Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Geological town trail

This morning I went into town with G to meet our friend Paul who is planning to produce a leaflet describing a short walk around the town (it has to be a short walk because the town isn't big enough for a long one!) and explaining the geology one can see if one studies the building stones.

G admitted afterwards that he had been sceptical about the idea, but actually we had an interesting, if somewhat cold, morning. The old buildings in Dolgellau are noted for the hugeness of the rocks that make up their walls and it turned out that the old buildings are not made up of one stone. Studying an old wall, you can see a variety of rock types.

What we'd expected was that when someone decided to build a house they would have gone to a local quarry for a load of stone. Instead, it looks as though most of the oldest building stone was not quarried but merely collected. (In this area rock just tends to lie around in the fields.) In other words, the houses are more or less dry stone wall construction, cemented together. The later houses, eg Victorian, do have frontages of uniform stone blocks, which G reckons come from from a couple of small quarries just behind the town.

It all turned out to be much more fascinating than we'd expected and we have the basis of a good, informative leaflet. I took lots of picture of the stones, but here are a couple of the more interesting ones to give an idea of what I mean when I say the building stones are large and just more or less as found.

The road into Dolgellau

This chap gave us a curious look as he passed -- as well he might, G and Paul were poring over the wall and he probably wondered what on earth we were looking at. :)

Old garage door

This is the door of what is now a garage but which was originally a coach house attached to the Georgian looking house next door.

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