Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dysynni Valley – Area 2 Tonfanau / Tal y Garreg PRN 28651

Tal y Garreg hillfort and quarry as seen from the Dysynni estuary



Historical background

The site of a hillfort, in which, it has been suggested, a small primary bivallate hillfort is overlain by a still smaller and later ‘citadel' which is defended by strong banks and rock-cut defence ditches, possibly an post- Roman/Early Medieval re-occupation overlying a putative earlier hillfort.

The ridge has been quarried since at least the nineteenth century. A narrow-gauge link to the Cambrian Railways was put in c. 1898, superseded by a standard-gauge siding in 1906, around the time it was taken over directly by John Corbett of Ynysymaengwyn, working as Tonfanau Granite Quarries. In 1965 this became a subsidiary of Penmaenmawr and Welsh Granite Co., and operated as Kingston Minerals from 1965 to 19181. It was thereafter worked by Mr G.C. Evans of Aberllefenni, and is now the only operati ng quarry within the Snowdonia National Park .

Quarrying has had a significant impact on the landscape setting of the hillfort and possibly on its stability also.


Key historic landscape characteristics

Industrial landscape threatening earlier archaeological landscape

A ridge overlooking the Dysynni valley, on the crest of which is situated the Tal y Garreg hillfort; to the south west, at Llechlwyd, the ridge is also defended by massive bivallate ramparts. Their chronological relationship with each other is unclear. These have been truncated by quarrying operations. Tal y Garreg has a strong visual relationship with Craig yr Aderyn, on which a further hillfort is located. It has been suggested that as a post-Roman feature, the citadel feature is the precursor of the commotal centre at Tal y Bont in Area 1.

The quarry exploits a NNE-SSW tending sill of coarse dolerite/gabbro, suitable for road surfacing material. Traces of earlier internal arrangements including inclines, chutes, aerial ropeways and gravity assisted crushing plant are visible in and amongst modern haul roads. There were at one time four working levels. The rail connection was removed post-1970.


Back to Dysynni Landscape Character Map



Visit our social network sites
Ymwelwch a'n safleoedd rhwydwaith cymdeithasol