Report - - Penmaenmawr Mountain Quarry March 2016 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Penmaenmawr Mountain Quarry March 2016


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
After driving past this place many times and seeing the old mine buildings, this has long been a place ive wanted to explore.
Myself, Rox and Trancentral took a long and very hard, steep walk but we got to the top eventually and as usual, not via the easiest route but it was worth it.

Some History first from Wikipedia.


The industrial quarrying of igneous rock (diorite) at Penmaenan began in 1830 with the opening of the Penmaen Quarry and the subsequent, competing Graiglwyd and 'Old' quarries which were amalgamated by 1888 under Colonel Darbishire. Most of the production in these early years was of setts and paving, but from 1881 the advantage of crushed rock for railway ballast was demonstrated and new crushing mills were built to provide for that market. In 1911 Darbishire merged these operations with the quarries of Trefor to form the Penmaenmawr & Welsh Granite Co.. As the industry grew, workers and their families flocked to Penmaenmawr from all over north-west Wales and beyond. The link was especially strong with Trefor, the home of Trefor granite quarry on the slopes of Yr Eifl. The community which sprang up in the present day wards of Penmaenan and Pant-yr-afon was close-knit and almost entirely Welsh-speaking. By the early years of the 20th century about 1,000 men worked in the quarry and its associated workshops. Neighbouring Llanfairfechan was an integral part of this process.

The quarried stone was lowered by self-acting inclines to the 3 ft (914 mm) gauge tramway which ran to jetties from where the setts were loaded into ships. After 1848 the majority of the quarry output was sent by main-line rail, although the quarry and its internal narrow gauge railway continued to operate through the nineteenth century.
Penmaenmawr beach

Life was not easy for the quarrymen, especially those who worked on the higher slopes. They were expected to walk up to the summit area in all weathers and faced losing pay if unable to reach the top. A strong spirit of camaraderie developed and was reflected in the town's chapels, pubs and cultural societies. Products were exported by rail to ports like Liverpool and the cities of England and by sea from the two quarrying jetties to Liverpool and also to a number of European ports such as Hamburg. Ships continued to load cargoes from the Darbishire jetty until 1976, although sea-trade had been sparse since the famous stranding of the Rethi Muller in 1967. Railway ballast continued to move in quantity from the sidings near the station, but all the original infrastructure was swept away by the building of the new A55 Expressway in the late 1980s. A new rail-loading facility was constructed and the original sidings space used for the new road. In 2008 the contract for the supply of railway ballast to Network Rail was lost, and since that time there have only been limited movements by rail - such as for construction of the Manchester Metrolink extensions.

This quarrying over time removed the whole top of Penmaenmawr mountain, which was once much higher with a rounded top, with an old hill-fort on.

The town grew in popularity as a seaside resort for the well-to-do in the second half of the 19th century, in part due to the enthusiasm shown by statesman and Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone who holidayed eleven times in Penmaenmawr between 1855 and 1896.
On with the photos, savagely whittled down from about 150.

The first one is nicked from http://www.penmaenmawr.com/historyQuarry.html which features more historic information.


This was labelled as 1948


The first of many winch houses we came across


Rock Crusher



Slope above the rock crusher that fed rocks into it





The first concrete winch house I have seen


Trancentral on the edge.



The back of that steam engine says "Penmaen 1878".





This is the quarry site at the top that is still active.





The sun showed itself briefly on the way down. Thanks for looking.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Like this mate :thumb
Always look up too the top Winding house before going into the tunnel, nice too see it from the top looking down

Was going to call a few weeks back ironically, but after climbing a snowy Snowdon my legs were too fucked too attempt another major climb :(


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well done young man! Like you, driven past many times and missed the only open day they had. Really must make a better effort... I live on Anglesey, by the way.