Mwynglawdd Cwmystwyth

Ymweliad Safle i Gwmystwyth 12.04.18

Adeiladau’r hen fwyngawdd Cwmystwyth

Aeth y tîm, yn cynnwys Anna, Ioan, Huw, Courtney, Riley (Owen gynt) a Joseff, ar ymweliad dydd â hen fwynglawdd Cwmystwyth a gafodd ei agor ym 1870 a’i gau’n weddol fuan wedyn tua diwedd 1885. Ni chafodd unrhyw waith cadwraeth na chloddio ei wneud, dim ond arsylwi a chofnodi er mwyn deall y safle yn well a pharatoi disgrifiad o’r mwynglawdd fel y mae heddiw.

Peth nodedig am y safle oedd y ffaith bod car coch wedi’i wthio i lawr un o siafftiau’r mwynglawdd a oedd wedi dymchwel. Mae’n debyg bod hyn yn digwydd yn aml ar y safle ar un adeg, pan fyddai pobl yn ei gamddefnyddio i ollwng sbwriel yno, yn ei ddefnyddio heb ganiatâd, neu’n dwyn arteffactau a oedd yn perthyn iddo. Ffaith ddifyr: roedd 3 char gwahanol wedi’u gwthio i lawr yr un siafft â’r car coch, ac rydyn ni’n meddwl fod car melyn a gwyn o dan y car coch hefyd. Roedden ni wedi ystyried eu tynnu allan, ond doedd dim gobaith gyda’r gyllideb oedd gennym. Ond byddai wedi bod yn beth anhygoel i’w wneud.

Car wedi’i wthio i lawr siafft mwynglawdd

Roedd yn ddiwrnod perffaith ar gyfer tynnu ffotograffau atmosfferig: niwlog ond disglair a dim glaw o gwbl. Yn y diwedd fe gymerais fantais o’r olygfa fel yr oedd i dynnu lluniau. Fe benderfynais anghofio am Ffotograffiaeth Ddogfennol a mynd am rywbeth mwy artistig. Wedyn roeddwn i’n gallu cael y ffotograffau wedi’u printio ar gynfas yn barod ac yn berffaith ar gyfer arddangosfeydd, yn enwedig y digwyddiad Llais Ieuenctid yn Sain Ffagan ym mis Hydref 2018.

Fe ges i amser bendigedig ar y safle a byddwn wrth fy modd yn dychwelyd ar fy mhen fy hun ar wahanol ddyddiau mewn amodau gwahanol i dynnu mwy o ffotograffau syfrdanol ac efallai mynd o dan y ddaear i weld beth sydd yno.

Ceredigion Mining History

Cwmystwyth Mines Fieldtrip

The team, consisting of Anna, Ioan, Huw, Courtney, Riley (formerly Owen) and Joseff, went on a day trip to the abandoned Cwmystwyth mine, which after opening in 1870 swiftly closed towards the end of 1885. No preservation or excavation work was carried out, only observation and recording of the site to gain a better understanding and an updated record of the mine.

Cwmystwyth mine grey stone buildings in Ceredigion with scree slopes behind
Cwmystwyth mine buildings, Ceredigion

Two notable things about the site was the fact we spotted a red car dumped down a collapsed mine shaft (presumably. This was common practice for the site at one point, with plenty of people abusing the site to dump, use without permission or even steal artefacts from. Fun fact; we managed to find 3 different cars being left down the same shaft as the red car we spotted, as we reckon there is also a yellow and a white car stuck below the red car as well. We had planned to attempt extraction, but our budget would never stretch so far. I felt that would have been awesome to do though.

Dumped car in Cwmystwyth mineshaft

The day was perfect for taking atmospheric photos; misty yet bright and no downpour of any sort. I ended up taking advantage of the scene at hand and took what I could. I strayed away from the Documentary Photography and went into something more artistic. This later allowed me to have these photos printed on canvas ready and perfect for exhibitions, most notably the Youth Voice event held at St Fagan’s back in October 2018.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this site and would love to go back by myself on different days in different conditions to take more amazing photographs and maybe even finally go underground for a peep.

Yr Hen Goleg Aberystwyth

Cadarnle Academia

Adeilad eiconig yn nhref glan môr Aberystwyth yw’r Hen Goleg. Cafodd rhannau helaeth o’r adeilad a welwn heddiw eu hadeiladu fel gwesty o gwmpas Castle House, tŷ preifat a gynlluniwyd gan John Nash ym 1794. Dechreuwyd adeiladu’r gwesty ym 1864 a chafodd yr adeiladwaith ei addasu’n fewnol dros y blynyddoedd i weddu i’w bwrpas newydd, a hefyd yn sgil tân mawr ym 1885 a ddinistriodd lawer o Adain y Gogledd.

