The Plas was recorded as far back as 1624, when it was the home of a Sir John Lloyd, serjeant-at-law. It was still in use as a farmhouse at the end of the 19th Century, but part-demolished in the 1920s. The Forestry Commission continued the demolition job on the remaining oldest part in 1975, leaving only later additions.Slate Quarrying
Aberllefenni is the home of oldest continuously worked slate quarry in Wales, and apparently now the last underground slate quarry in Wales. You can get an idea of the industrial landscape from the pictures at:
http://www.penmorfa.com/Slate/gallery5.htm, http://www.penmorfa.com/Slate/Today.htm , http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/13269 and http://www.dolgellau.net/thumbnails/aberllefenni/page2.html
and learn about current slate operations from the company website at: http://www.wincilate.co.uk/ -
which contains an enormous amount of detail about slate, the history of the industry in the area, their current operations, uses for their slate, and recent applications. The quarry has its own 2ft 3in gauge railway which brings the slate up to the surface, not to be confused with the Corris Railway, see below.
For the real enthusiast there's a book entitled "Slate Quarrying at Corris", © and published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch 1994; text by Alun John Richards, ISBN 0-86381-279-1. This is an excellent book (despite its often excruciating punctuation) representing a great deal of meticulous research by a real expert. It's packed full of detail, with fascinating descriptions of the now almost extinct quarrying activities in the area, and includes a detailed guide to the remains that can still be seen today.
The Corris Railway
The Corris, Machynlleth and River Dovey Tramroad was opened in 1859, using horsedrawn vehicles, and employing almost 13 miles of 2ft 3in gauge track. At one stage it extended down to Morben, West of Derwenlas, and there was a plan to take it through to Cei Coch, at Garreg, which seems never to have come to fruition. Steam locos were introduced in 1879, and the line re-named the Corris Railway. The original Dyfi railway bridge, of trestle construction, was replaced by a steel girder bridge in 1906. The last train ran in 1948, the line having been run down by its final owners, the GWR, since their purchase in 1930. Passenger trains ceased in 1931, and there were further reductions in 1943, progressive demolition in 1948, following erosion of the line by the river Dyfi, and final removal of the Dyfi railway bridge in 1949.
See: http://members.aol.com/WalesRails/cr.htm for history/background/news of the Corris Railway,
http://www.corris.co.uk/corris00e.htm for details of the Corris Railway Society, and a booklet
"The Corris Railway", compiled by Lewis Cozens, reprinted by the Corris Railway Society.
Alfred W. Hughes
There's a memorial in the form of an imposing roadside obelisk at Corris
commemorating the life of Alfred Hughes (1861-1900). The inscription reads:
"In memory of Alfred W. Hughes F.R.C.S. Professor of Anatomy, Kings College, London, who began his life's work among these hills and died of fever contracted in the South African War while superintending the Welsh Hospital, which he originated and organized. Born at Fronwen, Corris, July 31st 1861, died November 3rd 1900. Erected by public subscription."
He had previously held the post of Professor of Anatomy at Kings College Hospital, London.
There's a picture of his memorial at: http://www.tlysau.org.uk/en/item1/11248