Industry has it’s own unique way of shaping the landscape, but mineral extraction is one industry that leaves the most permanent mark. From the slag heaps of the coalfields, to the huge holes in the ground that quarries leave, once operations have ended, it isn’t just a case of pulling the buildings down and building houses.
Dinorwic is a fine example of this. Huge galleries have been sculpted from the hillsides, vast chasms have been blown and chiselled away, leaving the most surreal of man-made landscapes.
My previous visit in 2009 was a great introduction, but I’d barely scratched the surface. Graham Stephen’s posts on his excellent geotopoi blog had whetted my appetite for another visit, but I struggled to find the time due to my work and family commitments. Finally though, a window of opportunity opened – my flexi time was running at a high level, so I had to take a day off. Not being able to face a long weekend of household chores, I made my excuses and slipped into the Friday rush hour M6 traffic and headed for the A55 into Wales.
Now I’m not sure if it’s just my choice of days, or the local meteorological conditions, but almost everyime I’ve been to North Wales, it’s been either raining, very cloudy, foggy, or all three at the same time. This day was no exception, but on the flip side, it does add a rather eerie atmosphere to the photographs. Parking my car by the ‘bus stop’ entrance, it felt like I was leaving a bright red marker buoy against a desaturated grey and green sea, such was the limited colour palette of the landscape.
The quarry is vast, and it is impossible to fully explore it in one visit, and I had specific things in mind that I wanted to see, so rather than wander round looking for an easier route, I opted for the hard option and headed for the C3 incline!