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Report - Dinas Silica Mine, Vale of Neath, Aug 2014

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Res0nanc3, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Res0nanc3

    Res0nanc3 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited this impressive site as part of a full weekend event organised by Lenston, alongside The Kwan, The_Raw and Extreme Ironing. My first Report for 28 is also my first venture into the Underground.

    History:

    A popular destination today for walkers and thrill seekers, the area of Afonmellte and Sychryd in the Vale of Neath is unique for being one of the few areas in the World where Sandstone has been worked extensively. Formed of exposed beds of hard and pure Sandstone known as 'Silica Rock', found in the category of Millstone Grit. I got a nice handful of this sticky stuff trying to stop myself from slipping from one mine level to another.
    A target for mining since the 18th Century for the purity of the rocks (almost 100% Silica) for the purpose of lining the furnaces of South Wales' booming industries.
    The rock was worked via a series of horizontal passages - known as 'Adits' - at alternating levels, and the rock was transported out of the Mine and to the valley floor by tramways, inclines and overhead cables, where it was then shipped by Tram to the nearby Walby Brickwaorks. In later days, the rock was transported to a Brickworks in Swansea.
    On the Bridlepath up the hillside, original stones from the tramway can clearly be seen in the path, complete with holes where the tramway plates were once fixed. Entrances to multiple mines are clearly visible in the rockfaces, most of which are accessible. The Mine Galleries are large and extensive, and extend over an area some 1000m x 500m. On the return, we met a pair of cave divers who informed us that the lower reaches are deeply flooded and have much sunken mining machinery and tools. Inside it is damp, cool and misty and packed with mining debris - plenty of rocks and pipes and other to stuff to photograph.....and trip over.
    Mining operations ceased activity during the 1960s as the industrial strength of South Wales waned.

    [​IMG]
    Miners hard at work in Dinas Silica

    [​IMG]
    Remains of the old Tramway

    [​IMG]
    small warning for us!!

    [​IMG]
    slanted Mining Adit

    [​IMG]
    looking up into an Adit on an higher level

    [​IMG]
    abandoned mining machinery

    [​IMG]
    what remains of the winding gear

    [​IMG]
    this cable leads off from the winding gear and into the blackness

    [​IMG]
    These supports won't last much longer...

    Information sources:
    www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk and www.magnoliabox.com

    Thanks for reading!! :)
     
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  2. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report and pics! :thumb
     
  3. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Brilliant report, the carts are a bit special and the old shot puts it all together, it was a brilliant weekend and good to meet you :) hopefully Lenston will get you sorted with that torch and we can see some more subterranean stuff from you.:thumb
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Nice first report that, certainly captures the mood inside that place, was a good day :thumb
     
  5. Res0nanc3

    Res0nanc3 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks fellas!! was a fantastic beginning to the underground element of my favourite hobby :D
     
  6. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Some really nice snaps there. :thumb
     
  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Looks good, you brought out the colours of the rocks nicely :thumb
     
  8. D4RK

    D4RK 28DL Full Member
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    In the last photo, I think 2 or 3 of those posts have given way, allowing the rubble to fall onto the path.
     
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