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Report - Cwmorthin Slate Mine - Blaenau Ffestiniog - Wales - July 14

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Lenston, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Visited with The Kwan + Xan_Asmodi​


    Cheers both for a great day out and a pleasure to meet you Xan

    Some history​


    Cwmorthin was run by several different companies as a venture in its own right during the 1800's. The earlier underground workings started at "Lake Level", so called due to the entrance being just above the surface of the nearby Llyn Cwmorthin, and ascended upwards in the mountain ultimately for 8 floors in both the Old and Back Vein. Poor working practices and reckless engineering decisions ultimately led to a substantial collapse and the end of that company.

    A new company took the mine on afterwards and reused Lake Level but sealed off the shattered and dangerous upper floors. Instead, they developed new workings below, going down into the mountain. Ultimately this company sunk five floors on both veins, before itself being forcibly closed in 1901 due to a legal dispute.

    The now abandoned lower floors flooded up to Lake Level, containing an immense amount of water hundreds of feet deep, which remained until the early 1930's. The neighbouring mine (Oakeley Quarries) were at this time driving underneath the old Cwmorthin workings and were uneasy about having such a huge volume of water above them, so decided to drain it out. Special diamond-drilled bore holes were driven through into the deepest parts of Cwmorthin from Oakeley and the water drained out under controlled conditions.

    When the water level reached the bottom, the mines were connected in several places by full-size tunnels and Oakeley (who'd taken over the ownership of Cwmorthin) actually re-opened some of Cwmorthin and put men to work in it. The Back Vein Incline was re-equipped and even a new incline was driven down another 90 vertical feet to open some more chambers.

    Cwmorthin then operated essentially as just another part of Oakeley right up until 1970 when Oakeley itself closed. This marked the end of the mine's working life as a major concern, however, throughout the 1980's and early 1990's the mine was working on a limited scale by a small team of local men.

    Some pics ​

    The walk up​
    [​IMG]
    Xans lighting
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    Compresser Room
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    Water Wheel
    [​IMG]
    Old Walkway
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    Submerged Carts
    [​IMG]
    Dont look down
    [​IMG]

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    The famous staircase with Kwan for scale​
    [​IMG]
    Back out
    [​IMG]
    Cheers for looking
     
    #1 Lenston, Jul 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

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  2. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Excellent photies Lenston, quite some place isn't it.
    Love this :thumb
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Good to see again fella's, it's worth a look if in area, just not when it rains eh :p:

    I hope you don't mind me sharing a little clip we put together on said rainy day (shitting it down) a couple of years back :thumb

    [video=youtube_share;Z54zqAqrznU]http://youtu.be/Z54zqAqrznU[/video]
     
  4. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
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    Gr8 report lenston xan and Kwan for company, it doesn't get much better m8 :thumb
     
    #4 Telf, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  5. Indecisive Moment

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    Some fab pictures with great lighting, Len :)
     
  6. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Those shots are amazing mate, you've mastered photographing these underground spots..... Loving the old mining truck shot, looks like a real life temple of doom down there :thumb
     
  7. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    Some great pics there, i'm still yet to get into one of these slate mines, every time I see one it looks ace.
     
  8. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    I really like the look of that place mate. Great pictures and very well lit. Thanks for sharing:thumb I've gotta get down there sometime:)
     
  9. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Great shots as always mate. Loving the last one, illustrates the sheer scale of the place.
     
  10. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Some great shots. The place looks massive
     
  11. Xan_Asmodi

    Xan_Asmodi Cave Monster
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    It's fucking huge! Lenston, some great pictures in there, dude!
     
  12. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Nicely phtographed mate,the flooded carts i didnt get to see as i assume thats a lower level..reason to go back one of these days :D
     
  13. Xan_Asmodi

    Xan_Asmodi Cave Monster
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    The carts are on the bottom of the Back Vein incline, mate.
     
  14. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    ah cheers xan..really didnt spend as much time down here as the place warrants
     
  15. Xan_Asmodi

    Xan_Asmodi Cave Monster
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    The place warrants multiple visits, I've lost count of how many times I've been down and still haven't seen enough
     
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