Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum

Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum



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Cwmavon (a gallery of the Three Gorges Ecomuseum)

The scattered settlement of Cwmavon and its surrounding Conservation Area follows the
steep wooded valley of the Afon Lwyd. The boundary includes the river course along the
narrow valley bottom, though in some places it opens into level fields which are part of
the traditional field pattern, and sections of the steep well wooded valley sides which
include a larger area below the hill-top settlement of Varteg.

Although the Conservation Area is small and includes a limited number of buildings, it
has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Information derived from the Historic
Landscape Characterisation Study of Blaenavon indicates that in the wider character
area within which the Conservation Area is located, scattered farmsteads were formally
the dominant settlement pattern and while some later C19 farmhouses survive, some of
the earlier examples are now cleared or in ruins. In the actual Conservation Area
however there appears to have been very few farmsteads or any other form of
settlement until the 19th century.

The dominant visual characteristic is the valley form and woodland forestation including
a mixture of replanted ancient woodland, other broadleaf woodland and twentieth
century plantations. This woodland is important to the setting of the Conservation Area.
The area is characterised by the surviving irregular field pattern that evolved with
traditional boundaries of dry-stone walls and hedges, some now replaced with timber
railings. Other agricultural related features include agricultural buildings, sheepfolds, and
the remains of quarries and limekilns.

The other two galleries are the Taff Gorge and Cwm Clydach.


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