Last Alteration: Sunday 07 April 2013

Cwt y Bugail Quarry (Rigcycle)

GPS Coordinates

52°59'32"-03°53'24" show decimal

Google Earth

Location Point

Ordnance Survey

SH732455

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Online Map

Cwt y Bugail Quarry (Rigcycle)
Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd

Manod is an area steeped in history for slate quarries, with several having existed in the vicinity since the 19th Century, including Cwt-y-Bugail, Bwlch-y-Slaters and Graig Ddu. These were connected to the Rhiwbach Tramway. During the Second World War, the underground chambers of Bwlch-y-Slaters were used to store national treasures.

Work in the quarries has continued on-and-off over the last century, and from 2001 the company McAlpine assumed responsibility for Bwlch-y-Slaters and Graig Ddu quarries, retitling them as a whole as Cwt-y-Bugail (this often causes confusion with the "old" Cwt-y-Bugail quarry, further north!). Briefly closed in late 2007, the quarries are now under the ownership of Rigcycle, part of Lagan Business Solutions.

How to get here from Portmeirion:

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Road: Head north from Portmeirion, then turn right onto the A487. When you reach the A496, turn left and head towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. Turn right onto the B4391 (Allt Goch) and head to Ffestiniog. Once in town, head northeast on the A470, then turn right, heading under the railway and on towards Cwm Teigl. The quarry is eventually at the end of the (steep?) road. (13 miles, 27m) +

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General Directions to get to this location.

This location is private and has no or limited access only. The quarry is active, and you cannot access the site (security is quite vigilant!). It might be possible to view the site from the old footpath that runs from Manod around Llyn-y-Manod.

Filming locations still to be verified/photographed:

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry Cave Entrance

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry

The Five DoctorsScreen Shot
Filmed: 9-11,13-14 Mar 1983
Quarry Cave

Other nearby locations:

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Carreg Y Foel Gron (The Five Doctors). Road (6.5 miles, 15m) : Follow the road back down towards Llan Ffestiniog. When you pass under the railway bridge, turn left and cross back over the railway. Turn left onto the B4391 and follow it until you reach the B4407, then turn left into it and Carreg Y Foel-gron is just on the left.

Routes to more distant locations:

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Portmeirion (The Masque of Mandragora). Road (13 miles, 17m) : Head down the road to Ffestiniog, then turn left onto the A470 and right onto the B4391. Then turn left onto the A496, and then right onto the A487 towards Porthmadog. As you reach Minffordd turn left and head down to Portmeirion.

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Cwm Bychan (The Five Doctors). Road (12 miles, 29m) : Head down the road to Ffestiniog, then turn left onto the A470 and right onto the B4391. Then turn left onto the A496, and then when you reach the A487 turn right and then left back onto the A496. Follow it to Harlech, then turn left up the hill, crossing the B4573 and up until you reach a crossroads, turning left. Follow this, bearing right not long after a standing stone, and this then heads down a valley to a river. Make a sharp left and then follow the road as it head up to the lake. Parking There is a car park at the end of the lake (fee payable)

Additional locations as the crow flies:

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Plas Brondanw (The Five Doctors): 7.49 miles.

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Nant Ffrancon Pass (The Abominable Snowmen): 10.61 miles.

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Powis Castle (Warriors Gate): 38.85 miles.

Production Notes:

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BBC Production Notes are unclear as to exactly where filming took place, referring to the generic "Manod Quarries". It is now believed that much of the filming took place in the then-unused Graig-Ddu quarry.

In the News:

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17 Mar 2007: BBC Wales News - "More job losses at slate company"

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20 Jun 2007: Daily Post - "On the slate"

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24 Dec 2007: BBC Wales News - "Slate quarries are sold for £31m"

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20 Feb 2008: Daily Post - "Rescuing Welsh Slate from between a rock and a hard place"

Trivia:

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13 Aug 2009: BBC Press Office - Information on BBC Drama "Framed", starring Trevor Eve and Eve Myles and revolving around the National Gallery exhibits at the quarry.

General Details:

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The quarry has been extensively mined since filming for The Five Doctors, and no longer resembles the layout as seen in the show.

Further links about the location:

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Rhiwbach Tramway - About Manod Quarry

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MindAt - Brief history of the slate quarry.

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Penmorfa - Article on the slate industry, mentioning the quarry.

Related Stories

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The Five Doctors [9-11,13-14 Mar 1983]: The lair of the Raston Warrior Robot

Information, downloads, photographs and other media are provided for reference and for personal use only (planning visits etc.) - they remain the copyright of their respective authors and may not be duplicated on any other website or media without prior permission.

All screen captures are the copyright of the BBC and appear here as reference to illustrate the location in comparison with how it looked at the time of filming and the present day; no attempt is made to supercede this or any other copyright.






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