Friday, 18 April 2014

Quarries, ancient mines and another hillfort, or: lots of climbing!

The first few days of the trip there was a lot of hill-climbing. Not proper hiking, of course, but more than I'm used to! Our first stop was very interesting. It was a prehistoric site located above an active quarry site - a quarry that has been running since about the 1830s, and where the cobblestones in Ashton Lane come from! We were given hard-hats and high-vis vests to wear while hiking about.

This was inside our youth hostel. I was delighted with the Welsh & English signs. 

Above the quarry, our first stop was Craig Lwyd, a Neolithic 'axe factory'. We were shown the face of a huge rock and could see ancient (and more modern) chips in the rock used for axes.

The rock face.

Beyond Craig Lwyd was Penmaenmawr, a prehistoric landscape filled with stone circles and other monuments dotted throughout the uplands. There was also an ancient walkway which we went along.

A wee stone circle.

Beautiful views!

Old walkways.

Our glamorous hard-hats & high-vis vests!

A shy Welsh mountain pony!

Standing stones?

This is a fuzzy picture, and you probably can't even see them, but there were cats on the wall! In Wales! I had a happy "Child's Christmas in Wales" moment. 

 Our next stop was to see the Great Orme Bronze age copper mines. We traveled through a delightful seaside village to get there.

I think the town we were in was called Llandudno.

AND we got to go on an old-fashioned tram! Bliss!

My friend Jamie enjoying the ride in the tramcar.

Hayley and Jamie.

Ooh! Bits of human bone!

Approaching the bronze age mines.

Inside the mine!

Our last stop of the day was Deganwy hillfort. This had been an early medieval hillfort, with a later castle built atop it. Very little remains of the castle, as Conwy castle, situated across the bay, was built instead.

A fragment of a corner of a wall still remaining.

Remnants of a gate-house perhaps?

I was so intrigued by the small, broken pieces of wall here and there.

One of the objectives of our trip was to assess the access, presentation and signage of historical/ archaeological sites. This sign, we all agreed, was rubbish. It quotes a letter from an Englishman (!) complaining about weather. And that's it. No history, no explanation of what is going on, what traces can be seen, etc. 

After the trip I walked down into Conwy. 

The post office in Conwy. 

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