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  1. Visited with The Kwan on a rainy Saturday, some lovely bits left in the area and we missed quite a bit so theres always an excuse for a return visit. Some History The name Ratgoed derives from “Yr Allt Goed”, which means the steep, wooded hillside. Ratgoed mine was also sometimes known as “Alltgoed”. The Ratgoed slate workings lie at the head of what was originally called Cwm Ceiswyr but became known as Cwm Ratgoed because of the quarry. It lies north of Aberllefenni and northwest of Corris in, what is now, the Dyfi Forest. The slate that was quarried at Ratgoed was the Narrow Vein. This runs from south of Tywyn, on the coast, to Dinas Mawddwy about 18 miles inland and follows the line of the Bala Fault. The Narrow Vein was worked along its length at places such as Bryneglwys near Abergynolwyn; Gaewern & Braich Goch at Corris, Foel Grochan at Aberllefenni and Minllyn at Dinas Mawddwy. The slate at Ratgoed dips at 70° to the southeast, the same as Foel Grochan. Ratgoed was a relatively small working, it was worked from around 1840 until its closure in 1946. Pics [ [ Le Kwan Thanks for looking
  2. Ok i was in Manchester looking at these (coz im a geek apparently ) http://ancoatspeeps.com/?p=home 1. 2. 3. Now, in the same area is this..... 4. which ive wanted to see for some years .....so i go on a mooch ,see the front door is open , pop my head inside and see a guy in a suit talking to two more guys in suits.....erm erm can i take some photos ...to cut along story short ..yes..was the answer 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. All reet back to the Slate Visited with M+M , a great explore a little cheezy but hey hoe a mixture of industry and rural 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. NO ENTRY TO PUBLIC.........really dsnt enter my head and after seeing a sign saying this made me all the more determined to get under or over the fence ....breath in move forward breath out and entry is acquired....this had to be the most stunning part of the quarry, check this out .............. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Thanks for looking Oldskool
  3. One from back In Jan As the weekend approached, as did another explore for myself @eoa and @monk. Seems we are a good trio of bell ends and something usually goes wrong somewhere down the line and Moel Fferna wasn’t going to let us (or shall I say me) down. Anyway, Myself and @EOA started the day with our customary maccies breakfast (minus the spiced cookie latte this time) we then met @Monk nearer to the mine. We’d heard the walk was a bit of a pig upto the mine so we opted to utilise the jeep which took us as close as we could manage, but still a bit of a walk away. Ah well it saved our legs A LOT. The weather was, well, yeah…. you can see from the pictures! So after a bit of a trek through the snow we found the air shaft and @EOA worked his ropey magic and rigged up 2 lines for us noobz (me and @Monk) to covert absolute pro umbex urbseil down the shaft to have amooch around the mine! Top day, the mine is bloody huge, unfortunately we didn’t find the bridge of death as we only had wellies and it was a tad too deep for us to carry on that way. So a return trip isin order. As I said earlier, Moel Fferna wasn’t to let me down. As I was trying to ascend out of the chamber I put all of my weight on my right leg pushed up and POP my knee let go. I managed to get myself out and hobble back to the car. Turns out I have partially tore a ligament off my bone and damaged my meniscus. YAY. All in all another fucking epic mooch with two top blokes in some mint weather conditions playing with ropes, beers, mines and cameras. AWESOME Update. So I have been to the fracture clinic I'm awaiting a scan but the consultant is very confident i have torn my cartilage and will need keyhole surgery. Great History Early workings tended to be in surface pits, but as the work progressed downwards, it became necessary to work underground. This was often accompanied by the driving of one or more adits to gain direct access to a Level. In some rare instances, such as here (Moel Fferna), there is no trace of surface workings and the workings were entiely underground. Moel Frerna has chambers which follow the slate vein, connected via a series of horizontal Floors (or 'Levels'). The chambers vary in size and are divided by 'pillars' or walls which support the roof. The floors are connected by 'Inclines' which used wedge-shaped trolleys to move trucks between levels. At Moel Fferna a team could produce up to 35 tons of finished slate a week. In 1877 they received about 7 shillings a ton for this. After paying wages for the manager, clerks and 'trammers' the company could make a clear profit of twice this amount. This system was not finally abolished until after the