Report - - MAENOFFEREN SLATE MINE MARCH 2020 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk


Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The men of the nearby diphys and later the Maenofferen Slate Quarry Company did not mess about. As with many of the Welsh slate mines quarrying started long ago. For this mine, life began in the 1800’s. By 1897, at its height, this mine employed 429 people. If you compare that with Penarth, which is a decent sized mine; Penarth had 150 people working for them at their peak in 1868. Foel Grochan, another chunky diggings, had 169 at their largest in 1879. Of the mines I’ve been in now, many of them seemed to decline after the second world war. I’ve never been able to put my finger on why - other than economics and stuff - but seemingly the fate of Maenofferen was very much intertwined with the Ffestiniog Railway. Unfortunately for Maenofferen they had higher than average shipping costs, because they had no direct connection with the railway and had to send it via the Rhiwbach Tramway. In 1946 the Ffestiniog Railway closed down, with the Maenofferen Slate quarry buying a part of the tracks to continue its operations. From 1962, the slate was shipped by road, although the quarries internal tramways continued in operation until 1962. Underground production finally ceased at Maenofferen in 1999, but they continue to produce crushed slate (the sort of stuff For landscape gardening under the Llechwedd Company. This is the best history I can really state I no it’s not much but yet again a very long way away from where I live .

The explore!
So for me lee and Ross this is really are first ever slate mine the day started nice and early like usual with a 4am collection ,great drive over until we realised we missed a fuel station and their wasn’t another for over a hour lol anyway . Once entering wales was truly eye opening the mountains everywhere so beautiful new we where in for some serious hill /mountain walking , on arrival at the meet point their was hundreds of thousands of tons of waste slate everywhere was a big eye opener. The scale of the workings in this place was incredible we new this is going to be a great trip already ,The heavy clouds/fog was covering are route up “ see how explorers get lost here we thought “ luckily we had Jay & Alex with us so up we went ,around a 50 minute steep walk up to the original above ground workings they where spectacular was a real treat viewing these , I have not took a lot of photos of these as been covered before on a much nicer day. After this was time enter the mine from above the level 1 workings which was a very steep tramway going down ,looked absolutely amazing we was all buzzing to get on in for at least a good 7 hours ! We went down the tramway into level 1 had a good walk around this level then 2,3 then decided to drop to level 7 by the spectacular stair cases , on level 7 we also found some new areas that jay didn’t no about so he was well happy “ we hate making are guides show us stuff they have seen countless time’s so we tell them do what you want it’s all about the fun of the explore!” . On we went to do all of level 7,6 some of 5 , by this time we had figured out the true layout of the mine and that each level is impossible to explore without going back up to a higher level and then returning down into it from another way as the huge chambers once made have removed sections of the tunnels that once connected them great achievement that was we figured out ! Found multiple 120ft drops at least in these cut out areas which showed everyone how dangerous it can be under a small mistake , you could see the rotten timbers as well where false floors where appearing to lead into another 120ft fall into them “didn’t like that bit lol “ after this was already 5pm we had entered at 10am still had a 4 hour drive home so decided best to make are way out which was just a very long steep walk out .

Many thanks Jay for inviting us onto this trip also thank you Alex for attending also top lad

Anyone thinking of trying to do this place don’t if you are not experienced honestly one rong step you will have 2 broken legs or worse read all the guides on here and get taken in by some one experienced!

here was my view of the trip enjoy

The view on entering wales

The insane fog so easy to get lost

Beautiful conveyor belt outside had to add this in again

The entrance a stunning tramway in

How to cables have cut into the slate over the years

A tramway leading into the distance

A stunning stream inside

A track mounted rock clearing machine

Reinforcement under a main tramway system

A huge winch pulling system they had these all over the place at the top of the tramways to the level below

Love the scale of the break Handel’s

Another spectacular system

Down the stairs we go very great full of the wire rope hand rail bit sharp though

Lower level workings from higher up

A beautiful tunnel

Level 7 workings level 8 exists definitely I’f anyone up for re breather diving can see the tramway leading down again

A huge chamber 100s of these not seen this one posted before though

A beautiful section of track

A air fan to be honest think this is more for removing dust from tunnels than pumping air in

Retaining wall for 200,00 tons probably lol

Spectacular twisted walkway up

Hob nail boot prints

A veiw of the multiple level workings the roof above it is actually another tramway down again

A cut of area we managed to get across to later

A stunning arch way

A lovely tunnel system

A cart waiting to be used again in the corner of level 7 unseen for years I suspect
fogs cleared time to walk back to truck

Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thank you read a lot of old posts on here just tried to add photos not seen before in here I got a lot more but they been posted before wanted to try make a fresh look on the place instead of same old stuff

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
:thumb Quality report. Gotta love a mine. That level 7 cart shot is a beaut. I just love seeing the built up walls of slate and brickwork, so many colours if you look. The views are always breath taking too,:thumb

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice one, you are lucky we couldn't get down past the first level 3 weeks ago it was all flooded!
Personally I found the engineering shop & factories equally as interesting.

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
You went wrong somewhere, do you mean the bottom of the main incline? as there's no way it was flooded up to the first level.
Yes mate unpassable unfortunately, nit to mention we were basically walking down a river lol.
Made for some nice pics though

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