Nant Prysor Viaduct

Waterfall on the Afon Prysor with the viaduct in the distance


29 September 2012

Blaen-y-cwm, Cwm Prysor

SH 77602 38806; 52.93264°N, 3.82247°W


The nine-arch viaduct crossing the Afon Prysor was built as part of the Bala and Festiniog Railway, which opened in 1882. This 25½-mile standard-gauge line was constructed by the Great Western Railway primarily to transport slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Rail level on the viaduct stands at 32 m (105 ft) above the bed of the river, which flows through the central arch. Remedial work on the bridge was undertaken in 1953, when new concrete parapet walls were built. The railway, however, closed only a few years later: to passengers in 1960, and to freight in 1961. A section of the line was flooded when Llyn Celyn reservoir was created and the transport link it had provided was replaced by the A4212 Bala to Trawsfynydd road, which opened in 1964.

Nant Prysor Viaduct (Treasure Maps);
Bala and Festiniog Railway (Wikipedia);
Arenig Fawr


Arenig Fawr

Arenig Fawr from Cae-garnedd on the shore of Llyn Celyn


11 August 2012

Arenig, Snowdonia

SH 82700 36950; 52.91711°N, 3.74600°W


At 854m, Arenig Fawr (‘Great High Ground’) is the highest of the Arenig mountain range in Snowdonia. It lies six miles to the west of Bala and is close to Llyn Celyn reservoir.

At the summit there is a memorial to the eight US airmen from 303rd Bomb Group killed when their Boeing Flying Fortress crashed into the mountain in 1943. Arenig Fawr was also the scene of another crash in May 1964 when a Folland Gnat from Number 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley struck the mountain. On that occasion, the crew had safely ejected from the aircraft.

In the early 20th century, the mountain featured prominently in the work of a group of three artists — James Innes, Derwent Lees and Augustus John — known collectively as the Arenig School, which had its heyday in the pre-war years 1911 to 1913. The artists were at the forefront of a style known as ‘automatic’ painting. Their technique involved wandering about all day in the hills, stopping only when the conditions were just right and then painting impulsively until the sky changed and the moment was lost.

Painters at their peak: the forgotten wild men of Arenig (the guardian)


Arenig Fawr – Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, 42-3124, 303rd Bomb Group (Heavy), USAAF, 4 Aug 1943

Arenig Fawr summit trig point and Flying Fortress memorial

Site visited 11 August 2012 Location Arenig Fawr, Snowdonia
SH 82643 36949
52.91708°N, 3.74685°W
Manufacturer Boeing Registration 42-3124
Model B-17 Flying Fortress Unit 303rd Bomb Group (Heavy), USAAF
Crash date 4 August 1943
Memorial Plaque

In memory of the crew of the Flying Fortress
which crashed on the Arenig 4th August 1943
1st Lt James N Pratt, Boise, Idaho
2nd Lt Allan M Boner, Tinley Park, Illinois
2nd Lt William A Bowling, Covington, Kentucky
T/Sgt Frederic J Royar, Queens Village, New York
S/Sgt Walter J Johnston, Fayette, Ohio
Sgt Walter B Robinson, Sacramento, California
Sgt Phillip Simonte, Highland Park, Michigan
Pfc Alfred B van Dyke, Brookville, Pennsylvania