Jump to content
Albino-jay

UK Maenofferen Slate Mine Nov17

Recommended Posts

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

 

38353448672_315b9ec446_z.jpg

 

38328780706_06c5e0c9d2_z.jpg

 

24513140508_9f312f14f0_z.jpg

 

37669253604_79b1caf91e_z.jpg

 

38383762141_924c9c3b21_z.jpg

 

38383783361_6fdd717a01_z.jpg

 

My first ever photo down a mine.

 

37669280744_1b531ffc64_z.jpg

 

37669282574_7b50e51130_z.jpg

 

37669293514_63cdb17a95_z.jpg

 

26608197869_377a8e84c7_z.jpg

 

26608208149_d605989166_z.jpg

 

26608215109_5accf85771_z.jpg

 

26608239129_841a70576a_z.jpg

 

26608261599_2fac972ec8_z.jpg

 

37669317764_25b13ddc9c_z.jpg

 

26608272949_902a1f469a_z.jpg

 

38328929466_3d9c2cf460_z.jpg

 

24513263468_d1125265e2_z.jpg

 

24513273598_d7a3634dab_z.jpg

 

24513278428_0a1da194d4_z.jpg

 

24513281608_291210137b_z.jpg

 

24513286828_0f3bca1570_z.jpg

 

26608290249_16839539cd_z.jpg

 

38353630802_032090cfcb_z.jpg

 

37669357094_de99278225_z.jpg

 

26608308669_ef292bf5d0_z.jpg

 

37669365324_9c1433c8c4_z.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Lenston said:

Hi mate, its a great location and some good pictures there, good to see you over here :thumb 

 

cheers mate. Ive been over here for a while I just never bother posting. a bit busier with it these days so ill try and keep active. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, The_Raw said:

Need to get this done myself at some point soon, looks proper epic.... What's the deal with the explorer bus? :shock:

 

I think he just does runs up around the whole quarry complex. 

 

We thought it was dropping a load of workers off at the live bit until it got closer. 

 

Be handy to get a lift to the top off it to be honest. The walk up is a bastard 

  • Haha 1

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

  • Similar Content

    • By Mikeymutt
      I have sat on this one for a fair while.earlier in the year I made quite a lot of trips here trying to find various bits of it.I had been on a visit here years ago and saw some bits,but I knew there was so much more to it.being near to me it was essy to go regularly to check it out.there is security on the site and cameras.so you just have to be a bit careful.Coltishall is now used as an industrial estate with many old buildings in use.it started off as battle of Britain fighter base during the second world war.fighter planes off various sorts were flown from here including hurricanes and spitfires.after the war it was used heavily in the cold war and was designated as a V bomber dispersal site.basically a back up airfield if the aircrafts hme airfield was damaged.the last planes to be based here was the jaguar jets.these saw service in the first gulf war.with the introduction of the euro fighter Coltishall was deemed none essential and so the station closed in 2006.it was a big question what was going to happen to the site.then Norfolk county council stepped in and bought it and this raised a few eyebrows.there track record is not great.
       
      SERGEANTS MESS
       
      I have visited the officers mess a few times meeting up with pretty vacant and JSP o one time as they visited too.the sergeants mess though is like the officers mess but not so grand.here the NCO's could relax and unwind,there was accommodation provided on the wings and a new block added.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      The more modern accommodation blocks.
       

       

       

       

       
      RECREATION

      As usual with the armed forces recreation is a big factor.on coltishall there was a pool,gym and five aside football plus fields for grass sports.sadly the gym is a no go now.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      BATTERY MAINTENANCE

      This building was for storage off batteries for planes and veichles.jet planes carry some hefty batteries so a place was needed to store them safely,also there was a bit at the front for testing and draining the batteries.it had a morgue feel to it and now known as the battery morgue.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      BOMB STORES AND FUEL

      A different way in was needed to do these as they are a fair way from the main site.and with CCTV covering the way down I did not want to get caught in the open.like most airfields the bomb stores are located a fair way from the main base for safety.and near to where they would take off.here there was a large building for testing the bombs and making sure they were safe.nearby is the fuel stores.not sure if these were for the planes or not.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      Fuelling depot
       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      HANGAR

      AS per standard there are four hangars here.several are in use.most of the maintenance work on the planes went on in here.to the sides there is offices and canteen areas.there was seriously nice airmans graffiti in here.


       

       

       

       

       
       

       

       
      JET TESTING

      With the advancement of jet engines on planes there was a need to test the engines.coltishall had two testing parts,an indoor and an outdoor one.the out door one allowed the planes to back up to the exhaust duct and fire up its engines which would then be passed through the exhaust duct and through the chambers.the test bay is surrounded by thick concrete blast walls.
       

