Photography by John Ball - 11 October 1998
(with Agfa ePhoto307 digital camera)
I recently (12 October 1998) featured some pictures of quarry-workers' cottages near the limestone quarry at Penwyllt.
In today's Images of Wales we explore the quarry itself, and the remains of the railway line which once passed through this isolated community. And we explain the unlikely connection between Penwyllt and a 19th century Spanish opera singer!!
Above: This lonely and derelict stone building is the first sign of approach to Penwyllt.
Above: Once over the brow of the hill, the limestone quarry workings come into view.
Above: On this sunny Sunday afternoon in October, the quarry was a hive of inactivity!!
Above: Looking to the northern end of the quarry, I spotted this interesting bridge.
Above: The bridge once carried an access road over the Neath to Brecon railway
line. Although the lines themselves have long gone, the track bed remains.
Above: A closer view of the bridge over the railway.
Above: To the north, the trackbed disappears between the mountains, heading towards Brecon.
Above: To the south, we can see the site of the former Penwyllt railway station and
Above: This building is all that remains of the old railway station which served Penwyllt,
and also Craig-y-nos, a mile away down in the valley.
Above: Looking down into the valley of the river Tawe, we can see the sun reflecting off the
complex of buildings forming Craig-y-nos Castle, once the home of the famous 19th century
soprano, Dame Adelina Patti.
Dame Patti (right) was born in Madrid (Spain) in 1843, but lived most of her life in Britain. She acquired Craig-y-nos Castle in the 1870s, and lived there until her death in 1919.
Penwyllt was the nearest railway station, and she owned a private railway carriage and had her own private waiting room built at the station!!
She often entertained royalty, and would meet guests such as the Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VII) when they arrived by train at Penwyllt railway station.