Now and Then XIII: Gilfach Ddu, Dinorwic Quarry

Gilfach Ddu - Now and Then

Gilfach Ddu – Now and Then

Date

6 June 2015
Location

Llanberis

SH 58297 60714; 53.12469°N, 4.11913°W

Information

“On the declivity of the mountain, and nearly opposite Dolbadarn castle, on the eastern side of the lake, are extensive slate quarries, the property of Thomas Asheton Smith, Esq. situated high among the rocks ; the mode of conveying the slates down the almost precipitous descent, to the margin of the lake, was formerly singularly awkward, and apparently very dangerous – The carts, each conveying about one ton of slates in winter, and two in summer, were drawn down a serpentine path by one horse in front, and one hooked on behind to counteract the rapidity of motion which other wise would endanger the whole. From the lake the slates were carted in great quantities to the Menai, from whence they were shipped to Ireland, Liverpool, America, &c. To avoid this great labour and danger, about ten years ago, a new railroad was made from the quarries down to the shipping place at Velin Heli on the Menai, a distance of about nine miles. By this road, the slates are conveyed down, at an average, it is said, of about 100 tons daily throughout the year. At this place of activity, generally designated by the name of “Dinorwic Slate Quarry,” above 1000 men are usually employed.”

— Joseph Hemingway, Panorama of the beauties, curiosities, and antiquities of North Wales, exhibited in its Mountains, Vallies, Waterfalls, Lakes, Cities and Towns, Castles and Ruins, etc. Intended as a Pocket Companion to the Tourist and Traveller., 1839

Further Reading

National Slate Museum;
Dinorwic Quarry;
Other posts in the Dinorwic Quarry series

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Now and Then XII: Dolbadarn Castle

Dolbadarn Castle - Now and Then

Dolbadarn Castle – Now and Then

Date

6 June 2015
Location

Llanberis

SH 58586 59845; 53.11697°N, 4.11442°W

Information

“The castle, standing near the junction of the two lakes of Llanberis, is the only one that remains in all the narrow passes of North Wales. As it was impossible for an enemy to climb the chain of mountains, which are a guard to Caernarvonshire and Anglesey, and as there were five narrow passes, the British secured each with a castle : this was the central. What remains of it is a round turret only, its inner diameter ten yards, and twenty-five yards high, which seems to have been the principal part of this fortress, for it occupies the whole of a small elevated rock. One of the bastions of Caernarvon castle is nearly the size of this ; it could not accommodate more than fifteen men. The British race of kings acted on a small scale compared with the Norman. In this castle Owen Goch was confined for upwards of twenty years, for having joined in a rebellion against his brother Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales. It seems to have been long in ruins, for in Leland’s time there was only a piece of a tower left. The key of the castle is kept at the Victoria Hotel, and may be had by tourists on application.

“The view from hence is the most splendid imaginable, embracing the two lakes, extending nearly three miles, with the various interesting objects by which they are surrounded, including the enormous chains of mountains that bound the vale. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the ruin as it appears from the lake : the promontory on which it stands ; its image reflected from the crystal waters ; the lofty mountains on each side ; the upper lake stretching to the church of Llanberis, with Snowdon in the back ground.”

— Joseph Hemingway, Panorama of the beauties, curiosities, and antiquities of North Wales, exhibited in its Mountains, Vallies, Waterfalls, Lakes, Cities and Towns, Castles and Ruins, etc. Intended as a Pocket Companion to the Tourist and Traveller., 1839

Dolbadarn Castle

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Prezzo

Prezzo

Prezzo

Date

23 May 2015
Location

Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village, Ellesmere Port

SJ 40883 74637; 53.26540°N, 2.88779°W

Information

Prezzo (from the Italian for price) is a UK chain of casual-dining Italian restaurants with over 200 branches, the first of which opened in London in 2000. Prezzo has won a number of awards, including the Pizza and Pasta Association’s 2011 ‘Italian restaurant chain of the year’. The company was formerly controlled by the Kaye family, a British restaurant dynasty, and in January 2015 TPG, a US-based international private investment firm, succeeded in a £304 million takeover bid.

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