Cwm Ystradllyn slate mill
- Posted Oct. 17, 2010 by Sadhya Rippon Viewed 3448 times
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The impressive three-storeyed Ynys-y-pandy slate processing works, which served the Gorseddau Quarry, was built in 1856-7 by Evan Jones of Garndolbenmaen and probably designed by James Brunlees. It is ingeniously planned so that the natural fall of the site assisted the manufacturing process. A deep trench inside accommodated a large overshot water wheel (26 ft (8m) in diameter), and on the south side a long curving ramp brought the tramway from Gorseddau Quarry. The grand, round-headed openings are closely spaced like a Roman aqueduct. At the eastern end some decoration is allowed to adorn the openings; otherwise the construction is bold and plain but none the less impressive.
The mill specialised in the production of slate slabs for floors, dairies, troughs, urinals, etc. In its heyday in 1860, it was producing over 2,000 tons, but seven years later, production was down to 25 tons (due to poor quality of the quarried slate) and the business went into liquidation in 1871. The building provided a venue for eisteddfodau* until the roof was removed around 1906.
*Eisteddfodau which literally means sitting together
is a Welsh festival of literature, music and performance
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