Second World War. Pics Here we are at the top of the airshaft whilst @EOA rigs it up. (don’t we look like pros?) @monk abseiling in. we did have an electron ladder there too but its bloody awkward so it was easier to just abseil in past it. @EOA urbseiling in The first few sections of the mine are very damp and a pain to photograph due to the amount f moisture in the air. This was the flooded section. It was just above wellies but we couldn’t be arsed getting wet feet. @EOA did though because he is a balloon. @Monk snapping away It’s hard to gauge the size of these chambers even with myself in the shot you don’t get a true feel for the sheer scale of them Pikied carriages RIP ladder Some of the Graff 33ri3 wheelbarrow pushed around by the headless mine man. On the 12th hour of everyday you can hear the squeak of the pikied wheel. There was plenty of cool little walkways between the chambers. A winch still in situ up at the top too. The most photogenic rusty old pump in existence. Last but not least another groupshot underneath the cog support. Oh and if anyone is interested a quick video chucked together. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dc_8V5x3KDo" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  4. This was my first ever trip down a mine. So a massive thanks to @EOA for making it happen and another massive thanks to @monk and his daughter for being excellent guides. It was bloody awesome, I could've spent all day poking around the sheds at the top tbh. Underground however was just amazing. It's bloody big this place so a return visit over a couple of days with many more mine beers is a must. History copied from the ever faithful Wikipedia. Obviously. Maenofferen was first worked for slate by men from the nearby Diphwys quarry shortly after 1800. By 1848 slate was being shipped via the Ffestiniog Railway, but traffic on the railway ceased in 1850. In 1857 traffic resumed briefly and apart from a gap in 1865, a steady flow of slate was dispatched via the railway. The initial quarry on the site was known as the David Jones quarry which was the highest and most easterly of what became the extensive Maenofferen complex. In 1861 the Maenofferen Slate Quarry Co. Ltd. was incorporated, producing around 400 tons of slate that year. The company leased a wharf at Porthmadog in 1862 and shipped 181 tons of finished slate over the Ffestiniog Railway the following year. During the nineteenth century the quarry flourished and expanded, extending its workings underground and further downhill towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. By 1897 it employed 429 people with almost half of those working underground. The Ffestiniog Railway remained the quarry's major transport outlet for its products, but there was no direct connection from it to the Ffestiniog's terminus at Duffws. Instead slate was sent via the Rhiwbach Tramway which ran through the quarry. This incurred extra shipping costs that rival quarries did not have to bear. In 1908 the company leased wharf space at Minffordd, installing turntables and siding to allow finished slates to be transshipped to the standard gauge railway there. In 1920 the company solved its high shipping costs by building a new incline connecting its mill to the Votty & Bowydd quarry and reaching agreement to ship its products via that company's incline connection to the Ffestiniog Railway at Duffws. Modern untopping operations at Maenofferen. The uncovered chambers of the Bowydd workings are clearly visible In 1928 Maenofferen purchased the Rhiwbach quarry, continuing to work it and use its associated Tramway until 1953. When the Ffestiniog Railway ceased operation in 1946, Maenofferen leased a short length of the railway's tracks between Duffws station and the interchange with the LMS railway, west of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Slate trains continued to run over this section until 1962, Maenofferen then becoming the last slate quarry to use any part of the Ffestiniog Railway's route. From 1962 slate was shipped from the quarry by road, although the internal quarry tramways including stretches of the Rhiwbach tramway continued in use until at least the 1980s. The quarry was purchased by the nearby Llechwedd quarry in 1975 together with Bowydd, which also incorporated the old Votty workings: these are owned by the Maenofferen Company. Underground production at Maenofferen ceased during November 1999 and with it the end of large-scale underground working for slate in north Wales. Production of slate recommenced on the combined Maenofferen site, consisting of "untopping" underground workings to recover slate from the supporting pillars of the chambers. Material recovered from the quarry tips will also be recovered for crushing and subsequent use. Anyway onto my poto’s My first ever photo down a mine.
