THE VALE OF AERON IN THE MAKING1 THE landed estates in the vale of Aeron were mostly founded in Tudor times, especially after the suppression in 1536 of the Cistercian Abbey at Strata Florida and of its dependent nunnery which was the priory of St. Llyr, or in Welsh, Llanllyr. The history of these years can only be revealed in the light of what went before, so that we have to know something of the records, and particularly the boundaries, of the lordships or manors into which the land was previously divided. The late Sir John Lloyd pointed out the difficulty of obtaining this know- ledge for any part of Cardiganshire other than the north. There the manors were well documented for the reason that the mineral rights vested in the lord of the manor. No such reason existed for preserving the manorial records of the Aeron valley, however, except in the case of Aberaeron itself, or the lordship of Llyswen. Here the significant factor was not lead or silver in the ground but the harbour facing the sea it was in his capacity of lord of the manor that the squire of Tyglyn and Mynachdy obtained a private Act of Parliament to build the quay at Aberaeron in 1807. Under this influence the practices of the manor persisted, and Aberaeron still has its lord of the manor, who is a resident of Esher in Surrey and a leading figure in modern domestic architect- ure. Mr. Gwilym M. Jones is the expert on Llyswen, and I am grateful to him for details of the manor. From these I learnt that the boundary of a lordship by no means coincided with that of a modern parish the boundary of the manor of Llyswen runs through the middle of Llanddewi-aberarth, crosses the parish of Henfynyw, and finishes up in a cave in the parish of Llanarth. Llyswen was one of a number of lordships that made up the old commote of Anhuniog, which, generally speaking, occupied the space between the four points of Llanrhystyd, Llyn Eiddwen, Talsarn, and Aberaeron. My concern is with the southernmost strip of this commote, the land between Aeron on the one hand and Arth with its tributary of Erthig on the other; and particularly with the length of that strip from the sea to where Aeron cuts through the ridge of high ground that runs from Moelfre to Castell-y-Bwlch, and on to Trichrug and Mynydd Bach. Starting with the strip of coast between Aeron and Arth, Professor Bowen has indicated that the fisheries of this strip were granted to Strata Florida Abbey at the time of its foundation by the Lord Rhys. The half rings of the weirs, or goredi, which the monks constructed, can still be seen at low water from the road that drops into Aberarth. I will !An address delivered to the Society at Aberaeron, 14 February 1959.