Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lavino

UK Rhiwbach slate mine Wales January 2016

Recommended Posts

Visited the slate mine with @the Kwan and @trancentral was another exellent trip with two great lads we never fail to have a good laff on our outings. So much to see and thanks to Kwan for his map reading and navigating us around the many tunnels and levels. So on with the history and photos .....

 

History

 

Rhiwbach Slate Quarry, along with Blaen y Cwm, differed from all other quarries in the slate industry in one important aspect. The exit incline from the quarry for the finished product led up and not down.  The classic balanced incline, by which the outward loaded slate wagons brought up the empty wagons by gravity, was not possible.  The answer for the quarry was to build a substantial engine house to power the incline from the bottom, with the haulage wire passing around a sheave at the top.  This engine house also powered the quarry machinery and the underground inclines.  The remains of the engine house are a notable feature of the quarry with the tall chimney still an imposing sight.

The quarry was started at the beginning of the 19th century on a site to the South of the later main workings.  This area developed into a deep pit working which has now flooded.  This part of the quarry was worked out by the 1880's and work transferred to the present site.  The pit working here, started in the 1860's, was later developed extensively underground to encompass eight levels.  Drainage of the underground workings was through a tunnel which began 350 feet below the surface and emerged onto the side of Cwm Penmachno.  The entrance to this drainage tunnel may still be seen today.  When the quarry first opened, the slate was taken down on horseback into Cwm Penmachno and eventually to the quay at Trefriw on the Conwy.  Later the finished product was taken out in the opposite direction, around the shoulder of Manod Mawr and down to the Afon Dwyryd below Maentwrog.

The Rhiwbach Tramway opened in 1863 and revolutionised the transport arrangements for the quarry.  A wharf was opened in Porthmadog and from then on all slate went out along the tramway and down the Ffestiniog Railway.  In 1908 the quarry started to use the exchange sidings at Minffordd to transfer their product to the national rail network.

This quarry was one of the most remote in the industry and it was frequently cut off for long periods in bad weather.  Because of this, the living quarters almost reached village status.  The quite extensive remains of which includes family accommodation, a shop and a school house as well as the barracks for the single men.

Although the quarry occupies a large area, the annual output rarely exceeded 6000 tons and it was closed down several times for quite long periods.  Electricity was introduced to the site in 1934 which somewhat relieved the hardships of life at this remote location.  The last workers at the quarry still barracked on site and this is believed to be the last quarry where this practice took place.  The quarry finally closed in 1951 and all the machinery was removed.  Nowadays, although much of the site is ruinous, there is still much to see.  The impressive engine house, the entrance to the underground workings - now barred by steel girders, the extensive remains of the "village" area and the flooded pit workings.

 

  DSC_0005_zpsd9pviro1.jpg

 

DSC_0007_zps0fmmrwcg.jpg

 

DSC_0008_zpsxrsiuvqd.jpg

 

DSC_0010_zpsvyzmamh0.jpg

 

DSC_0012_zpsr8ixiwbb.jpg

 

DSC_0014_zpsnscqobof.jpg

 

DSC_0016_zpsu32kvoui.jpg

 

DSC_0022_zps9e8wuacn.jpg

 

DSC_0024_zpsmjgnb4ax.jpg

 

CSC_0096_zpsezd6vjua.jpg

 

DSC_0035_zpsfh2cfwbc.jpg

 

DSC_0044_zpsqlra7fhm.jpg

 

DSC_0057_zpstjvi9pbu.jpg

 

DSC_0059_zps1a0htodq.jpg

 

DSC_0067_zpsmtyrehay.jpg

 

DSC_0075_zpsb0e0wy5c.jpg

 

DSC_0079_zpsb4uiw8vc.jpg

 

DSC_0081_zpspfktj8jo.jpg

 

DSC_0082_zpsrjwsf2nd.jpg

 

DSC_0081_zpspfktj8jo.jpg

 

DSC_0091_zpsfzkc3rq1.jpg

 

DSC_0095_zpsfu3q1xvw.jpg

 

Thanks for looking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah, ive been underground since (stupid non-public forum lol), I already had plans so I couldnt make it. Ive also learnt how to use an ascender now and abseil properly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Vulex said:

Nah, ive been underground since (stupid non-public forum lol), I already had plans so I couldnt make it. Ive also learnt how to use an ascender now and abseil properly. 

 

He He, see you at the next one mate :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lenston said:

 

He He, see you at the next one mate :)

Damn right! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats epic mate!

 

Got to love a bit of mining, probably one of the best parts of this hobby :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By SticksandDrones
      This is my first Urbex adventure. I recently moved to West Sussex and though I'd have a look around at some popular and easily accessible sites to explore. I stumbled upon Bedham Chapel and after some quick research, I found the location and travelled there. We drove down a single track road until spotted it in the woodland below us. We parked a few hundred metres further down the road and set out on foot to get there.
       
      This is my video report that I captured and I apologise for the clickbaity title of the video and the fact that it's so weird it looks staged. But it really isn't! My girlfriends reaction to this is real and we were definitely creeped out by our find. If anyone has any idea of what this ceremony was about, please let me know!
       
      Video Link

       

       

       

       
       
    • By SILVERSKULL2004
      Explore
       
      This was a fairly easy explore as these buildings are not as protected as the main college and the park relies on tourists to inform security about any vandals.
      The gymnasium was the hardest to get into as we had to avoid getting seen by any onlookers. So going at a later time of day would be advised.
      You should be cautious if you get further into the student centre as some of the doors looked to be alarmed.
      The classrooms are in the open and not surrounded by anything so you are likely to be spotted by security or tourists.
      We had a run in with security who were quite well mannered and laid back. All they said was that we were not to go near the building as it is a demolition site. 
      Explored with @little_boy_explores
       
      History
       
       
      Student Centre
       

       

      I can't believe they left this in the open
       

       

       

       

       

       
      Gymnasium
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      We didn't need to this door
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
       
       
      Classrooms
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
       






    • By UrbanLurking
      Stoke Hospital Morgue.
      Been closed a fair while now, been here 3 times and never been able to gain access to this part of it due to it being locked off and being caught by secca once! 






    • By The Urban Collective
      The beautiful post-apocalyptic page field mill - Video Report
       
       
    • By The Urban Collective
      A post-apocalyptic look into Granada Studios old coronation street set!
      I felt I had to do this one considering I am a Mancunian and all, but sometimes these expeditions don't always go to plan.
       
       
       
×