dsc07634Two weeks ago I walked the Clwydian Way and last week I explored parts of Llandysilio Mountain. Both walks gave me different perspectives on the surviving traces of the 19th-century tramway and its incline which took slate from its quarries on the mountains around the Horseshoe Pass to the Llangollen canal at Pentrefelin. I got to see it up-close for the first time, and also engaged with it from a range of perspectives from the distance, as a horizontal line cutting along the edge of steep and complex contours.

From a distance, here are views of the tramway’s path along the sides of the mountains, seen from the east.

View of the tramway from the east
The tramway just above the treeline
Quarries along the line of the tramway

The incline itself is a striking feature, with its brake house at the top and its steep descent upon dry stone platform.

Here you can see the incline dropping down into the valley
The brake house, a consolidated ruin in the eerie rain of early September
The incline, halfway up
The incline
The brake house close-up, with my brand-new doctoral student Abigail in her hand-woven hat and borrowed waterproof poncho
The heritage board beside the start of the footpath at the edge of the Britannia Inn’s car park.

I also encountered a heritage dimension: beside the Britannia Inn at the start of the footpath up Llandysilio Mountain was a heritage board showing the course of the Llandysilio Tramway and illustrations of how it operated at different locations on its route.