GeoTopoi

Places and photographs

Mynydd Llandegai

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Pen-y-bwlch, Mynydd Llandegai

Pen-y-bwlch, Mynydd Llandegai

Date

19 July 2014
Location

Pen-y-bwlch, Mynydd Llandegai

SH 59288 65368; 53.16676°N, 4.10637°W

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 29, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Garreg Fawr / Ystrad (Silurian) Iron Mines

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Garreg Fawr / Ystrad Iron Mines

Garreg Fawr / Ystrad Iron Mines

Date

12 July 2014
Location

Betws Garmon

SH 54415 57925; 53.09859°N, 4.17583°W

Information

Visible from a distance as a diagonal gash in the mountainside above Betws Garmon, the workings for iron on the western flank of Moel Eilio form a series of opencuts and adits. These were operated as two separate concerns, divided by an opposing diagonal created by a parish boundary wall. The lower was known as the Ystrad or Silurian mine, the upper as Garreg Fawr.

Up until 1900, Ystrad mine consisted only of small opencast workings and was developed on a larger scale from 1909 by the Bettws Garmon Iron Ore and Smelting Company. A tramway connected the mine to the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway (NWNGR) – the forerunner of the Welsh Highland Railway (WHR). The company soon changed its name to the Phosphoric Iron Ore Company. In financial straits, it was taken over (on paper) in 1913 by a new entity, the Silurian Iron Ore Company, the former company’s assets, but not its liabilities, being transferred to the new company. The mine closed in 1919.

Garreg Fawr mine originated as an unsuccessful trial for copper ore. Iron ore was instead mined there for a period in the 1840s and the site was worked in conjunction with the nearby slate quarry in the 1860s by the Garreg Fawr Slate and Mineral Company. The mine was thereafter operated sporadically under a number of different proprietors until being acquired in 1907 by Wolverhampton-based Alfred Hickman Ltd. Major developments were undertaken at this time, including the construction of a 4.7 km long aerial ropeway. This conveyed buckets of ore up over the shoulder of the hill, via the col Bwlch y groes, and then down to Llanberis. The ropeway terminus, on the banks of Llyn Padarn, joined a siding of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). The mine closed in 1913 and enjoyed a brief burst of activity during World War I when access to foreign sources of iron was under threat.

Further Reading

Ystrad/ Garreg Fawr Iron Mines (Treasure Maps);
Dr Gwynfor Pierce-Jones, “Iron Ore Mines of Betws and Waunfawr”, Welsh Highland Heritage No 39, March 2008

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 27, 2014 at 8:32 am

Plas Brondanw

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Plas Brondanw

Plas Brondanw

Date

5 July 2014
Location

Plas Brondanw, Croesor

SH 61663 42355; 52.96065°N, 4.06098°W

Information

Plas Brondanw is a country house near the tiny village of Croesor and was home to architect Clough Williams-Ellis (1883 – 1978), best known for the Italianate village Portmeirion. Clough was given the property, which had been in his family for over 400 years, by his father in 1908. He married writer Amabel Strachey in 1915 and after the end of World War I he set about restoring the mansion as their home and designing its formal gardens. Further restoration work was completed in 1953 after the house had been damaged in a fire in 1951.

The Grade II* listed building and its gardens are in the care of the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation, which is also responsible for Portmeirion and the Brondanw Estate. The gardens are open to the public.

Further Reading

Brondanw (official site);
Of Flowers and Follies: Plas Brondanw (Treasure Maps);
Clough Williams-Ellis (Wikipedia)

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

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Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

Date

28 June 2014
Location

Bethesda

SH 62562 66747; 53.18000°N, 4.05803°W

Information

Christ Church, Bethesda was built in 1855-56 by Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant (1800-1886), owner of Penrhyn Quarry and who, in 1866, became the 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandegai. This Anglican church was designed by London-based architect Thomas Henry Wyatt (1807-1880), second cousin once removed of Pennant’s Agent, James Wyatt. The church was restored in 1906 and received a Grade II listing in 1997.

Further Reading

Christ Church, Bethesda (British Listed Buildings)

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 20, 2014 at 8:03 am

Hy-Mac

with 5 comments

Hy-Mac

Hy-Mac

Date

21 June 2014
Location

Garreg Fawr Quarry, Betws Garmon

SH 53798 58098; 53.09998°N, 4.18511°W

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Garreg Fawr Quarry

with 14 comments

Garreg Fawr Quarry

Garreg Fawr Quarry

Date

21 June 2014
Location

Betws Garmon

SH 53798 58098; 53.09998°N, 4.18511°W

Information

Garreg Fawr slate quarry sits on the lower slopes of Moel Eilio, above the village of Betws Garmon. The quarry opened in 1802 and was worked intermittently until the 1880s (it was marked as being disused in the 1889 Ordnance Survey map). It was, however, again worked thereafter on a small scale until the 1930s. The quarry had a number of different operators, including: the Garreg Fawr Slate and Mineral Company, which jointly worked the quarry and the nearby Garreg Fawr iron mine in the 1860s; the Betws Garmon Slate Company; and the Bangor Range Slate and Mineral Company. A tramway, probably dating from around 1901, linked the quarry to the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway (the forerunner of the Welsh Highland Railway). Located at the top of an incline, which is now mostly buried under slate waste, is an unusual engine house. This Grade II listed structure, of slate slab construction, was built in the form of a square-plan castellated tower, which survives today as an interesting landmark.

 

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Written by Graham Stephen

July 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

The right of wheeling at foot pace Bath Chairs…

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Public right of way notice, Llanfairfechan promenade

Public right of way notice, Llanfairfechan promenade

Date

20 June 2014
Location

Llanfairfechan

SH 67766 75284; 53.25801°N, 3.98374°W

Information

NOTICE

By the joint dedication of the Governors of Saint
Andrew’s Hospital Northampton – the
Owners of the Bryn-y-neuadd Estate – and Colonel
Henry Platt C.B. the Public are entitled to a right
of way on foot along the existing Path between this
point and the Glan-y-Mor Elias Road (such right including
the right of wheeling at foot pace Bath Chairs drawn by
hand or by Pony Mule or Donkey and wheeling children’s
Perambulators and Mail Carts)
All frequenters of this Footpath are required to use the
same in such a way as to cause as little interference with
the rights of, or annoyance to, the owners as possible

BY ORDER

U. D. COUNCIL OFFICES
LLANFAIRFECHAN JULY 1908

Bryn y Neuadd Hospital in Llanfairfechan provides psychiatric care for those with learning disabilities and mental illnesses. The Roberts family built a house on the site in 1667, which was demolished in 1862 when John Platt bought the estate and built a new mansion there. This was, in turn, purchased in 1898 by St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton and used as an asylum. The mansion was knocked down in 1967 when the current hospital was built.

Further Reading

Bryn y Neuadd (llanfairfechan.org.uk)

 

Written by Graham Stephen

July 13, 2014 at 6:52 am

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