Rich history of the Black Mountains’ white gold revealed

Friday 22 August 2014

A new self-guided multimedia heritage trail telling the rich history of the Black Mountain lime quarries has been launched

  • Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

    Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

  • Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

    Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

  • Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

    Launch of the CALCH trail which tells the history of the Black Mountains lime quarries

The CALCH trail, created by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, uses way markers, an audio guide, leaflets and a mobile phone app to guide visitors around the “white gold” quarries of the Black Mountains.

Culture Minister John Griffiths and local born broadcaster Roy Noble officially launched the trail at the Black Mountain Centre in Brynaman. Also attending were many of the local volunteers who assisted Dyfed Archaeological Trust with the survey, excavation and conservation works on the site throughout the three year project.

The £300,000 project has received funding from the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The Black Mountain Centre, Brecon Beacons National Park and the National Museum of Wales were also involved in delivering the project.

Mr Griffiths said: “I am very pleased we have been able to support this exciting project that will help tell the forgotten story how the limestone industry helped build Wales. I believe it is important that heritage sites are accessible and enjoyable places both for visitors and local people. The Black Mountain Quarries Trail will further strengthen appreciation of Wales’ historic environment.”

Duncan Schlee, CALCH Project Manager, said: ”It has been a great pleasure working with local communities and our partners to research the history of the lime industry on the Black Mountain. The trail and audio tour around the quarries will bring this forgotten aspect of Carmarthenshire’s history to life for visitors to this beautiful part of the Brecon Beacons National Park."

Ken Murphy, Director, Dyfed Archaeological Trust, added: "The CALCH Project has been a great opportunity for the Trust to develop new working partnerships and to promote the understanding and appreciation of Wales’ industrial heritage to local communities and visitors to Carmarthenshire."

Mr John Cook, Chief Executive for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to support the launch of the new CALCH trail.  It’s projects like these that dramatically raise the profile of the accessible heritage attractions we have on our doorstep.  Engaging with local communities and visitors through our local heritage and diversity means that initiatives like these will continue to inspire and enthuse others to share our history and tell our stories.”

The trail includes information at the Black Mountain Quarries site supported by an audio trail on the Black Mountain Quarries app, which is available to download on all mobile phone operating platforms. Way markers around the site and a leaflet will help direct people around the quarries and prompt them when to listen to the commentary. Audio files are available to download to play on Mp3 players.

CALCH received £130,000 from Cadw's Heritage Tourism Project which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, and £100,000 from the Welsh Government Aggregate Levy Fund for Wales.  The project also received £36,000 from the Brecon Beacons Trust and £34,000 from the Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainability Fund.