Lundy Tramways (Part 3). The selection of photographs on this page concludes our study of the tramways of Lundy. That rails were ever laid on such a remote island is due largely to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Victorian age, which saw Lundy granite as a money-spinner. Unfortunately, poor management destroyed those dreams, but so much remains because the island is lightly inhabited, and its land – once disused – is not appropriated immediately for some new purpose. As a result, in the 21st century one can wander at ease in the footsteps of the Victorian labourers who toiled here. At the quarry company's height, it employed some 200 people in this enterprise, and constructed terraced cottages, a surgery, an infrmary, a stores and a tavern. The latter two have been combined to form the modern Marisco Tavern, where one can still raise a glass to the memory of those who made all this happen.

Above: The upper tramway on Lundy is much shorter than the lower one, and is not in such good condition. Its ledge can be seen here, beyond the dressing floor in the centre of the photograph. There is plenty of published material on the Lundy Granite Company, but it draws mainly on published accounts, book keeping records and minutes, which give little or no insight into how the tramway network evolved. Which tramway came first? Why was the upper one so short? Was it not completed, or did it fall out of use before the lower one? The questions multiply but, alas, the answers do not! 27th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The upper tramway looking south. On this part of the island, rhodendra used to flourish, but they have been removed; some of their remains are visible in the right foreground, and also on the slope to the left of the trackbed. Rhododendron is a non-native species, and its proliferation on Lundy was destroying the habitats of local plants such as the extremely rare Lundy cabbage, which is found nowhere else in the world. To the uninitiated, the Lundy cabbage looks rather like oil seed rape, especially when in flower, and it is still plentiful above the landing beach. Conservationists hope that the remove of the rhododendra will enable the Lundy cabbage to re-colonise some of its old haunts. 27th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The time hut is situated near the dressing floor, seen two photographs above, and was the base of the quarry company's timekeeper. Some years ago, the hut was ruinous, but it was restored and renamed 'Gade's Hut' after long time island resident, Felix Gade. With the exception of four wartime years, Mr. Gade lived on the island from 1925 to 1978, usually as the agent of the Harman family who then owned the island. Lundy was only brought into the UK's tax system in 1974, so its status as a tax haven may have been of some encouragement to past owners. Lundy is now owned by the National Trust, but managed by the Landmark Trust which rents out its beautifully restored properties to holidaymakers. It is not cheap, but the properties and their furnishings are of exceptional interest and quality. 25th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Above the time hut, the dressing floor, the dressing platform and the main incline, the quarry company built four terraces of cottages, a hospital, a surgery and forge, all near the north end of the island village. Many of these buildings have been lost, but this is what remains of the three terraced cottages that were built nearest to the dressing platform and incline. They housed the quarry manager, the company doctor and the company engineer. Some late-flowering narcissae can be seen in the remains of the cottages' gardens. 25th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The interior of the cottages is ruinous, and no doubt much of the stone was robbed for other building on the island, but the groundplan of the cottages can still be discerned easily. The most distinctive features in this photograph are the two fireplaces. 25th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This view of the cottages from near the island's main road, looking east, shows their west elevation. The footprints of the cottages for ordinary quarry workers can be found nearby, although nothing remains above ground level; however, a comparison between the two does reveal – not surprisingly – that the senior company employees stationed here enjoyed much more spacious accommodation. 26th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Looking east through one of the cottage door frames just before 1:10 p.m revealed the vintage Danish schooner, 'Den Store Bjørn' ('The Great Bear') moored up in Lundy Roads. Presumably, the crew had come ashore for lunch at the Marisco Tavern. Earlier in the day, the ship had been spotted in Penarth Roads, off the Glamorganshire coast. The view must have been similar when craft were calling at Quarry Beach to collect supplies of Lundy granite. 26th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Situated a few hundred yards to the north west of the terraced cottages pictured above stands the quarry company's former infrmary, which stood within a walled enclosure. Like the cottages, much of the stone has been robbed for other building on the island. The associated surgery building has not survived, although observant visitors can find a well nearby which remains but is now securely capped. 25th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The interior of the infirmary, looking north east over the Bristol Channel. As can be seen, the walls were good and thick – a necessity given the prevailing south-westerlies on the island plateau. Another characteristically styled fireplace can be seen in the north east corner of the room. 26th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)

Left: The barn opposite the village stores contains this useful map of the quarry complex, although it was tricky to photograph –.you can see on the right where the light from the window opposite was streaming in. At this size, the map is not much use, but click on it for a larger, zoomable version which will help you to see how the various features fit together. The larger version is so useful that, if you plan to visit Lundy, it is worth printing it on an A4 sheet and taking it with you.

So little development has taken place on the island that virtually all of the remains can be found, thus providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore and understand the workings of this Victorian enterprise. Note that the island is divided into quarters by three walls, called the Quarter Wall, the Halfway Wall, and the Three-Quarters Wall respectively. The Quarter Wall will be observed at the very bottom of the map. 25th May 2015. (Jeff Vinter)