Cylchgronau Cymru

Chwiliwch trwy dros 450 o deitlau a 1.2 miliwn o dudalennau

CHURCHES AND SECULAR SETTLEMENT IN ANCIENT GWYNEDD. GLANVILLE R.J. JONES Jones, Glanville R.J. 1985: Churches and Secular Settlement in Ancient Gwynedd. Cambria, Vol. 12(1), pp. 33 to pp. 53. Part I of: Davies, W.K.D. (ed) Human Geography from Wales: Proceedings of the E.G. Bowen Memorial Conference. ISSN 0306-9796. In his pioneering studies of the settlements of the Celtic Saints, E.G. Bowen recognized the importance of the dispersed settlement form and the fact that the 'nucleating power' of Celtic Churches, though limited, was not entirely absent. This study reviews the importance of the Welsh medieval land ownership system in aiding dispersal and the relationship of 'church points' to the environing secular settlement with reference to the Llanelwy area, in which St. Asaph is located. Glanville R.J. Jones, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, LS2 9JT. Among the earliest of E.G. Bowen's research interests was the elucidation of settlement as an expression of the interaction between man and his environment. Thus 'A study of rural settlements in South-West Wales' was the subject of his first publication (Bowen 1925) and the study of settlement in Wales became the major preoccupation of his life's work. Many settlement studies at the time were influenced by late nineteenth determinists who interpreted settlement distribution primarily in relation to variable physical settings. Bowen, like the French possibilists he so admired, emphasized the development of settlements within the context of changing social organisations. So historical contingencies were ever present, influencing the sequent occupance of the earth; for the man-made landscape was a veritable palimpsest, a much superscribed manuscript, whereon each successive accretion had to be identified and interpreted. Within this broad framework E.G. Bowen's main contribution was to the investigation of the numerous, yet by no means ubiquitous, nucleated hamlets in Wales, bearing names in llan, which developed in the post-Roman period around sacred enclosures selected, if not established, by the so-called Celtic saints (Bowen 1954). His approach was based on the intuitive analysis of distribution patterns, for in his pioneering interpretations mapped portrayals of surviving dedications and of material remains took precedence over wrìtten testimonies. Yet in the Dark Ages, for which strictly contemporary written sources were so few and fragmentary, the intuitive awareness of E.G. Bowen's explanations