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Report - Pen-yr-Orsedd, Nantlle, Wales 1991

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Steambod, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Steambod

    Steambod 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jun 3, 2014
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    Finally managed to find some piccys of a look round Penyrorsedd in 1991.

    Penyrorsedd is one of several slate quarries around Nantlle, most of which had closed by the 1970s. At the time of visiting the quarry was still in use but only the 'big hole' part being worked by modern methods.
    There was a lot to see, the quarry being on three levels: the bottom level down in the valley was being used (by a coal merchant I think), the middle level with the offices and workshops was abandoned as was the upper level, although there was road access for the vehicles working the 'pit'. We entered through the gate into the upper part. There was the power house/transformer, still with the marble switchboard and some insulators from the 20s, though the transformer has been replaced. I believe this was one of the quarries supplied with power in the early 20th C by North Wales Power & Traction Co. as they tried to create a market for their hydro power by converting the quarries from steam. Also on this level were a couple of warming rooms: a large hut with a big cast iron stove in the middle where workers could go to warm up on cold days. All still there.
    The most impressive features were the Blondins, the aerial cableways used to raise wagons of slate from the pit and dating from the early 20thC. All listed.
    Walking down to the middle level and the workshops were still there looking like they'd been abandoned only months before. Steel stock still in the racks in the stock room, slate cutting machines in the works, firebars from a steam loco in one room. A few surprises: walk around the end of a low wall and you'd find a 15ft square bottomless pit, no railings! Couple of adit-type features (think they were left for drainage when the slate waste was built up).

    Shot of the marble switchgear board (gear had gone) and old insulators in the power house


    Rubbish wagon sitting on track, middle level


    Nearby was the loco shed. I understand somebody later discovered that the metal frame around the edges of the inspection pit was actually the chassis of a (Dewinton?) steam loco.

    Steel stock in the stockroom


    Racking in the stores



    View down towards the bottom level in the valley


    The Blondins



    The 'pit' in use


    Hope this is of interest. Have to look out the rest of the piccys.

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  2. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
    Regular User

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Thankyou for sharing this Steambod interesting about the loco chassis :)
  3. Morrisey

    Morrisey 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Apr 8, 2007
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    Superb blast from the past - great to see some pics of the blondins still standing.
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