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Clogau Gold - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Clogau Gold
This was another expedition to explore potential locations for the geology book.

My UK LJ friends may have seen TV adverts for Clogau gold. Their adverts are sleek and glamorous and they have lots of pretty sparkly things in the big shop in Cardiff. Well, if you've ever wondered where they get their Welsh gold from, that's what we went to see.

If you read the Clogau adverts carefully, you will discover that their jewellery only "contains rare Welsh gold". We suspect that by now it contains homoeopathic quantities of actual Welsh gold. It's not that there's no gold left in the mine, it's just that it costs more to mine and process the gold than it's worth, even allowing for the rarity value of it being Welsh. However, the Welsh angle in the Clogau jewellery makes a good advertising hook and their stuff is certainly pretty, though not the sort of thing I wear.

We drove to Bontddu and parked on the main road then headed up the valley. We soon left the tarmac and headed through a gate up a track that followed the river which runs in a very deep wooded ravine at this point. We passed a small hydroelectric generator in a shed and then reached the St David's mine, which was the most recent of the Clogau mines to be worked. There's no sign of activity now, though the padlocks look new as does the roof of a long shed/workshop.

The first mine workings were up on the top of the hill where you can also see the remains of the tramways built to take ore down the valley.

Old mine tramway

Continuing to climb, here's the next mine entrance after the St David's mine.

Gold mine

Opposite is a stone shed. You can just about make out the word "Clogau" on the door.

Stone shed

Peering through a gap in the door revealed only a folding wooden chair and a few tools. Nothing exciting to be seen, I'm afraid.

No right of way

Obviously, with hindsight what the sign should have said was, "Do not remove this gate and lean it against the gatepost at the side of track." :)

Having reached the oldest workings, we made our way across the rough pasture to a footpath and a stile that eventually led back down to the road. And there, somewhat to my surprise, I met one of the women who goes to the Welsh conversation group each Wednesday morning. She had just taken the rug off her horse, but was considering putting it back on again as it looked like rain. The horse is called Gwenllian, which I think is a lovely name. She had also been brushing her dog and by the side of the road was almost enough German Shepherd fur to knit a second dog.
6 comments or Leave a comment
sartorias From: sartorias Date: April 24th, 2017 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is so beautiful and looks so very old!

"Knit a second dog." Heh!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: April 24th, 2017 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
My friend had left the fur beside the road so that birds could take it to line their nests. Apparently they really like it.
eve_prime From: eve_prime Date: April 25th, 2017 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
How lovely! The one thing our Oregon landscapes lack and could be improved by is old stone ruins.
lab_jazz From: lab_jazz Date: April 25th, 2017 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful photos - you live in a lovely part of the world
asakiyume From: asakiyume Date: April 25th, 2017 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
My youngest is living in Swansea now, and every time I see these rugged, beautiful landscapes you post, I hope she gets out of town eventually and can do some hiking!
kishenehn From: kishenehn Date: May 1st, 2017 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
My last comment reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed this post ... but that I'd forgotten to say so. So I'm doing it now! :)
6 comments or Leave a comment