The Rock Cannon of Farchynys

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One of the more curious landmarks of the Snowdonian landscape are rock cannon, known in Welsh as cerrig cannon.

Often found gathering moss at viewpoints like the one above located on the Farchynys headland, rock cannon are man-made firing points made with stone with holes specially drilled for discharging gunpowder – ┬áreadily available of course in the slate quarries of the Harlech dome. Apparently, a powder-filled goose feather quill was used as a fuse.

Rock cannon explosions would mark important events such as the arrival of VIPs to the area or to celebrate national news such as the the accession of a new sovereign or the birth of a royal baby.

The example at Farchynys was probably created by the Bollington Mill owner Edmund Lomas Oliver who with his extended family spent many happy years on the Mawddach before the Great War.

For more information on rock cannon, see The Rock Cannon of Gwynedd by Griff R Jones, 2002