|Date||22 September 2012|
|Location||Crimea Pass, Blaenau Ffestinog||SH 69911 48476; 53.01771°N, 3.94072°W|
The Crimea Pass on the A470 is a mountain pass between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Dolwyddelan and is over 1,200 ft above sea level. The road through the pass was opened in 1854 and it takes its name from the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) being waged at the time. Stone walls in the area are said to have been constructed by Russian prisoners of war from the conflict. There used to an inn at the top of the pass known as ‘The Crimea’.
At the side of the road about two miles north of Blaenau Ffestiniog lies a sterile, brown hummock of a somewhat surreal composition: rusting nails, lace-hole eyelets and heel irons from old boots.
There seem to be various accounts as to the origins of this strange mound. Miners’ boots? The results of disaffected World War I Commonwealth troops waiting to be shipped home burning their boots and caps in protest? According to Treasure Maps, the mound dates back to the World War II era, when Blaenau Ffestiniog’s Market Hall was commandeered as a boot repair factory.