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

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 1, 2014
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.


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.


Miners hard at work in Dinas Silica


Remains of the old Tramway


small warning for us!!


slanted Mining Adit


looking up into an Adit on an higher level


abandoned mining machinery


what remains of the winding gear


this cable leads off from the winding gear and into the blackness


These supports won't last much longer...

Information sources: and

Thanks for reading!! :)
Likes: Brenin

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Mar 28, 2011
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


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Jul 18, 2015
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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