We've been studying this Ffestiniog quarry for several years now, trying to make sense of what still remains on and under the ground. It's not far from home, and makes a nice walk on a summer's evening. But every time we visit, something new turns up that we haven't noticed. Shortly afterwards, as we mentally process what we've found, some part of the place begins to make more sense than it did before.
Like most slate quarries, Cwt-y-Bugail was worked over many years, successive generations building and tipping over previous work, making a mysterious picture with several layers of meaning.
|Chamber C3, North Twll|
I struck lucky and managed to get hold of a copy of the definitive book on the quarry. “Blaen-y-Cwm and Cwt-y-Bugail Slate Quarries” . I refer to it all the time. Obsessive...moi? It's heartening in a perverse way, to note that even the author of this work (the noted historian M.J.T. Lewis) is baffled on occasions here by the intricate brushwork of time.
|An old rubbish waggon in the crosscut adit, level C North Twll.|
Elsewhere we found an old powder house that had somehow been overlooked from our countless visits before...and other features began to make sense, like the unusually massive blocks on one tip which were from a fall in 1919, so different from all the other rubbish tips.
|How did those rocks get there? Apparently, an excavator is buried somewhere under these blocks. Petra is circled for scale.|