible

-for drying the grain...

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-..and he would collect the

-dried grain and take it to the mill.

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-Remains of Medieval oasts

-have been discovered...

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-..and field oasts were used

-in this area until around 1850.

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-The mills then started to offer

-a service of drying grain...

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-..and grinding it into flour.

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-That was more convenient

-for the farmer.

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-Do records tell us

-how much grain was dried here?

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-The work of carrying out

-an 1801 government survey...

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-..was given to local bishops,

-who passed it on to local priests.

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-The records collected here,

-in Llanfihangel-ar-arth...

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-..includes a note added by a priest

-before handing it to the bishop.

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-In it, he expressed doubts...

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-..that the figures given to him

-by local farmers are accurate.

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-The reason for that being

-they feared their taxes would rise.

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-Nothing much changes

-in the farming world!

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-Arwyn, we've come

-to another part of the farm.

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-The land slopes sharply

-to the valley from here.

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-What are the names of these fields?

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-This is Pen Yr Allt Goch -

-Top Of the Red Hill.

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-This field is at the top of

-the red hill, or oak tree hill.

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-The leaves turn red in the autumn.

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-The leaves change colour?

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-The leaves change colour?

-

-Yes. They're red in the autumn.

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-You're so interested

-in field names...

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-..you went to the National Library

-to see the Tithe Maps.

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-Yes, but I'd forgotten my glasses

-and it was dark in there...

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-..but I saw lots of field names

-on my farm and on nearby farms.

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-Before you saw the Tithe Maps,

-what did you call this field?

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-Cae Bach Uwchben Yr Allt -

-Small Field Above The Hill.

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-The Tithe Maps show it's called

-Cae'r Hiw, so we changed the name.

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-Has the land improved,

-thanks to these modern chemicals?

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-Yes, we farm more animals

-which produce more manure.

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-The fields of Wales

-are improving all the time.

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-Yes. It's honest land.

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-If you don't give,

-you won't receive.

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-That's very true.

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-If you don't give,

-you won't receive.

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-Looking at our map, we can see

-the location of Cae'r Hiw...

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-..the old name

-which Arwyn has adopted.

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-This field is on a slope...

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-..so Cae'r Hiw may be a corrupted

-form of Cae Rhiw - Hill Field.

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-Adjacent to it are Cae Pistyll,

-Cae'r Banc and Cae'r Odyn.

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-Three names which have survived

-since the days of the Tithe Maps.

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-At the foot of the valley,

-below Pen Yr Allt Goch...

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-..there's another field

-with an interesting name.

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-Arwyn called it Dol Gyferbyn A

-Phant Y Croen in the past...

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-..but Arwyn has now gone back

-to the old name - Cae Bola Hawl.

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-Having spoken to Arwyn, I realize

-there are some unusual names here.

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-Cae Bola Hawl is a strange name.

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-Yes, and it's likely to be...

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-..a case of the recorder

-of the Tithe Maps mishearing it.

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-The correct spelling is likely to be

-Cae Bola Haul - Sun Bathed Field.

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-The sun shines on this field

-all day long.

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-In other circles, you may see names

-like Bryn Golau - Light Hill...

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-..in an area which is

-exposed to the sunshine.

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-The name of the next field...

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-..is linked to the fierce animal

-I mentioned earlier.

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-Cledwyn Fychan has written a book

-about this creature...

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-..which vanished from Wales

-500 years ago.

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-Cledwyn, this field

-is known as Cae Bribwll by Arwyn.

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-What does bribwll mean?

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-Bribwll is the oral form

-of bleiddbwll - wolf pit.

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-If you look back

-at the old documents...

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-..you'll see the term bleiddbwll

-is used every time.

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-The wolf pit was quite a deep pit

-which was dug in the ground...

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-..with the aim of catching wolves.

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-It was by no means easy to catch

-a wolf, not even with a deep pit.

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-The mouth of the pit was concealed

-with twigs and leaves...

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-..in the hope that the wolf

-would wander across it...

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-..and fall into the pit.

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-Something you did have in those

-days were tree-covered gorges.

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-But the higher ground such as this

-was more open...

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-..and hunters

-would stay on areas like this...

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-..watching the movements

-of all their pray.

