• Emerging from the steep climb out of Cwmorthin it is a wonderful surprise to find oneself on an extensive plateau of quarry buildings.

• Rhosydd is one of Blaenau’s highest and most remote quarries, and it is unusual in that it is not connected to the Ffestiniog Railway.

• Instead the slate was lowered from a spectacularly poised drumhouse at the head of a very steep incline from where there is a most rewarding view along Cwm Croesor to the sea.

Rosydd Quarry 800dpi.jpg

“They come to me constantly in their turn,
Old boys of Rhosydd, on loving pilgrimage.
I hear their voices again - there come to mind
The leg pulling and cheerful wit of yore.
They converged on the quarry from far-off homes,
Daring the wind and rain and biting cold,
Without vain yearning for better times;
Uncomplaining was their journey along weary paths.
The quarry is no more, it is a sad ruin;
No sound of machines, the stillness overwhelms;
The wind whistles between the loose stones,
And a host of lively workmen are in the grave.
But some like me live on nearby,
Until it falls to our lot to rest in the earth.”

“Hen Hogia ’r Rhosydd”  (Old Boys of Rhosydd)
Written by Richard Owen - who stayed on as a caretaker when the mine closed in 1930

Although I didn’t know about this poem when I was doing the site sketches I too noted the extraordinary silence up there - where there had once been such activity.