In 2002, Plynlimon Heritage Trust, on behalf of Pentir Pumlumon, obtained 100% funding to build a footbridge over the River Ystwyth in Pontrhydygroes. The bridge is on the site of a former miners’ footbridge, built in the nineteenth century, when Pontrhydygroes was the centre of a thriving lead-mining industry. The old bridge is thought to have collapsed around 1920. An information board nearby explains the history of the site.

The grant was from Cydcoed, which funded projects in Objective 1 areas of Wales to create woodland or improve existing woodland. Contractors for the bridge itself, built to the Ranger design, were Forestry Civil Engineering. Contractors for the work on the approach paths were Tregaron Tractor Services.

The new bridge provides direct pedestrian access from the village of Pontrhydygroes to the Coed Maenarthur Forest Trail, a circular walk which follows the spectacular Ystwyth gorge, passes Grogwynion waterfalls, and provides beautiful views of the Ystwyth valley.

The photos on this page show the progress of the project from its beginnings in October 2001 to the official opening of the bridge on September 27th 2002. Unless otherwise stated in the captions, photos are © Richard Wilson. Others are by John Luckhurst of Pontrhydygroes, freelance professional photographer Arvid Parry Jones, and Robert Griffiths of Forestry Civil Engineering, who have kindly allowed use of their images on this page.

You can view larger versions of the images one-by-one as a slide show (with caption below). Click the first image to start, then use the arrows to scroll through the story.

The waterwheel interpretation panel (below) contains a goood summary of lead mining activity in the Pontrhydygoes area; click the image for a legible view.