Limestone Quarrying & Local Geography

This has been a significant local industry who’s activities have resulted in modification of the local landscape. For example the Bay of Colwyn is bounded by the distant Little Orme and Penmaen Head whoseĀ  profiles have been modified by past quarrying.


Limestone was often used to construct many of the early buildings in and around Colwyn Bay for example in chapels and churches and was also used extensively to build garden walls in residential areas. Limestone buildings and walls help give a defining character to many areas of Colwyn Bay for example in the centre of Old Colwyn there are a large number of older stone buildings.

Many small old quarries bear testament to the ease with which building stone was obtained and a number of these can be seen in Old Colwyn where they have now mellowed and melded into the landscape.

In other quarries the production of limestone has been on an industrial scale and notable of these are Penmaen Head, Plas Gwilym, Raynes, and Pentregwyddel near Llysfaen. These latter 2 quarries are very extensive indeed and have produced many millions of tons of limestone. Raynes continues to produce and export by sea a very pure high quality crushed limestone used by the cement and chemical industries.

A pure porcelain like limestone also occurs in Raynes and Pentregwyddel quarries and is suitable for high quality masonry work. The celebrated Marble Church in Bodelwyddan with it’s intricate carvings was built with Llandulas limestone.

In the west end of Colwyn Bay and on the flank of Bryn Euryn a small limestone quarry shipped its output via a narrow gauge railway link down to Rhos on Sea. This quarry long closed also specialised in producing a variety of kits for gate posts and fancy wall piers. Many of these can still be seen in Colwyn Bay with two examples to be seen on the entrance wall ends to the pier.