I don’t know when the quarry was first created, but we know that Trallwn Quarry was owned by Edwards Davids in 1880 and we have photographic evidence that the quarry had been established by 1900. Today, the quarry is operated by Hanson Aggregates, and is known to have manufactured a material called SMA used in resurfacing roads in South Wales. The quarry is also said to be famous for its blue pennant stone.
In both 2004 and 2006, the emergency services were called to the quarry to rescue teenagers who had found themselves in difficulties.
The River Taff flows along the eastern foot of Craig-Yr-Hesg, and it’s believed that this is the most likely location of Pont-yr-Hesg, “a great bridge of timber” described in the works of John Leland in 1540, but believed to have been destroyed by the late 1580’s.
Copyright (c) 2010 Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all).
If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.
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Enjoy The View From The Garth as part of my Merthyr Road series on Flickr.
If there’s one part of the landscape that dominates views of both Taff Vale and Cardiff, it has to be the Garth. But what can you see from up on the Garth? That’s what I went up there to find out.
Thoughts On The Day
The day was a tale of two directions. To the south, towards the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff, conditions were very difficult for landscape photography, with the sun reflecting off the Bristol Channel beyond the South Wales coastline. The photos shot facing that way all suffered from limited contrast and colour; I ended up converting those to black and white to make the most of them.
To the east, towards Caerphilly and Taffs Well, the light was much better (well, in between the rain drops 🙂 ). I was able to get nice, crisp shots of most of my subjects, and I was able to leave those photos in colour.
To get up the Garth, I recommend hiking up the road from Gwaelod-y-Garth. A couple of sections of the road are steep, and like me you might find using a walking stick helps with these bits, but for the main it’s not too hard on the legs or the knees! You can reach Gwaelod-y-Garth easily from Taffs Well railway station car park by using the footbridge to cross the River Taff. Don’t be tempted to try a short cut through the new housing estate on the site of the former Pentyrch Iron Works; I couldn’t find a way through from there to the old village behind it, and had to double back 🙁
And, as to what you can see once you get up there …
Favourite Photo From The Shoot
This photo of the General Electric plant at Nantgarw is my favourite photo from this shoot. Being up on the Garth provided the perfect elevation to show how GE’s factory dominates the entire hill side and the communities that it surrounds.
I also like the photo of the War Memorial (simply because it’s a great demonstration how just how much reach the Sigma 80-400 mm lens has) and my shot of the Millennium Stadium in the heart of Cardiff (because it shows just how central the stadium is).
Whilst I was up on the Garth, I also took 14 shots of Taff Vale to stitch together into a single panoramic image of Taff Vale. At Jon Pearse’s recommendation, I bought a copy of Calico to do the stitching, and I’m very happy with the result. The beautiful thing about Calico is that it does all the work for you, and (unlike some competing tools) it doesn’t complain when you want to stitch 14 images together 🙂
Now, getting the final panoramic shot uploaded to Flickr … that was far harder than generating the shot in the first place!
Found On Flickr
This old postcard provides a great view of the Walnut Tree Viaduct with the Garth beyond it. With a lot more care and thought into how the heritage of the South Wales valleys could be protected and developed, this could have been the view that greeted visitors leaving the M4 bound for the Brecon Beacons.
I think it’s a shame that it isn’t so.
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