Nid oedd cost yn ystyriaeth wrth adeiladu’r Castle Hotel, a gwariwyd bron £10 miliwn arno mewn arian heddiw. Cafodd yr adeilad ei werthu am 10% yn unig o’r gost o’i godi a daeth yn gartref i Goleg Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth yn dilyn ymgyrch wedi’i harwain gan Syr Hugh Owen. Prifysgol y werin oedd Aberystwyth i bob pwrpas. Rhai o’r cyfranwyr cyntaf oedd chwarelwyr Gogledd Cymru, a chodwyd arian hefyd drwy drefnu casgliadau mewn capeli a cheisio rhoddion gan ddynion busnes yng Nghymru a chan Gymry a oedd wedi ymfudo i’r Unol Daleithiau. Erbyn dechrau’r 20fed ganrif roedd yr adeilad yn edrych yn debyg iawn i’r hyn a welwn heddiw.

Er rhoi’r gorau i ddefnyddio rhannau o’r adeilad yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, mae gan yr adeilad le arbennig yng nghalonnau llawer o fyfyrwyr, cynfyfyrwyr a thrigolion tref Aberystwyth. Mae’n hynod o bwysig gan ei bod yn nodi digwyddiad allweddol yn hanes Cymru. Yn wahanol i lawer o brifysgolion ar y pryd, byddai Aberystwyth yn anenwadol. Hyd nes pasio Deddf Profion y Prifysgolion ym 1871, nid oedd pobl nad oeddynt yn Anglicaniaid yn gallu dysgu nac astudio mewn prifysgolion. Roedd hyn yn hollol annerbyniol i’r boblogaeth fawr o Gristnogion anghydffurfiol yng Nghymru, ac i Gatholigion a dilynwyr crefyddau eraill.

Mae’r adeilad wedi bod yn cael ei ddefnyddio’n barhaus am 150 o flynyddoedd a mwy, ac fel y dywed yr hen air “Pe gallai’r waliau hyn siarad, byddai ganddynt storïau lu i’w hadrodd”. Mae’n lle anhygoel, yn adeilad i ryfeddu ato, y cafodd rhai aelodau o’n grŵp y fraint o fynd y tu ôl i’r llenni i’w weld. Mae llawer o rannau allweddol yr adeilad ar agor i’r cyhoedd ac mae’n un o atyniadau twristaidd pwysicaf y dref. Mae’n lle i gadw llygad arno yn ystod y blynyddoedd nesaf wrth iddo ddatblygu’n ganolfan i academyddion, y gymuned, busnesau a’r celfyddydau ac yn gartref i westy moethus – gan agor pennod newydd yn ei hanes.

Aberystwyth Old College

Photograph of three archways leading to the curved stone stairs leading up form the main hall in the Old College Aberystwyth
Guided Tour…Old College Main Hall

The Old College is an icon of the seaside town of Aberystwyth. Large parts of the building we see today was built as a hotel, around Castle House, a private house designed by John Nash in 1794. The hotel began construction in 1864 and the structure was slowly reconfigured and rearranged internally both to make it better suited to purpose and as the result of a major fire in 1885 which destroyed large parts of the North Wing.

No expense was spared in the building of the Castle Hotel costing, close to £10million in today’s money. The building was sold at just 10% of the cost already spent on it and was to become the home of the University College of Wales under a campaign spearheaded by Sir Hugh Owen. Aberystwyth was very much the people’s university, among the first to contribute were the slate miners of North Wales. Funded though collections in Wales’ chapels, donations from Welsh businessmen and from Welsh nationals who had moved to America. By the start of the 20th century the building was very much as we see it today.

Despite falling partially out of use in recent years the building holds a special place in the hearts of many Aberystwyth Students, Alumni and the towns people. It’s hugely significant in highlighting a key moment in Wales’ history. Unlike many universities of the time, it would be non-denominational, as until ‘The Universities Tests Act’ of 1871 non-Anglicans were unable to teach or study at University. In Wales this was a difficulty for the large nonconformist’s Christian population, but it was also an issue for Roman Catholics and those of non-Christian faiths.

The building has existed for over 150 years being in near constant use, as an old saying goes “If these walls could speak, the tales they would tell”.  It is an incredible space to wonder about and whilst some of our group were given behind the scenes access, many of the key areas of the building are open to the public, it is a must see for any visitors to their town. This building is a key space to watch in the next few years as it develops into an academic, community, business and arts hub as well as including a luxury hotel, and so the college story continues.

Is this thing on?

Why hello there! Welcome to the Ceredigion Off-Limits travel blog =) 

We’ve been working in and around Ceredigion since 2017 doing what we can to preserve and record anything to do with our heritage. So anywhere between the 19th and 20th Century. It’s a part of the national project we’ve undertaken along with six other groups to do our bit in preserving Welsh Heritage, whether it’s how home life or working life has evolved in different ways and the places where we’ve enjoyed ourselves with local entertainment.

Most of the panel is comprised of young adults, but we welcome anyone from the ages of 16 to 25 and regularly meet in the Royal Commission every Thursday. We research and plan everything from here including where we’d like to visit, our theme for the year and generally the direction we would like to go next. It’s all youth-led which gives each one of us a voice in the way things are run here! It’s great fun and empowering =) 

We are currently on our last year on the Unloved Heritage project focusing on entertainment and leisure times of Ceredigion, including the many cinemas that have appeared and disappeared within and around Aberystwyth, as well as churches and chapels which were early forms of entertainment in the 1800s predominantly. 

Will be sure to post again soon. Keep your peepers peeled!