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Criccieth – Names around the town.

The late Dr Colin A. Gresham’s classic book “Eifionydd” contains very detailed information on land ownership in the commote of Eifionydd, including original names and owners over nearly a thousand years. In medieval times names were not spelt in a consistent manner and often it is difficult to positively identify places; some names have been lost or changed but many are still in use. Gresham obtained his information from many sources including the records of the estates owned by the landed gentry who descended from the local families, wills, court cases. The most important survey, mapping and recording of names came with the “Tithe Commutation Act 1836”. This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods. Tithes were a payment of one tenth of local produce to the church. It originally supported the local priest, but in some cases was acquired by private landlords. In Criccieth, a tithe

barn was built to hold the tithes by the foot of the castle. Tithes themselves were controversial, particularly among nonconformists who resented supporting the established church. The parish of Crickieth (sic) was surveyed and valued in 1839 by Philip Watkins from Llaniestyn and John Owen from from Llangian. Over 500 pieces of land or properties were mapped and recorded. Many of these names have been lost or altered. Several of the fields have been built over but thankfully sometimes the original names have been retained in the name of the estates or streets. The photgraphs here show only a few of these names. The digitised map with accompanying wrtten apportionment can be viewed on the website of the National Library of Wales.

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