Snapshot Saturday: Elemental Parys Mountain

As soon as I saw that this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was ‘elemental’, my mind flew back exactly a year.  This was when we were in Anglesey for a week with the boys.  This was when we visted Parys Mountain.

What an extraordinary place it is.  Its landscape is brutal, ravaged, yet strangely compelling, stained and despoiled by centuries and centuries of mining .  The copper ore found there was exploited as long ago as the Bronze Age.  The Romans knew it.  By the 1780s it was the largest copper mine in Europe, and the ore mined here was used to sheath the wooden hulks of the British Admiralty’s war ships, protecting them from seaweed, barnacles and shipworm.  Eventually, as the copper seams became exhausted the site was largely abandoned.  An industry that once employed up to 3,000 people was by 1840 giving work to a few men, underpaid, undernourished and ravaged by typhus. The site is stained by leaching ores and acids and pools of chemical waters.  A few grittily determined plants make their home here.


There’s still copper .  They’ve recently discovered zinc, lead, silver and gold.  Work at this extraordinary place continues.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

19 thoughts on “Snapshot Saturday: Elemental Parys Mountain”

  1. Well we went camping on Anglesey many many years ago when Jon was about two years old. I remember we succeeded with the nappy training, and we enjoyed watching a circus, which fascinated Jon. He spent ages afterwards trying to spin plastic plates on sticks.
    But I didn’t know any of the fascinating history, and I can’t say I remember much about the landscape. Really interesting though! I always learn something from your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it would be an excellent place to trawl round in your RV. Which reminds me. You leave tomorrow, don’t you, and we haven’t caught up yet. Enjoy your trip. When do you come back?


  2. What a starkly beautiful place! From the photos I had difficulty telling what was old and what was new. Based upon what you said, I gather that much of the landscape is a result of mining activities hundreds of years ago – though some of it is recent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember your post from last year but had forgotten quite how bleak and strange the landscape is here. It is amazing to me how many different minerals are to be found in this area.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love bleak but found some of this a bit disturbing. Thought of you on Friday; excellent organ recital along with a soprano in Lavelanet church. The space really suited her voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I should be disturbed too. This is a nasty, poisoned environment in which many people suffered and died. Somehow however, I found it visceral and exciting. Ah, Lavelanet. I’m missing the Pays d’Olmes a lot at the moment. Blame Brexit?


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