Princess May Water Balance, Penrhyn Quarry

Date

17 September 2017

Location

Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda
SH 62228 65513; 53.16883°N, 4.06249°W

Information

Princess May is one of the two surviving water balances at Penrhyn Quarry; the other is called Sebastopol and has been restored. Originally there were eight at the quarry… [Read more about the water balance and see more photographs from 2011 here]

Further Reading

Princess May Water Balance, Penrhyn Quarry;
Zip World Adventure Terminal;
Penrhyn Quarry

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Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings

Visitor Centre (converted Stables)

Date

26 August 2017

Location

Ditherington, Shrewsbury
SJ 49855 13826; 52.71974°N, 2.74382°W

Information

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings was previously featured here in GeoTopoi in December 2011. Since then there have various changes at the site, the most significant being the opening in November 2015 in the converted offices and stables of a Visitor Centre. The opening of the centre is the first phase of a restoration project undertaken by a partnership between Historic England, Friends of Flaxmill Maltings and Shropshire Council. The second phase, which will result in a mixed-use redevelopment of the historic buildings, is proceeding thanks to the subvention of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other changes include the demolition of various later structures on the site, such as the massive concrete silos built in the 1950s and 60s (North Silo and South Silo). Public access is currently limited to the Visitor Centre and a small area to the rear of the mill buildings.

Further Reading

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings (GeoTopoi, 2011);
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings (Historic England)

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Skyjack

Skyjack

Skyjack

Date

26 November 2016

Location

Oswestry, Shropshire
SJ 30621 28519; 52.84967°N, 3.03165°W

Information

Skyjack produces a range of access and handling equipment including boom lifts and scissor platforms. The Canadian company was established in 1985 and in 2002 became part of the global manufacturing company the Linamar Corporation. Skyjack UK, located in Oswestry, is the company’s European Head Office.

Further Reading

Skyjack

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Former Aberfalls Margarine Factory, Abergwyngregyn

Aber Falls Margarine Factory

Former Aberfalls Margarine Factory

Date

17 January 2016

Location

Abergwyngregyn
SH 65258 73156; 53.23827°N, 4.02041°W

Information

The station, which closed in the 1960s and is now in residential use, on the then Chester and Holyhead Railway (now the North Wales Coast line) at Abergwyngregyn opened in 1848. A siding from the main line served a factory, which appeared in the 1889 edition of the Ordnance Survey map*, close to the station. This factory was originally owned by the Penrhyn Estate and produced writing slates. It was powered by a water wheel fed from a weir on the Afon Aber, which flows alongside the premises. Raw material was transported to the factory by road from Penrhyn Quarry and the finished product was shipped via its rail link. The factory was taken over by the Pure Margarine Company Ltd and was then known as the Aberfalls Margarine Factory (although the site lies some 3.5 km downstream from the actual falls). The factory was at some stage also used as a woollen mill. Its most recent use was as a wholesale beer, wines and spirits warehouse, originally owned by De Vere Group subsidiary Tavern Group Ltd, but sold together with 11 other depots in 2001 to Classic Drinks Ltd, a subsidiary of Halewood International Holdings . The half-hectare plot with its warehouse and office block is currently on the market for £280,000.

(*The 1889 Ordnance Survey map denotes it as a Writing Slate Manufactory, the 1937 one as a Bottling Depot and the 1945 one as a Margarine Factory.)

Further Reading

Margarine Works (abergwyngregyn.co.uk)

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Tan Dinas Quarry, Llanddona

Tan-Dinas Quarry, Llanddona

Tan Dinas Quarry, Llanddona

Date

10 July 2015

Location

Tan-Dinas, Llanddona, Anglesey
SH 58507 82023; 53.31616°N, 4.12546°W

Information

Tan Dinas Quarry is located on the Anglesey coast 2.5 km north of Llanddona. It appears on the 1889 edition of the local Ordnance Survey map and is marked as being disused by the 1919 edition. The limestone quarry and concrete works were later re-opened by Cawood & Wharton Ltd and closed again in the 1950s. In the late 1960s equipment, including a 2 ft gauge railway system, was removed from the site.

In 1951 Constable John Emlyn Jones was awarded the British Empire Medal for heroism in the rescue of a boy who had gotten into difficulties at the quarry. The boy had become stuck half way up the rock face unable to climb further up or down. Constable Jones was lowered down to a ledge from where he made his way to the stranded boy and then managed to lower him down to the safety of the beach below using a second rope he had taken with him.

Further Reading

Aerial views of Tan Dinas Quarry, 1951 (RCAHMW)

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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 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.

 

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