The building still shows signs of its grand past but sadly any possibility of saving it looks pretty slim, although a Trust has been set up to try to preserve it and bring it back into use.
The four-storey building, designed by G. B. Rawcliffe, opened in 1894 as a music hall, before being converted to a cinema in 1938. It was last used as a bingo hall in 1995.
^^^ Not sure about that!
First vid upload for a while, although I have not stopped exploring.
Should be more videos coming up soonish
This gothic mansion was once owned by a doctor who released a mental health patient who sadly went on
to stab an 11 yr old girl to death. I believe he was pretty much chased out of his home by locals (they may or may not of have had burning torches)
Nice place though, there used to be more cars, but sadly there gone now.
The car is a 1964 humber super snipe
and yes I know I spelt doctor wrong on the vid title god knows why
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.
After discovering this place, reading a news article I decided to take a look. Theres not a great deal of history on this place other than the fact it was used as a home for ww2 soldiers after coming back from war. It's been home to several owners of the years however the place has fallen into disrepair. The manor is currently up for sale.
The explore itself went really well, after making our way through the grounds and finding an entrance, we were greeted with a stunning pool, with paintings on every wall. As we moved further on we found a sauna, bar, a superb inside courtyard, a huge basement complete with model railway and what looked like a full size tank made of wood, whoever previously lived in the manor was clearly very creative... The vast majority of rooms have Been emptied out however a few furnishings still remain. We made our way onto the roof when we noticed a man walking down the drive towards the manor, we noticed him walk around checking through the windows before leaving again. Must have been looking after the place and making sure nothing was damaged. We didn't get caught however so that's a bonus!
Since then we have been back however our original entrance had been sealed back up.
Built in 1896 and in continuous use until 1995, this pinwheel style quaker prison was a reflection of a similar one located nearby. You can tour that one for a few dollars and take as many pictures as you like. This one was not so easy....
It was the site of a controversial decades-long dermatological, pharmaceutical, and biochemical weapons research projects involving testing on inmates.
The prison is also notable for several major riots in the early 1970s.
The prison was home to several trials which raised several ethical and moral questions pertaining to the extent to which humans can be experimented on. In many cases, inmates chose to undergo several inhumane trials for the sake of small monetary reward. The prison was viewed as a human laboratory.
“All I saw before me were acres of skin. It was like a farmer seeing a fertile field for the first time.” Dr. X
One inmate described experiments involving exposure to microwave radiation, sulfuric and carbonic acid, solutions which corroded and reduced forearm epidermis to a leather-like substance, and acids which blistered skin in the testicular areas.
In addition to exposure to harmful chemical agents, patients were asked to physically exert themselves and were immediately put under the knife to remove sweat glands for examination. In more gruesome accounts, fragments of cadavers were stitched into the backs of inmates to determine if the fragments could grow back into functional organs.
So common was the experimentation that in the 1,200-person prison facility, around 80% to 90% of inmates could be seen experimented on.
The rise of testing harmful substances on human subjects first became popularized in the United States when President Woodrow Wilson allowed the Chemical Warfare Service (CAWS) during World War I.
All inmates who were tested upon in the trials had consented to the experimentation, however, they mostly agreed for incentives like monetary compensation. Experiments in the prison often paid around $30 to $50 and even as much as $800. “I was in prison with a low bail. I couldn’t afford the monies to pay for bail. I knew that I wasn’t guilty of what I was being held for. I was being coerced to plea bargain. So, I thought, if I can get out of this, get me enough money to get a lawyer, I can beat this. That was my first thought.”
I expected to find an epic medical ward only to be filled with disappointment. The practice was so common I can only assume it was conducted everywhere.
Many advocates of the prison trials, such as Solomon McBride, who was an administrator of the prisons, remained convinced that there was nothing wrong with the experimentation at the Holmesburg prison. McBride argued that the experiments were nothing more than strapping patches of cloth with lotion or cosmetics onto the backs of patients and argued this was a means for prisoners to earn an easy income.
The negative public opinion was particularly heightened by the 1973 Congressional Hearing on Human Experimentation. The hearing was supposed to discuss the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and clarify the ethical and legal implications of human experimental research. This climate called for a conscious public which rallied against the use of vulnerable populations such as prisoners as guinea pigs. Companies and organizations who associated themselves with human testing faced severe backlash. Amidst the numerous senate hearings, public relation nightmares, and opponents to penal experimentation, county prison boards realized human experimentation was no longer acceptable to the American public. Swiftly, human testing on prisoners was phased out of the United States.
Only a renovated gymnasium is considered suitable for holding inmates. That building is frequently used for overflow from other city jails.
The district attorney launched an extensive two year investigation documenting hundreds of cases of the rape of inmates.
The United States had ironically been strong enforcers of the Nuremberg Code and yet had not followed the convention until the 1990s. The Nuremberg code states: “[T]he person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”
The prison trials violated this definition of informed consent because inmates did not know the nature of materials they were experimented with and only consented due to the monetary reward. America’s shutting down of prison experimentation such as those in the prison signified the compliance of the Nuremberg Code of 1947.
You look so precious.