Let’s Get Wild on Parys Mountain

Blogging challenges, Wales

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week invites us to consider wild landscapes, untouched and unspoilt by the hand of man. I’m going to break the rules (no change there then). I thought a lot about what to showcase, but suddenly had a Eureka moment, and remembered a holiday in Anglesey, off the coast of Wales, some years ago. Anglesey is bucolic, pretty, with mighty seascapes as well. But in the far north of the island is something else, Parys Mountain.

Once, a century ago, Parys Mountain was alive with people: men, women and children hacking deep clefts and canyons into the earth, in search of copper-bearing rock.  Now the area is bleak, desolate, abandoned.  The poisoned sulphurous soil supports little but odd clumps of hardy heather.  Yet this large site, with just a single set of abandoned winding gear, a single ruined mill is strangely beautiful, elemental, and we fell under its atmospheric spell.

33 thoughts on “Let’s Get Wild on Parys Mountain

  1. I get the “strangely beautiful, elemental” landscape…my kind of thing! Such a desolate landscape. I see the winding gear, but the mill?

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      1. And what an intriguing area…I’ve been to the website, and note that there is some wildlife “including birds such as skylark, meadow pipit and chough. “

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  2. We drove the surrounds one day but never actually went to the site of the mine. I agree, Margaret. Ethereal. I think Tish may have some good photos too 🙂 🙂

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    1. I like a bit of bleak. And while I recognise that this is a despoiled site, with plenty of human suffering involved, I couldn’t help but find it thrilling in some way. Maybe the clay mines are the same?

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  3. Brilliant photos and as soon as I saw them I thought I bet that’s been used for filming science fiction and sure enough it was, Mr Google says Dr Who amongst others.

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    1. Indeed. And for all its natural beauty, Wales has many sites despoiled by mining – coal, slate and so on, which are now no longer industrial , but finding their way back to a former life, or by becoming Heritage Experiences.

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  4. Thanks for participating in the challenge, Margaret! It certainly looks like a lonely place. I really like the first shot, where the heather provides a nice contrast to the barreness.

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  5. An unusual take on wild – it certainly does appear desolate. (I double-took a bit on the title as there is a small town in SA named Parys – named for Paris, France.)

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  6. This Parys certainly has NOTHING to do with the French capital! I was quite unwilling to find this place beautiful. It’s despoiled, with a horrible history. But somehow … it just is. Nature will get it back in the end.

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