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Banwy is a community in northwest Montgomeryshire, Powys, Wales, named after the River Banwy and also called Banw in Welsh.

The community with the villages of Llangadfan and Foel, also called Garthbeibio. It is a sparsely populated area centred on the village of Llangadfan and extending west for some 10 km to the boundary with Gwynedd. It is located along the upper River Banwy valley, on either side of the A458 road between Llanfair Caereinion and Mallwyd.

Dyffryn Banw drwy’r Oesoedd

 

Mae tystiolaeth fod pobl wedi bod yn byw yn rhan uchaf Dyffryn Banw ers miloedd o flynyddoedd.  Mae’r carneddi bellach wedi diflannu ac roedd un mewn cae heb fod ymhell o bont y Foel.  Chwalwyd y garnedd a defnyddiwyd y cerrig i adeiladu pont y Foel tua 1790.

Gwelir olion hen gaerau o Oes yr Haearn ar foncyn Gogerddan y tu ôl i bentre’r Foel ac mae un arall ar ben Boncyn Llwyn.  Credir fod yr A458 sy’n mynd drwy’r dyffryn yn dilyn yn fras yr hen ffordd Rufeinig – mae darnau syth ohoni’n cadarnhau’r gred hon.

Daeth seintiau cynnar i’r ardal tua’r chweched ganrif.  Saif eglwys Sant Cadfan uwchlaw pentref Llangadfan, ac mae Eglwys Garthbeibio ar fryn gerllaw pentre’r Foel.

Mae tystiolaeth lafar yn awgrymu fod Owain Glyndwr a’i filwyr wedi mynd i fyny Cwm Twrch a throsodd i ddyffryn Efyrnwy ar ôl llosgi’r Trallwm tua 1400.

Roedd y porthmyn yn arfer cerdded gwartheg drwy’r ardal i Loegr.  Gelwir un cae yn Essex hyd heddiw yng Nghwm Twrch oherwydd cedwid y gwartheg yno dros nos ar eu taith hir i Dde Lloegr.  Roedd y ffordd fawr yn ffordd dyrpeg, gyda thollborth ger y troad sy’n mynd am Lanfyllin.

Yn 1786 daeth y goits fawr gyntaf i fyny’r dyffryn.  Ar ddydd Llun a ddydd Gwener byddai’r ‘Duke of Wellington’, y goits fawr o Lundain i Aberystwyth yn aros yng Ngwesty’r Cann Office i newid ceffylau a byddai’r teithwyr yn cael bwyd yno.  Roedd pobl lleol yn gwerthu sanau i deithwyr o Lundain, ac yn cael o wyth geiniog i swllt y pâr amdanynt.

Y Cann Office yw un o adeiladau pwysicaf a mwyaf enwog yn yr ardal.  Er nad yw’r dyddiad 1310 sydd uwchben y drws yn gywir, bu’n dafarn a swyddfa bost am gyfnod hir, heb sôn am fod yn fan cyfarfod i drigolion y fro gael torri syched.

Bu llawer o’r tir yn eiddo i Iarll Powis am ganrifoedd.  Roedd gan y teulu blas uwchben y Foel sef Plas Llymystyn.  Llosgodd i’r ddaear yn 1899 a thueddai’r bonedd i aros yn y Cann wedi hynny pan ddeuent i saethu a physgota.

Gwelwyd newid mawr mewn dulliau amaethu, prif ddiwydiant yr ardal.  Diflanodd y ceffylau gwedd a pheidiodd yr arferion o dorri mawn fel tanwydd neu ganhwyllau brwyn i gael golau.

Erbyn hyn mae twristiaeth yn bwysig i’r economi a datblygwyd meysydd carafanau.  Deil yr iaith Gymraeg yn gryf, er gwaethaf mewnlifiad enbyd.  Agorwyd Ysgol Cwm Banwy yn ddiweddar ac mae teuluoedd Cymreig sy’n ei mynychu yn argoeli’n dda ar gyfer y dyfodol.  “O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau.”

The Banw Valley through the Ages

 

There is evidence that people have inhabited the upper regions of the Banw Valley for millennia.  The old cairns or stone mounds have disappeared including one which was sited near Foel bridge.  The cairn was destroyed and the stones were used for building Foel bridge in about 1790.

Remains of old Iron Age forts can be seen on Boncyn Gogerddan behind Foel village and there is another on Boncyn Llwyn, the opposite side of the valley.  It is believed that the A458 which goes through the valley roughly follows an old Roman road – the straight sections seem to confirm this.

Two early saints came to the valley in about the sixth century A.D. Saint Cadfan’s church is situated above Llangadfan village, and St Peibio’s church is to be seen on a hill overlooking Y Foel.

Oral history suggests that Owain Glyndwr and his followers went up Cwm Twrch and over to the Vyrnwy Valley after burning Welshpool in about 1400.

The drovers drove their cattle along the hillsides above the valley on their long trek towards England.  A field still called Essex in Cwm Twrch was supposedly used for resting cattle at night.

The main road A458 was a turnpike road with a tollgate near the turning towards Lake Vyrnwy and Llanfyllin.  In 1786 the first stage coach came through the valley.  On a Monday and a Friday the ‘Duke of Wellington’ stage coach travelling from London to Aberystwyth would stop at Cann Office to change horses and travellers had food.  Local people sold woollen stockings to travellers from London for between eight pence and a shilling a pair.

Cann Office is probably the most well known building in the valley.  The date above its door 1310 is deceptive, but it has been a tavern and post office for a long period and is of course an important meeting place for locals to quench their thirst!

Much of the land belonged to the Earls of Powis for centuries.  The family had a hall in the upper part of the valley called Plas Llymystyn.  It burnt to the ground in 1899 and the gentry stayed at Cann Office after the fire, when they visited the area to shoot and fish.

There have been great changes in agriculture, the main industry of the area.  The shire horses have gone, along with peat burning and the use of rush lights.

Tourism is important for the local economy and caravan sites have been established in the area.  The Welsh Language remains, despite a great influx of new inhabitants not speaking the language.

Ysgol Cwm Banwy, the new Primary school for the valley has recently opened its doors and children from numerous Welsh families are attending.

Despite all the changes through the ages, the future of the Banw Valley seems to be secure.

 

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