Welsh Journals

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THE PENEHYN SLATE QUARRY. "I'd make a quarry."—Coriolamis, Act I., Scene i. This quarry is about six miles distant from Bangor, Carnar¬ vonshire, and one mile from a modern town called Bethesda. It is the largest of all the Welsh slate quarries, and employs a greater number of men than any other quarry in the Princi¬ pality, perhaps in the whole world. The development of the Penrhyn Quarry has, even in the memory of the living, changed the aspect of the country intervening between it and the sea. Where formerly boulders deposited by the Snowdon glacier abounded, are now small level fields with thick boundary walls built with the stones which once strewed the ground. Here and there in the corners of some of these fields may be seen small low dwellings, whitewashed externally as well as inter¬ nally, and these are the houses of old quarrymen. The remains of the forest of Snowdon, consisting of brushwood of various kinds of trees, are rapidly disappearing, but the rude, unculti¬ vated state of the country before the quarry was systematically worked can be still discerned, for here and there are seen small patches of ground in their primeval state, covered with stones, brambles, hawthorns, and pools of water. The names of places, where at present a portion of the town of Bethesda stands, sufficiently indicate the once wild state of the country. Before the late Lord Penrhyn commenced his great improvements in the working of the quarry there were no wagon roads in the country. Sledges were in general use in the mountain farms. These are not altogether obsolete in the present day, being still used to haul peat from the mountain turbary. We were informed by an intelligent farmer that in his father's time there was only one wheeled conveyance in the parish of Llanllechid, and that was a cart or wagon introduced by one of the lowland farmers. The roads formerly were merely zigzag bridle path¬ ways, and the walls on each side so near each other that the panniers on the horses, mules, and donkeys touched now this and now that side of the wall. The cottages were wretched, consisting of one oblong compartment, with a part at the end opposite the fire marked off as a sleeping apartment. The walls of these cottages were from three to six feet thick. The stones