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.
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.
Thanks for looking
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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