Friday 18 February 2011

Penallta Pit Pony!

I had a nice day on a walk with Mum and Aunty Ashley in Penallta - Mum introduced me to The Pit Pony, sultan!

Sultan the pit pony is a 200 metre long earth sculpture reckoned to be the longest earth sculpture of its type in Britain; which people don't often spot until it is actually
pointed out to them.
It was designed by an artist called Mick Petts, he says that it sort of represents the final freedom of the pit ponies when the collieries closed in 1991. When he was first constructed he didn't have a name, and it is the locals that have called him, or nicknamed him 'Sultan', after one of the famous colliery ponies that were kept in Penallta Colliery.
At the top end, his eye is made out of local anthracite coal.
The hooves themselves, we just left these without anything on and you can
see the coal; shale; and spoil, which is black, and it obviously looks like a
horses hooves.
The original ear was a willow sculpture which, because it's on the highest
point of Sultan it didn't take, so we replaced it with a metal shaped ear.
The big area behind the events area seems very open and barren but this
was actually designed for Lapwings. What Lapwings need is areas where they
can feed in scrapes and wet areas. So we decided we were going to put some
wet areas on the site and Mick, the artist, came up with the idea of making
them into huge footprints so that it looked as though Sultan had walked
across the site.

Frank stands of rock carved with words.

The pretty pictures carved in to the metal in the "UFO"

Leaves and Owls.

The "UFO" as I call it or The High Point Observatory, which is right up on the top of the Penallta site, on the highest point of the old tip.
The artist Malcolm Robinson worked with the six surrounding communities,
that is people from Nelson,Ystrad Mynach,Maesycwmmer,Hengoed,Llanbradach and Gelligaer for the images around the base! Each of the arms points to one of those
communities, the silver parts of the sculpture going up into the heavens but of course it is called the observatory and strangely enough, you know,
most observatories make you look up into the heavens but this one, because
the arms are pointing towards each community, this one makes you think
about looking at the earth.

Its an amazing view from here.
Its beautiful.

Does my look big in this? Hee,Hee!

Another carved stone with wise words ....

Overlooking Nelson.

Mums queen of the world - too much Titanic! Ha,Ha!

Sultan from afar.

Meeting Pongo a new spotty friend.


Sultans head and hoof.

Mum messing around doing a Model pose in Sultan metal ear.

Me and Mum cuddle.

Aunty Ashley doing her model pose in Sultans ear.

The race to the bottom.

I Won - Wahoo!

Looking at the bubbles in the small pond.

Whats going on??


  1. Many younger people have no or little concept of Pit Ponies lives. pitponyman has uploaded a few short videos onto youtube. Search for pitponyman videos and enjoy.