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Reading ‘from place to PLACE: maps and Parish Maps’ eds Sue Clifford and Angela King – reminded me of this incredible parish map we saw in Wales…

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extracts from the signage at the Church

The Bro Dysynni Map

This ‘map’ of the area was researched and constructed by eighteen local people, who worked for two years on separate parts of it which were finally brought together and completed in July 1995. It was exhibited locally, and then in June 1996 was part of the Parish Map exhibition at the Barbican in London, celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Common Ground”, an organisation which encourages community projects, bringing togther creativity and personal feeling for the environment.

“Know Your Place – Make a Map of it” was the slogan used by Common Ground to promote the first Parish Maps in the Year of the Environment, 1987. Since then over a thousand maps have been made all over Britain in all kinds of ways, to celebrate and help to preserve the places people care about.

Why was it made?

The process of making a map together is one way of strengthening meaningful connections between people and places. The better you know a place the more it means to you. Our record of the Bro Dysynni is a personal one, reflecting the way we each felt about the many varied featurs of this beautiful landscape. Now it has a permanent home here in the valley at Llanfihangel Y Pennant, local inhabitants and visitors will be able to share it for years to come and help care for what is also important for them.

How was it made?

Each person chose a patch of land, walked it, got to know it well, made and enlarged a tracing of it from the OS map, collected materials from the communal rag bag and then began sewing at home, emphasising those things most important to them in individual ways. As all these little patches of embroidered land were created and completed, they were brought together and fitted into the base, which was softened by a layer of stuffing.

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