Afon Ogwen Footbridge, Tanysgafell

Footbridge

Date

25 April 2020

Location

Afon Ogwen, Tanysgafell, Bethesda
SH 61636 66764; 53.17992°N, 4.07187°W

Information

Further Reading

Afon Ogwen Footbridge (fire spinning);
All posts about Afon Ogwen

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Pont Pen-y-benglog

Pont Pen-y-benglog, Llyn Ogwen

Date

28 March 2020

Location

Llyn Ogwen
SH 64914 60537; 53.12482°N, 4.02023°W

Information

In the early 19th century, Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834) built the A5 road as the main London-to-Dublin mail route. The current ‘Pont Pen-y-benglog’ bridge over the Afon Ogwen was built to replace a difficult, steep section of the earlier coach route at the western end of Llyn Ogwen. The surviving arch of the earlier, medieval pack-horse bridge can be seen below the present one.

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Hydro Ogwen Scheme

Weir above Ogwen Bank Falls

Date

25 June 2017

Location

Ogwen Bank, Bethesda
SH 62608 65410; 53.16801°N, 4.05676°W

Information

Hydro Ogwen is a community hydro-electric generation scheme on the Afon Ogwen owned and operated by Ynni Ogwen Cyf (Ogwen Energy Ltd), a company established in 2015 to complete the development of the project and to manage it thereafter. The venture was financed by £450k raised via a community share offer and profits are to be distributed for the benefit of the local community.

Family-run contractors Gwyn Roberts Construction, based near Bala, carried out the building work, which started in July 2016 and was mostly completed by March 2017. The 100 kW generator, whose estimated annual output will be 500 MWh, is driven by a turbine fed via a 900 mm diameter pipe buried under the Lon Las Ogwen path with water abstracted from the intake weir, approximately 300 m upstream, just above the waterfalls at Ogwen Bank.

Further Reading

Ynni Ogwen;
All posts in the Afon Ogwen series…

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Felin Cochwillan

Felin Cochwillan

Date

4 August 2012
Location

Cochwillan, Tal-y-bont

SH 60130 69855; 53.20729°N, 4.09575°W

Information

Constructed on the site of a much earlier mill, the current Grade II listed Felin Cochwillan building dates back to the late 18th century. A wooden-spoked, breast-shot iron waterwheel, driven by water from the Afon Ogwen, provided the power for what was originally a ‘pandy’, or fulling mill. The fulling process cleanses, thickens and strengthens woven cloth, and involves washing to remove dirt and grease and kneading with wooden hammers to mat together the wool fibres.

About 1870, Lord Penrhyn became concerned about the damage to the salmon stocks caused by the contamination of the river with sulphuric acid-based detergents. Felin Cochwillan was therefore purchased and converted for use as a corn mill for the Penrhyn estate.

The mill last operated in the 1950s and the building was listed in 1966. It is now a private residence.

Cochwillan Mill (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales);
Felin Cochwillan Mill

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Ogwen Bank Falls

Afon Ogwen at Ogwen Bank

Date

27 November 2011
Location

Ogwen Bank, Bethesda

SH 62633 65403; 53.16795°N, 4.05639°W

Information

This cascade is on the Afon Ogwen just downstream from Pont Ogwen — a stone bridge by the entrance to Ogwen Bank Holiday Park and Country Club which now serves to provide access to Lon Las Ogwen cycle track for pedestrians and cyclists.

Popular with canoeists when it is swolen after heavy rain, the Ogwen is reckoned to be one of the UK’s top ten white-water rivers.

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Penrhyn Quarry drainage adit

Slate arch of the adit portal

Date

12 November 2011
Location

Tanysgafell, Bethesda

SH 61561 66862; 53.18078°N, 4.07304°W

Information

The once grand slate-arch portal of Penrhyn Quarry’s main drainage adit now stands forgotten, overgrown with ivy, and fenced off in the middle of a field.

The adit is 1837 yards long with a 5ft by 7 ft cross section and took five years to dig. Inscribed in the arch keystone is the date 1849. The outfall from the adit flows some 80 metres along a channel before emptying into the Afon Ogwen. At the far end, two De Winton hydraulic pumps used to drain the quarry levels below the adit. In 1907 these were superseded by electric pumps.

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Galedffrwd Mill

Galedffrwd Mill at the confluence of the rivers Galedffrwd and Ogwen

Date

5 November 2011
Location

Trem Ffrancon, Bethesda

SH 61717 66700; 53.17937°N, 4.07064°W

Information

The mill was powered by water from the Afon Galedffrwd and is located close the point where the river flows into the Afon Ogwen. It stood derelict for many years until the present owners purchased it in 2007 and spent the following two years converting it into their home and five-star Bed and Breakfast establishment.

In his 1978 Industrial Archæology of Snowdonia and Anglesey, Keith Jaggers give the following historical account:

A further group of buildings to the east of the ‘B’ road, now occupied by a car body repairer was formerly the Ogwen Slate Works. Below, and beside the river bank at the junction of the Afon Caledffrwd and Afon Ogwen is a substantial slab-walled building housing the remains of another 40 ft diameter waterwheel. This is accessible by footpath from the nearby footbridge (616667) and was built as late as circa 1902 in connection with an experiment in crushing slate waste to make breeze blocks, but disused after some five years.

And the current proprietors’ web site has the following to say:

The mill was constructed in 1938 and use to contain a 35′ dia waterwheel to provide power for an electric railway up to Penhryn slate quarry, in the 1960’s the railway was abandoned in favour of road transport for the slate. The mill became redundant and fell into disrepair over a period of 40 years. No one knows what happened to the wheel (probably scrapped) only the axle was in place when we arrived.

The Industrial Archæology of Snowdonia and Anglesey; Galedffrwd Mill

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