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-Animals such as deer and so on.

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-That's why they dug wolf pits

-in places like this.

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-Were wolves such a problem for

-humans that we had to kill them?

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-The indigenous Welsh people weren't

-concerned about the wolf.

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-They were quite tolerant of them,

-as we now are of foxes.

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-They did no more than

-keep their numbers under control.

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-The Normans enjoyed hunting,

-so they wanted to protect deer.

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-They were responsible for making

-the wolf extinct within our shores.

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-The only time the wolf was really

-dangerous was when it had rabies.

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-A wolf with rabies

-lost its fear of humans completely.

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-In the year 1166, a wolf suffering

-from rabies entered Carmarthen.

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-It bit 18 people,

-most of whom later died.

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-Why is the wolf a creature

-which captures the imagination?

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-It's a very noble creature.

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-In ancient times...

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-..when the old Welsh people

-described princes and heroes...

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-..they'd compare them

-to the fearless wolf.

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-Children were named after the wolf.

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-For example, the name Bleddyn means

-a member of the wolf's family.

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-Arwyn's grandson

-was raised near Cae'r Bribwll.

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-Daniel Williams is part of

-a new generation of Welsh farmers.

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-He understands the value

-of field names and heritage.

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-Are you familiar with the names

-of the fields on the farm?

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-Yes. I know them all.

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-Does it mean more than

-just a practical tool to you?

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-Yes. There's a story

-behind many of the names.

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-It's interesting to know

-why they were given their names.

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-Are these names valuable...

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-..or should we let them go

-and forget all about them?

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-No, we mustn't forget them.

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-If we don't use these names,

-no-one will know the history.

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-Cae Lilley is my favourite because

-I've heard so many stories about it.

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-What sort of worker is he?

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-What sort of worker is he?

-

-A hard worker, like his grandmother.

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-Does he know all the names?

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-Yes. He's a good boy.

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-We've almost seen the whole farm.

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-Yes. Most of it.

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-What fields do we have here?

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-Cae Bach Yr Arad and Fron Newydd.

0:21:500:21:53

-Cae Bach Yr Arad and Fron Newydd.

-

-Is there a story behind the names?

0:21:530:21:55

-Cae Bach Yr Arad -

-small field of the plough...

0:21:560:21:59

-..isn't the correct name,

-according to the Tithe Maps.

0:22:000:22:03

-David Thorne said

-it's the shape of a plough.

0:22:040:22:06

-It's the same shape

-as the ploughshare.

0:22:070:22:10

-Yes - that's right.

0:22:100:22:11

-The ploughshare

-is the cutting blade.

0:22:130:22:16

-I'll change the names of the other

-fields back to their original names.

0:22:160:22:21

-Cae Bola Haul, Cae Rhiw

-and Cae'r Banc.

0:22:210:22:24

-Cae Bola Haul is beautiful.

0:22:240:22:26

-Do these fields mean more to you

-than a way to make a living?

0:22:270:22:31

-Yes, they certainly do.

0:22:320:22:33

-They mean the world to me.

0:22:340:22:36

-That may sound strange

-but they're important to me.

0:22:360:22:40

-Rhian, we've seen

-many interesting things at Penlan.

0:22:490:22:53

-Yes, it's truly fascinating.

0:22:530:22:55

-There's a wealth of history

-and stories here.

0:22:560:22:59

-The family

-is passionate about the names.

0:22:590:23:02

-Arwyn went to see the Tithe Maps,

-he researched the old names...

0:23:030:23:07

-..and he came home

-and reinstated the old names.

0:23:080:23:11

-It's great that someone has a keen

-interest in the names of his fields.

0:23:110:23:16

-The whole family

-has embraced the names.

0:23:160:23:19

-The important thing is

-they've passed on the information...

0:23:200:23:24

-..to the next generation.

0:23:240:23:27

-S4C subtitles by Eirlys A Jones

0:23:560:23:58

-.

0:23:580:23:59

Fferm Penlan, ger Llanfihangel-ar-Arth, fydd canolbwynt y rhalgen heddiw. Field names in Llanfihangel-ar-Arth lead Brychan to a burial urn from the Bronze Age, a hanging and a wild beast!