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South of Capel Curig lies the 872 metre high Garnedd Moel Siabod, and down on its lower north eastern slopes (above Pont Cyfyng) is the large pit and workings of the Rhos quarry. Dating from the 1860's through to closure in 1951, this fine example of a medium sized quarry comprises a single pit, numerous examples of water power, and still has many fine building remains.

* [Pic 1] Rhos Quarry - Approaching the site (Aug 1982) *

[Pic 1] Approaching the site (Aug 1982)

Walking along the fine raised exit tramway (from a connection with the Foel quarry* inclines) this is the first real view of the site - a row of barracks - still standing long after disuse.

* Foel quarry (open 1830's to closure in 1880's) was located further up the mountainside and had its own series of four inclines down to Pont Cyfyng, of which the No. 3, a double track incline, had a connection (just over mid way up) with the Rhos tramway. At some time after the closure of Foel this incline was truncated with a winding house installed at the Rhos connection level.
* [Pic 2] Rhos Quarry - View of mill and main tips (Aug 1982) *

[Pic 2] Rhos Quarry - View of mill and main tips (Aug 1982)

From the edge of the one (big) pit - off camera in the bottom left corner - is a fine cutting with tramway leading out to the mill and tips beyond - as seen in Pic 2 above. It is known a De Winton loco worked this area at some stage, followed by at least two diesels (one a 1934 Ruston & Hornsby) and running off to the left (behind the buildings upper left) was the tramway to the connection with the Foel quarry inclines. Note the tramway entrance into the mills end wall.
* [Pic 3] Rhos Quarry - Mills and pit cutting (Aug 1982) *

[Pic 3] Rhos Quarry - Mills and pit cutting (Aug 1982)

Pic 3 (above) shows the view looking back towards the pit cutting with the west end of the main mill building on the left. Tonnages out of here were never great (mid 1880's saw a 1,000 ton average - with 96 tons in the final, 1951, year) and must always have been hampered by having to cart their products to the LNWR at Bettws-y-coed (rails reached there in 1868) and before that to the wharves at Trefriw - quite a distance away. As a subnote, Boyd* records a steam tractor and wagons, purchased for the road haulage, at around circa 1902. The mill building - a typical (and rare to find partly intact - even in the 1980's) caernarfonshire mill with no use of trimming machines as all dressing was done by hand within a series of alcoves. Numerous waterwheels were used here, the biggest being a 40' wheel - possibly from Cyffty lead mine** - used from 1919 to power a compressor. At least one wheel was housed behind the mill alongside the rear wall. Rhos quarry is one of those rarely recorded sites but, thanks to Boyd (again) we know tonnages of 1,000 tons per year were achieved in the 1880's, with a big year in 1950 of 2,310 tons.

* 'Narrow Gauge Railways in North Caernarvonshire: Vol III' - Page 187  /  J.I.C.Boyd  /  Oakwood press

** Source: 'The Slate Regions of North and Mid Wales' - Page 116  /  Alun John Richards  /  Gwasg Carreg Gwalch


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