Ruined slate-quarry buildings, Trwyn Llwyd, near Trefin

Ruined slate-quarry buildings, Trwyn Llwyd, near Trefin

Here the Wales Coast Path passes the ruined buildings of Trwyn Llwyd slate quarry. The quarry itself was beyond the cliff edge. Please stay away from the edge and do not attempt to climb down to the old quarry.

The OS map of 1888 marks an “Old Quarry” north of the buildings, and it’s thought quarrying may have started here in the late 18th century. There was also an inland quarry pit, a little east of here. The same map shows a short length of railway track running between the cliff and the quarry buildings, alongside which a “Tank” is noted – possibly water storage for the quarry’s stationary steam engine.

The main building here was the mill, where up to 30 tons of slate per month were processed in the 1860s. That was a time of investment here, after the quarry business was merged with those around Porthgain and Abereiddi.

Originally Trwyn Llwyd slate was processed on the shore and loaded into boats. The smaller building housed the boiler for the steam engine, which powered the mill and hauled up slate from the quarry using chains. Previously the chains were attached to a whim – a capstan powered by a horse walking in a circle.

Ultimately the quarry’s terraces reached most of the way down the cliff face. An advert when the quarries here and at Abereiddi and Porthgain were for sale in 1860 boasted that “refuse from the quarries can be thrown direct into sea”! The quarries were put up for auction again a year later, this time in separate lots. Trwyn Llwyd included cranes, chains and dressing blocks.

In 1890 the quarry’s products included windowsills, gravestones, flooring, mantelpieces, gateposts and parts for cisterns. The quarry was sold again in 1898 in a group of local farms. It included a steam engine and mechanical planes. The auctioneers said that slates and slabs raised from the quarry “have proved of superior excellence and fine quality”.

Just a year later, scrap merchants were invited to bid for the quarry’s engines, boilers, pulleys, shafting, flywheels, saw benches, trams (basic railway wagons), rails and other metal assets.

Sources include the National Library of Wales and ‘The Slate Quarries of Pembrokeshire’ by Alun John Richards, Llygad Gwalch 2013

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