       

       

       

       

       
      The indoor one was a similar style to the other.but this was used for engines unattached to the plane.acroos the way is another building,this was were they would repair the engines,they would then be transported to the tester.clamps on a rail would move across and grab the engine.it would then be moved to the exhaust duct for testing.note the array of cameras around the clamping system to monitior the testing process.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      The indoor one was a similar style to the other.but this was used for engines unattached to the plane.acroos the way is another building,this was were they would repair the engines,they would then be transported to the tester.clamps on a rail would move across and grab the engine.it would then be moved to the exhaust duct for testing.note the array of cameras around the clamping system to monitior the testing process.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      Thank you for looking.I did take lots more photos here but I could be forever on this post .with more smaller buildings.
    • By AndyK!
      This turned out to be a good day out with @SpiderMonkey and Exxperious.  This is a big site, by far the largest RAF base I've explored in terms of area covered, so we spent the whole day looking around it. 
       
      History of RAF Bentwaters
      RAF Bentwaters is a former Royal Air Force station in Suffolk, named after Bentwater Cottages, two small houses that stood on the site of the main runway prior to its construction. Construction of the base began in 1942 for use by RAF Bomber Command and opened for operational use in April 1944. In December that year it was transferred to No. 11 Group, RAF Fighter Command. The runways were constructed in the typical RAF layout of one main runway diagonally intersected by two secondary runways, forming a triangle.
       
      The base was used by the RAF during the Second World War, and then used by the United States Air Force from 1951 until 1993, primarily for efforts during the Cold War. Bentwaters was to play a key role in the defence of Western Europe during the Cold War when large numbers of USAF aircraft were assigned as part of the air arm of NATO.
       
      Current Uses
      Bentwaters was handed back to the UK Ministry of Defence in 1993 and was subsequently closed. Now known as Bentwaters Parks, the site is used as a business park and filming location. Owners are constantly developing the filming and production facilities available at the site. Movies and TV programmes filmed there include Derren Brown's Apocalypse, movies The Numbers Station and Fast & Furious 6, along with some Top Gear stunts, amongst others.
       
      In 2007 the Bentwaters Cold War Museum opened, including tours of the fully restored “War Operations Room” and “Battle Cabin”.
       

      Aerial view of the site after becoming Bentwaters Parks

      Star Wars Building

      The so-called “Star Wars Building” is surrounded by concrete blast walls and contains some interesting spaces including a medical room.


      The Star Wars Building


      Concrete blast walls


      Entrance of the Star Wars Building






      Medical Facility

      Bomb Stores

      Built during the Cold War to securely store nuclear and conventional weapons, the bomb store was heavily fortified with three layers of fencing, razor wire, a swing-arm vehicle barrier, two gates, pressure pads, armoured guard house, guard tower and overhead cables to keep helicopters out.

      We didn’t get passed the gate!



      Entrance to the Bomb Stores


      Armoured Guard House






      One of the storage facilities with overhead cables

      One of the store buildings had a couple of old fire engines parked up behind it....








      Planes and Helicopters

      There are all sorts of jet aeroplanes and helicopters parked up around the site, in varying states of decay and dismantlement.


      Exxperious modelling his entry into "Miss Fighter Jet 2018"



























      K-9 Building

      The K-9 building contains spacious dog kennels.


      K-9 Building


      Kennels inside the K-9 Building




      Hangers

      The site has a lot of hardened aircraft shelters, or hangers, spread out across a vast area. Several are in use by private companies, and others are empty. A common feature of the hangers is the huge sliding doors that form the entire hanger's frontage – these slide to the side on rails to open up fully allowing access for aeroplanes.


      One of the many hangers


      Typical interior of the hangers


      Original sliding door controls


      The framework sits on rails and supports the huge doors, allowing them to slide fully open


      527th Aggressor Squadron Hardened Aircraft Shelter


      Deputy Commander Operations

      This building had been out of use for quite some time and is suffering a lot of decay. The moisture and condensation cause constant rainfall inside the building, which was ideal for plant growth.


      Deputy Commander Operations building





      Runway, Control Tower and Maintenance Vehicles

      We didn’t make it over to the control tower, which is situated within the live business park area of the site. The runway still has some of the maintenance and de-icing vehicles parked up.


      The Control Tower pictured in 1972


      The Control Tower today (poor quality due to crazy crop, as we didn't go over there!)


      North/South runway with the control tower in the distance


      De-icer truck





      The Hush House

      Originally built as a jet engine testing facility with an exhaust tunnel, the Hush House was a soundproofed hangar where fighter


      Exterior of the exhaust tunnel


      Interior of the Hush House


      The exhaust tunnel


      Hush House control booth and viewing window


      Thanks for looking!


      Of course I got a selfie!
       
    • By Stevepg
      production ceased in 2015 most of the buildings demolished and operational plant removed; seems to be visited occasionally by security company whilst it is flogged off































    • By Stevepg
      Must have just missed the last visitor; no longer a pink nightie never mind red dress!! it pisses me off that needy individuals have to leave a tag "oooooo look at me ive left my mark" just get in have a mooch take your pix and fuck off out; its not big its not clever to steal items or cause damage that just causes bigger problems for other explorers

































×