What an interesting subject for this weeks challenge theme. Having a rich industrial past, North Wales has lots of broken things just lying around. You see them in the old slate quarries, long since abandoned, along the side of rivers, way out in the country where the only residents now are sheep and the occasional mad photographer who happens to pass by.
Porth Wen Brickworks is typical. Situated on Anglesey, it’s still considered Private Property, but it’s been photographed often enough by intrepid photographers. Getting to Porth Wen is not the easiest task. For a start it’s not signposted and the path down the side of the cliff goes through some really rough vegetation. On site you have to be careful where you put your feet. you can see that from the photograph. But if you’re like me, fascinated by old buildings then it’s a photographers dream.
Minera lead mines ceased work around 1914 and is now part of a country park near Wrexham. The first records of lead mining at Minera date back to 1296 and over the centuries there were intermittent attempts to remove lead from the workings. Some successful, some not. The final decline of Minera was caused by the price of lead and zinc falling, whilst coal, used by the steam engine to pump water from the working, had risen. By 1909 the engine had stopped working and in 1914 the owners of Minera sold off the mines and it’s assets.
Near the base of Snowdon and on the shores of Llyn Lydaw lies the ruined crushing mill of the now defunct Britannia Copper Mine. Never really a successful enterprise, seven companies tried their luck in just over a hundred years, the mine closed in 1916.
You can always tell when you are near a copper mine. The rusty-red colour of the stones is a sure giveaway.
What do you think? Am I showing enough photographs this week?
Talking of copper. On the island of Anglesey is a really good walking, and of course photography area, called Copper Mountain.
Mining started here about 3500 years ago in what is known as the Bronze Age. But it was the industrial mining of the 18th and more particularly the 19th century to make Parys mountain as it is also known the largest copper mine in the world, in its time.
By the way, that tower you see on the hill is the one in the photograph above. It contained an engine to pump the water out of the lower workings of the mine.
We’ve had brick, lead, zinc, and copper. Next up is slate and where better to show old industrial broken things than Dinorwic Slate Quarry in Snowdonia. At it’s height it was the second largest slate quarry in the world, second only to another quarry just over the hill.
Dinowic is a great place to wander round and relatively safe if you stick to the marked paths.
It’s when you start to wander that you need to take more precautions. There are some really dangerous areas in the quarry, sheer drops, deep lakes, risk of falling stones.
This tunnel goes right through the mountain and is used by many who visit Dinorwic to get to some of the upper levels. But you need a torch “to see the light at the end of the tunnel”, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Experts recommend a blog post should be no more than 250 words too maintain interest, I’m nearly double that now. Hopefully the photographs help to maintain interest?
One more place I’d like to show you. Not far from the lighthouse at Talacre is the now disused Point of Ayr Colliery, which closed on the 23rd August 1996. . The coal field extended northwards under the Irish Sea. Nothing now remains of the colliery, not even a memorial plaque. Well, not quite, these tracks, which were a siding of the Holyhead to London Rail line, are all that is left on the site…and they really belonged to the rail company.
In the background you can see the gas plant where natural gas from the Celtic gas-fields comes ashore to be processed for use in the power station at Connah’s Quay, further up the coast.
There you have it, I’ve covered brick making, lead and zinc extraction, copper mining, slate quarrying and finally coal mining. All broken industries.
Please take some time to see what others are writing about this weeks challenge