  5. Hello all! Time for my second post here.. This time something different again then my previous one. Last Sunday a friend and i had no clue what to do.. So we've left somewhat late in the morning to this "little-big" slatemine, that i still had to visit.. It used to be a bigger mine back in the days , but due to flooded levels and collapses that happend during the years, only a small bit of it is still explorable. Complete darkness once you've turned off the flashlight, and only the noise of water falling on the floor. Still some equipment was left inside this mine... i wonder what the flooded levels have left.. It looks like their have been divers in there before.. Spend 3hours and a half inside of the mine.. Once outside we where back in the snow ! Was actually way warmer inside of it then outside Was a bit difficult lighting out all the pictures, but the end result is good afterall Anyway one great piece of history! Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr Light in the darkness by Laurens Dufour, on Flickr
  6. This former slate factory started in 1897. In 1995 the factory was closed and it's still abandoned. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
  7. Only 4 pictures made it to the final selection 1. Slate mines by Dafne Op 't eijnde, on Flickr 2 Slate mines by Dafne Op 't eijnde, on Flickr 3 Slate mines by Dafne Op 't eijnde, on Flickr 4 Slate mines by Dafne Op 't eijnde, on Flickr
  8. The Trip Visited with The Kwan An amazing location with so much to see in the area, weather wasnt amazing but just added to the moodyness of the place. This was a reserve location as we couldnt find the other which will be on the return visit. Possibly July there will be a camping trip with bbq and beers with some mines and various other things in this area, i will be posting up the trip details shortly which will be open cross forum and open to everyone so please get in touch if you are interested. History Slate was first discovered here in the 1830's when quarrying commenced on a very small scale. Operated by a string of different owners each developing and enlarging the workings. But the story is not one of steady expansion. The ups and downs of the slate trade, the difficulties of raising capital, geological problems and dangerous underground working practices also brought periods of closure and industrial unrest. Peak output occurred in the 1880's when over 6000 tons per year of saleable slate was mined. This was also the period of greatest employment when over 200 workers were engaged. A major blow to the quarry occurred in 1900 when the "Great Fall" occurred underground, in the south eastern section of the workings. This destroyed a large part of the most profitable reserves. From this major blow the quarry never fully recovered. The first world war brought about a period of complete closure followed by reopening in 1919 and a brief flurry of activity. A slow lingering existence followed until final closure in 1930. However in the hope of the market for slate improving it was decided to keep the underground pumps working. This proved to be a futile gesture and the pumps were finally turned off in 1948 causing much of the underground workings to flood. The life of the quarry had ended and the scrapmen moved in. The final ignominy being the wholesale demolition of many of the quarry buildings to recover the workable slate. This accounts for the ruinous state of much of the surface remains today. Some Pics Thanks for looking
  9. By chance, I once discovered the access on a hike. Yesterday I went there again to explore it. The complex was not huge inside but still bigger than I had expected. On the internet I could not find any information about the place. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  10. Was great to be back hiking in Snowdonia, and although our weekend was focused around hiking & beer, we found ourselves having a quick peek back at this derelict mine near the lovely village of Corris. We stumbled across this a few years back, and I was keen to have a proper look round, and see inside the ‘binoculars’. These are testing bore holes apparently. It looks like a large section has crumbled away, as the tubes continue on another outcrop. The slate mine was worked between the 1860s and the early 1950s. Explored with KM punk… and a reluctant Non member. through the binoculars into the mine thanks for looking
  11. This was the 2nd quarry i visited on this weekend away and all i can say is wow, the place is absolutely huge like nothing ive seen before, i spent 10 hours on site and i dont think i saw even a 3rd of it, didnt get too see any of the low down underground levels as i just concentrated on the overground stuff on this visit, absolutely loved the slate buildings, pump houses, old rickety ladders everywhere, the scenery and just everything about the place, cant wait to go back again and explore the other levels and go right to the very top as there is so much that i havent seen, i think it will take me at least another 5 visits to see all that i want too see there. sorry for the 20 pics but i took so many its hard too choose the ones i like the most. enjoy. small bit of history: The Dinorwic Slate Quarry is a large former slate quarry, now home to the Welsh National Slate Museum, It was the second largest slate quarry in Wales, indeed in the world,It covers more than 700 acres (2.8 km2) consisting of two main quarry sections with 20 galleries in each and a number of ancillary workings. Extensive internal tramway systems connected the quarries using inclines to transport slate between galleries. The first commercial attempts at slate mining took place in 1787 and continued through different ownerships up until 1969. it was producing 100,000 tonnes a year in its peak and employing over 3000 people.
  12. This was the first of 2 slate mines/quarry's that i visited this weekend, the scenery blew me away at this place as much as the explore itself, plenty to see here with all the old slate buildings pump houses etc, big lake itself is used by divers and hides alot of the good stuff, the lake is up to 150 feet deep and under the water their is a vast system of tunnels and also, cars, vans, cranes, houses etc etc, would love too see it but i don't do scuba diving and also there is a few divers each year that die here as they get caught out by the sudden drop off's etc. The quarry was in production from 1820 to 1970 Great explore and somewhere i will 100% be going back to next year as there's still plenty i didnt see. hope you enjoy the pics. alan.
