Now and then I: Penrhyn Quarry

Penrhyn Quarry from Pantdreiniog, Bethesda

Penrhyn Quarry from Pantdreiniog, Bethesda – Now and Then

Date

13 September 2014
Location

Pantdreiniog, Bethesda

SH 62359 66882; 53.18116°N, 4.06111°W

Information

Pantdreiniog slate quarry in Bethesda opened c 1825 with local proprietors. Its ownership subsequently changed a number of times and in the 1890s it was sold to a Cardiff company by Liverpool builder John Williams, who had worked it for close to 40 years. In 1903 it was acquired by a London company created with the purpose of providing work for striking quarrymen from Penrhyn Quarry. Little evidence is visible today of the workings at this quarry, most of the site now being landscaped open ground at the back of the High Street.

 

“Looking from Pantdreiniog Co-operative Quarry over Bethesda Chapel and part of the village towards the Penrhyn Slate Quarry” from What I Saw At Bethesda [link to Great Strike post]

“Looking from Pantdreiniog Co-operative Quarry over Bethesda Chapel and part of the village towards the Penrhyn Slate Quarry” from What I Saw At Bethesda

The High Street is now mainly shielded from view by trees, although the roof of Bethesda Independent Chapel [link to Bethesda Chapel post] (now converted into the Arafa Don flats) can be seen in the centre middle distance.  Notice the landscaping of the former quarry galleries on Fronllywdd (left) and the advance of the spoil heaps (centre and right).

The High Street is now mainly shielded from view by trees, although the roof of Bethesda Independent Chapel (now converted into the Arafa Don flats) can be seen in the centre middle distance. Notice the landscaping of the former quarry galleries on Fronllywdd (left) and the advance of the spoil heaps (centre and right).

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14 thoughts on “Now and then I: Penrhyn Quarry

  1. Fascinating images and write-up…there’s a nice continuity between this post and the last. No doubt all these tips will eventually succumb to the blandness of landscaping -but hopefully not in my lifetime!

  2. Hermosa historia Stephen, continuación de la anterior, acerca de la Mina de pizarra, y de la capilla Betheda. Como siempre Muchas Gracias por compartir estas historias que, a mi personalmente, me retrotrae a mis raíces galesas….GRACIAS!!!!!

    • De nada, Marcia. Cómo sabrás. la pizarra jugaba un gran papel en la historia de esta región. La cantera Penrhyn y la de Dinorwic, al otro lado de las montañas, eran las más importantes. Hoy en día Dinorwic alberga el museo nacional de la pizarra.

    • Last year Welsh Slate, the owners of the quarry, received permission to re-align the area from which slate can be extracted (by some 8 hectares), which, they say, will prolong the life of the quarry by 15 years.

      Nowadays with modern technology the workforce is tiny in comparison to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when around 3000 quarrymen were employed there.

      The old, disused parts of the quarry have, however, been given a new lease of life as a tourist attraction with the opening last year of Zip World, Europe’s longest zip wire, which flies over the old workings, including the now flooded quarry pit.

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