Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here checking in with all my friends. Me and my human went for a walk on the Sunday after Bonfire Night. I don’t like the fireworks, so we haven’t been going for evening walks for the past few days. The big feller promised to take me out for a few hours on Sunday morning. The wind was howling on Saturday night, but it had calmed down by the time that we were ready to get out. No rain was forecast, so the walk should be a guddun!
Minera Quarry and Minera Lead Mines are a nature reserve and country park, about a mile and a half apart in North East Wales. The quarry was initially mined for lead and later for limestone. Limekilns were on the site 400 years ago producing lime. The quarry had its own railway system and was once the largest lime quarry in North Wales. Limestone was still quarried for road building until the closure in 1993. In 2004 the quarry was cleaned up and work began to turn the area into a recreational area. The nature reserve was officially opened in 2018 after being purchased from Tarmac by the North Wales Wildlife Trust for the princely sum of £1.
We started our walk from the car park at Maes y Ffynnon Road. Setting off across a footbridge over the Aber Sychnant. The first thing that we noticed was the size of the limekilns as we entered the site. The next surprise was the number of entrances to the mine shafts as we walked towards the quarry. Obviously, I had to investigate each one. They were all blocked of by metal fencing, so I couldn’t get right inside. My human stood well back in case there were any subterranean trolls lurking in the shadows. He has seen too many Lord of the Rings movies.
Large areas of the vast quarry were fenced off due to the danger of falling and erosion, but a large flattish area opened up before us sheltered by large limestone cliffs. We didn’t follow any particular route as we investigated the area. We followed a path that circled a fenced off quarry, to the edge of the moors. Tempted to hike across the open land to Minera and Esclusham Mountains, we decided to leave for another time.
The path took us back down the hill, through some woodland, to where we had started our lap of the quarry. After crossing a large stony area we came across the Aber Sychnant again. Time for a splash about for yours truly around a footbridge just before a small waterfall. Bliss!
We headed back toward the car by walking along an old mining road alongside the stream. By the time we arrived back at the car park my human said that we had walked for 4 miles. I had probably covered about 6 miles after zooming around and investigating. So, rather than walk the 1.5 miles each way to the Lead Mines, we jumped in the car to drive there.
Mining lead in Minera dates back to at least 1296, but the heyday was in the 18th century. In the 19th century large equipment and building were constructed on the site with a few of these being preserved and still remain.
Me and my human had a mooch around the exterior of the buildings before we explored some of the footpaths on the site. I liked the one that led up the hill through the trees, to a viewpoint. This overlooks the Clywedog valley over to Minera and Coedpoeth. The big feller rested his bones of a bench at the viewpoint while I had a sniff around the bushes. He slurped his coffee from his flask cup while I ate a few treats. We met some people that we had seen at the quarry and they were amazed at how quickly we had arrived at the Lead Mines. They had walked, we had driven. Ha!
After our short break we returned to the comfort of our motor so that I could be driven home by my chauffeur. Till next time!