Report - Cwmorthin slate mine, North Wales, July 2014

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The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Mar 28, 2011
At the risk of having Cwmorthin overload in the mines and quarry section I am going to post my take from our last visit, I visited here with Xan Asmodi and Lee Lenny Lenston, I would like to call him young Lenston but he just isnt :D
In keeping with my latest photographic leaning I left the wide angle at home and went for the detailed shots that although dont portray the mine as a whole, give me great pleasure.

A little history courtesy of Xan
Cwmorthin, as part of the larger Oakley mining complex was one of the largest slate mining complexes in Wales. Originally opened in 1810 by the Casson family, the mine was worked off and on for about 180 years, being subject to the boom and bust cycle that characterised the North Wales slate mining it ceased to be a separate entity around the turn of the twentieth century. The last serious, large scale working of the mine was in the 1970's with slates being extracted via Oakley adits and finished in Oakley mills, but smaller scale working by locals from the Cwmorthin side continued until the early 1990's.

The walk up to Cwmorthin is achingly beautiful and you encounter the Miners barracks that is sadly in a worse state of decay on every visit. but so imposing and photogenic

Outside the lake level Adit,

Inside the mine we made our way to the bottom of the flooded incline and I was pleasantly surprised to see the carts on the tracks were more visible than ever, Lenston had a great idea about lighting up the water beneath them but chickened out incase his Lensor wasnt waterproof..enter the dragon, or rather, enter the chinese Cree, which was not just waterproof but became even brighter after being cooled in the chilly water. How cool are these carts!

A saw that sits quietly corroding

walking around this place you just cannot decide what to take pictures of because there is so much to see


One of the excellent bridges, or rather what is left of it, just the hangers.

Through the keyhole, wood rots quickly in the damp atmosphere unless soaked in oil or hardwood, this lock was minus its door.

This old boot must have been so uncomfortable that it needed the ankle snipping

To get ahead, get a hat..thankfully there was no head in it :)

Dat staircase from a previous.

Thanks for looking


Last edited:


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 13, 2012
Cool report Mr Kwan :thumb a lot of nice relics to see in here :)

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Mar 28, 2011
Some cracking shots there mate, I still don't believe your torch gets brighter if dipped in water though :D
Truth right there Lenston and you saw it with your own eyes, infact I have taken my ultrafire collection out of the draw in my shed and now store them all in a bucket of iced water, so convinced am I, and I know that Xan is now doing a similar thing too :D


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Dec 1, 2013
Fantastic, love the Indiana Jones hat and the Indiana Jones carts! It really does look amazing down there.... :thumb