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User / PentlandPirate of the North
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And where you see the stepped terraces in the background and the sloped sides of the waste slate tips in my previous shot, on the other side of that, the houses that make up the scattered community of Dinorwig, some literally live in the angled shadows of the great quarry.

Tags:   Dinorwic slate quarry dinorwig snowdonia north wales shadow

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is 455 feet tall and its volume is calculated at 2.5 million cubic metres. It was built with thousands of slaves. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the classic Seven Wonders of the World.

But before me is what I regard as the Great Incline of Dinorwic. It's not the biggest or longest but it is right near the top of the quarry and marvellously highlights the terraced workings on the far side of the great hole. Coming down a couple of levels from the track round the very top of the huge slate quarry this incline is the only way down I know from the top on this side of the hole. Getting onto it is rather perilous and once on it the stones are now becoming very loose, loosened by wind, rain, frost and wind and people like me who rattle down it. But I take great care, and for good reason. For, off the other side of that stone construction is an enormous hole. I'm guessing that from the back of it to its lowest point might be at least 800 feet deep. You most certainly do not want to go over the edge.

Over the years men toiled, often in terrible conditions, to loosen, lift and move all of that slate by hand. They never used mechanical diggers or even horses. How much stone did they lift and move? If the Great Pyramid of Giza is 2.5 million square metres could we hazard a guess that at Dinorwig perhaps 10-15 million cubic metres of stone was moved by hand. Slate has a specific gravity of around 2.8. That could mean the men of Dinorwig loosened, lifted and transported 35 million tonnes of slate....manually. That's an amazing feat, not least when you consider what the weather can be like there, high up on the mountainside.

Perhaps my figures are overblown. All I know is that this place blows my mind every time I visit. It's a wonder of my world.

Tags:   Dinorwic slate quarry dinorwig snowdonia north wales incline ramp

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I think I always wanted the simple life. Somewhere I could breathe and feel the wind and rain and the warmth of sunshine on my face. Somewhere I could live in peace and calm and wake up to the sound of birds twittering outside the bedroom window. Somewhere where you could hear the distant baa from a young lamb to its mother. Somewhere I could be close to nature. Somewhere I could feel free

I certainly wanted to work with my hands and never envisaged a career behind a desk, my mind focused on facts and figures and not in the hill tops and clouds where I would rather be.

So, as I look down from my lofty viewpoint by the top drum house in Dinorwig quarry my eyes take in the magnificent mountains around, the valley, the lakes, and fall on the little white cottage by the lakeside below. Caught in a beam of dawn sunlight poking round the corner of the valley, I feel at home here. This is where I will settle.

Tags:   llyn peris llanberis snowdonia cottage north wales

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No WD-40 required for these two. There's so much to Dinorwig quarry. It's not just the sheer scale of the place, the grandeur and beauty of the mountains and lakes around. or the mountain goats, the ruins, the man-made inclines, the colours and textures in the slate, but the whole human history of the place. What tales these two rusty nuts might tell if they could, but I suspect they have only fallen recently. The fact is that the whole place is slowly sliding downhill and breaking up. It's never the same place on any two visits and I didn't notice this pole on the previous twenty times I must have passed this spot. But I love it. And I wish it would be there forever, but I know that even within ten to twenty years it will be very different and even more inaccessible.

Tags:   rusty nuts dinorwig slate quarry fallen telegraph pole rust

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Unfortunately the sun was slow to get up this morning, and we decided to make progress and get higher up before it shone round the corner and illuminated the terraces below.

I love seeing all the ruins picked out against the light. But these all appear as dots against the sky when viewed from where most people view Dinorwic quarry.

Tags:   dinorwic snowdonia dinorwig ruins north wales slate quarry derelict felix tours


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