Report (Permission Visit) Rhiwbach slate mine in Wales Jan 2016

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The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Mar 28, 2011
My first proper trip out this year and thanks to Lavino and Trancentral for the good company.

THIS MINE is controlled by Cave Access Ltd and I received a permit from them in order to visit via my caving club, it is gated as you can see, it is also used by Go Below for some of their activities.

some history
The quarry was started at the beginning of the 19th century on a site to the South of the later main workings. This area developed into a deep pit working which has now flooded. This part of the quarry was worked out by the 1880's and work transferred to the present site. The pit working here, started in the 1860's, was later developed extensively underground to encompass eight levels. Drainage of the underground workings was through a tunnel which began 350 feet below the surface and emerged onto the side of Cwm Penmachno. The entrance to this drainage tunnel may still be seen today. When the quarry first opened, the slate was taken down on horseback into Cwm Penmachno and eventually to the quay at Trefriw on the Conwy. Later the finished product was taken out in the opposite direction, around the shoulder of Manod Mawr and down to the Afon Dwyryd below Maentwrog.
The mine closed finally in the 1952

This quarry was one of the most remote in the industry and it was frequently cut off for long periods in bad weather. Because of this, the living quarters almost reached village status. The quite extensive remains of which includes family accommodation, a shop and a school house as well as the barracks for the single men.

look at the view on the way up

The Drainage adit at the lower level, this is where we entered

over 500m of tracks before reaching the workings

and half a kilometre later you arrive at the lake

There are a few Traverses and abseil to negotiate in this mine, Lavino was giving it some here and trying to stay dry



its a 38 magnum

the remains of a winch

almost expected to see King Kong on the other side of these, the upper adit gates

Some video
Thanks for looking


Last edited:

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Mar 28, 2011
Cheers for commenting folks, what made this trip really special was when we were walking back down to the cars, we saw a gorgeous barnowl fly past us on the hunt...amazing!

Nick, I have video of the incline, I will attach it when I get it off my camera, it was superb.


The Spice Must Flow.
Regular User
Aug 26, 2014
Nice one guys!! They wouldn't let us exit out of the big door when we went and had to climb up that silly metal ladder instead. The zip wire is a bit scary isn't it... :p
Likes: The Kwan

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