  13. Hosting a trip for a small contingency from up North it was time to access the elusive winding station and find the entrance to the mine. The day got off to a bad start after chickens had been routed by fox and I'd had to decapitate injured ones at 5.30 am. Party arrived and we set off to a few local locations before going to said quarry. After initial mooch We finally found place which accessed winding station and the mine. Low batteries, time and lighting conditions drew this visit to a close but the entrance to the mine was stunning and still had the old railway track and point switches. The winding station was rewarding and worth the wait - albeit for a few shots. Watch out for part 3. On with the pics and enjoy- and yes I was playing with my new toy More kit left in the main engine shed And somewhere around here was the entrance - or was it? Finally we found a slightly wet way in and voila - the winding station Not huge amounts in here but what there was I loved. You dont see many doors like this Not sure what this was used for And finally the winding mechanism
  14. In between renovations we took a trip out to one of the many slate quarries. Maenoffren opened in 1800 and by 1861 was knocking out 400 tons of slate a year. At its peak the quarry employed over 420 people, half of whom worked underground. Like every other quarry demand for welsh slate slowed due to cheap foreign imports. Production ceased in 1999. The quarry reopened and production of slate recommenced on the combined Maenofferen site, consisting of "untopping" underground workings to recover slate from the supporting pillars of the chambers. Material recovered from the quarry tips is also be recovered for crushing and subsequent use. Let the pictures commence: The winding station back then: ] The winding station now: Sadly demolition work on some of the old working buildings has started: Still some nice things to experience - and yep I like my macro:
  15. The trip....Oldskool and Host, another epic fail turns good... Arrived in Wales early morning (like we do ),took a short walk to find the pump house . I thought to myself this place we be a doddle being so remote , how wrong was i... We spent a good hour and a half looking for a way in , even crawling under the boilers at the back and scaling old roofing beams ...this place is like fort knox . The only place we could think of was to one side of the huge pipe running out of the pump house , alas on closer inspection it was back filled with scaffolding planks and lumps of cast iron and steel (epic fail) Anyways no to be disheartened we set about the pretty big task of shooting the rest of the quarry ,after about two hours we arrived back at the top of a hill near the pump house ....by this time Host had disappeared, i could hear voices round the corner so went to see what was going on , i came across Host talking to a man in shorts and a big black hat ( saved again by a dog walker ) Quote Host " This man knows were the engine's custodian lives , well kind off ".. Brief directions ...up the hill, he drives a four wheel drive and his name is John. So of we went ten minuets later we approached an elderly gentleman stood in his garden with his 3 dogs ....." hi could you tell us if john lives around here ? " He replies im John..............NO WAY.........!!!!! Ok onward, he takes us in his jeep and gives us a guided tour of the whole quarry and explains about every out building on there he even drove to the house he was born in and showed us his newly planted gardens, this went on for about a hour then we arrived at the pump house ..... 1. Dorothea itself opened in 1820 and remained in production until 1970. The land the quarry stands on was owned by a Richard Garnons (1774 -1841) but the main driving force for quarrying in the valley was a Lancastrian - William Turner (1776 -1857). The original name for the quarry was Cloddfa Turner but it was renamed Dorothea after Gamona's wife. The workings grew out of a series of smaller workings with names such as Hen Dwll, Twll Bach, Twll y Weirglodd, Twll Coch and Twll Fire. Over the years these pits were deepened and amalgamated into the large flooded pit seen today. Turner gave up his interest in the quarry in 1848 and following a brief period of closure it was acquired by a family called Williams. He married into the Rev John Jones of Talysarn's family & John Hughes Williams was from Llangernyw near Denbigh. bought shares in the Company set up by Jones & local Nantlle quarrymen (though half the money was raised outside the area). Williams gradually bought out most of the others by the 1860s, and his family continued in charge thereafter. ________________________________________ In 1828 the Nantlle Railway opened giving the quarries of the valley a route to the sea. The horse powered railway was of 3' 6" (105cm) gauge and ran originally to Caernarfon. From 1872 the tramway ran only as far as Talysarn where connection was made with the national rail network. The Nantlle Railway continued in use, as a part of British Railways, until 1963 and remained horse worked until a couple of years before closure. The final two horses in use were "Prince" and "Corwen". After the horses were retired a tractor was used for the diminishing amount of traffic. Over its lifetime the route of the railway was moved many times as the quarries expanded. Much of its route is traceable today as far as the easterly terminus at Penyrorsedd Quarry. Dorothea Quarry used the Nantlle Railway to dispatch slate from 1829 until 1959. By the 1840's production at Dorothea had built up to about 5,000 tonnes per annum and had reached over 17,000 tonnes by the 1870's. The future looked good for Dorothea but serious flooding problems then befell the quarry. In 1884 several men were drowned when the pit was engulfed. In 1895 the Afon Llyfni which flowed through the valley was realigned and deepened to flow to the south of the slate workings. This cured the flooding problems to some extent but as the workings deepened, the need to continually pump out water became a constant drain on the quarry's profits. In 1904 the decision was taken to install a Cornish Beam Engine on site to replace the waterwheels. 2. 3. 4. 5. The pump .... At the beginning of the 20th Century, Dorothea quarry was urgently in need of a long term solution to the ongoing problem of keeping the workings, by then over 500 feet deep, free of water. It was decided to purchase a Cornish beam engine. An old but reliable technology. The engine was built by Holman Brothers and was the last but two ever built. It is also believed to be the newest Cornish beam engine still in existence. The engine was able to pump 10 gallons of water per second from a depth of over 500 feet. The engine started work in 1906 and served until 1951 when it was replaced by a 60hp electric pump. Apart from a brief period in 1956 the engine has been disused ever since. Following closure of the quarry in 1969, the site has been owned by several companies, each with its own priorities and plans - none of which have included the engine. This has made the restoration and maintenance of this important artifact extremely difficult. In fact, grants have been made available towards its restoration but have subsequently been withdrawn because of the problems of access. The enginehouse is a Grade 1 listed structure which is the same as Caernarfon Castle. Despite this, and despite the valiant efforts of the engine's custodian, it continues in a state of limbo. What should be one of North Wales finest examples of industrial heritage is now a forgotten link to a golden age. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Thanks for looking Oldsk@@l.........
  16. Visited with Obscurity ,SpaceInvader .. We didnt have as much time as hoped for But had a good wander around the spur we took and took the pictures of the areas we had seen,packed up and as we walked out i could see a fair few more shots to make a half decent report.But cold wet and tired we headed out into the quarry to snap the beauty that was there,No joy as pissing down with rain..There will be a return visit Bit of history Thanks for looking
  17. Thought I would post this one up as it was a fave of mine I visited here with Walsh now Landsker and as usual we had a fantastic visit but not without drama. I found Moel Fferna to be a bit like Penarth, cold and unfriendly it was so huge that taking pictures and video was very difficult due to every lumin being sucked into the chasmic spaces and dark slate. here is some video that I took although due to there being very little I have padded it with some earaching techno music:thumb but check out walsh's carbide headlamp in the video http://youtu.be/DKkaAixqtOs History Early workings tended to be in surface pits, but as the work progressed downwards, it became necessary to work underground. This was often accompanied by the driving of one or more adits to gain direct access to a Level. In some rare instances, such as here (Moel Fferna), there is no trace of surface workings and the workings were entiely underground. Moel Frerna has chambers which follow the slate vein, connected via a series of horizontal Floors (or 'Levels'). The chambers vary in size and are divided by 'pillars' or walls which support the roof. The floors are connected by 'Inclines' which used wedge-shaped trolleys to move trucks between levels. At Moel Fferna a team could produce up to 35 tons of finished slate a week. In 1877 they received about 7 shillings a ton for this. After paying wages for the manager, clerks and 'trammers' the company could make a clear profit of twice this amount. This system was not finally abolished until after the Second World War. getting in was fun via an electron ladder that kept catching the eye hooks on my boots. The cog and pipeline A huge chamber, the size of these spaces has to be seen to be believed shonkey bridge et moi some really old graff....Im sorry miss jackson Oooooh! Wild woodies top of an incline, we found what was once a wooden winch Walsh lining one up...check out the roof which was one of its best features Tunnels off in all directions, Moel Fferna was awesome in its massiveness cold and unfriendly The way out Thanks for looking check the video..earplugs advisory:thumb http://youtu.be/DKkaAixqtOs .
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