Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Pont-y-Pandy Slate Mill
Slate Mills are usually very basic, long, roughly built draughty places - I should know, I live in one. But the very well-known mill in Cwmystradllyn (SH54965 43387) is something of an exception to the rule.
This magnificent ruin sits atop a rhyolite dyke beside the Afon Henwy, it's source of water power. It is situated just off an unmarked, single-track road from Prenteg, a breathtakingly beautiful drive, one that gives a real flavour of the once isolated nature of North Wales. You just have to keep your fingers crossed that the farmer isn't coming along with a trailer full of unfortunate sheep as there are few passing places.
It's a fascinating corner of Wales,especially if you like industrial archaeology. Not only is there this fabulous ruin to gaze and wonder at, but nearby is the trackbed of the Gorseddau tramway, which if followed in a northerly direction, will lead to the abandoned slate workers village of Treforys and, a mile or two further on, the fabulous, futile desolation of the Gorseddau quarry.
Petra and I pitched up at the mill and were amazed at the quality of the workmanship displayed in the walls. Presumably, the slab for the mill came from the Gorseddau quarry. There might have been a shortage of slate up the valley, but there was no shortage of skilled hands. It's hard to take photographs here, as everyone else has shot the same photos. I almost imagined a hand would be placed on my shoulder and a voice would say "I'm sorry, sir, that photo is taken"...luckily, the photo police weren't around to witness my crimes against digital imagery, but I was aware of certain folk who have covered the mill in superb photographic fashion. I tried not to take a shot with the famous phone box in the picture. I don't want a knock on the door and my camera confiscated.
So, take a bow, Geotopoi.
Honourable mention must also go to Dave Sallery, a.k.a. Penmorfa who also has a superb description of the mill and site.
My previous post about the Gorseddau Quarry.
Lastly, click here at the WHR society for a fascinating description of the quarry, tramway and mill.