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Report - - Rhos Quarry, Capel Curig, North Wales, January 2022 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Rhos Quarry, Capel Curig, North Wales, January 2022


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
Located south-east of Capel Curig, North Wales, Rhos Quarry was a large quarry pit worked for slate. It opened in the 1860s and made extensive use of waterpower. The slate was trammed via a short tunnel, but this was later opened out as a cutting to the nearby mill area. The water-powered haulage system used included an impressive 30-foot water wheel. Additionally, there was an 18-foot water wheel at the mill which, most likely, would have been used to supplement the larger wheel when the mill was expanded to nearly double its initial floor space. A drainage tunnel allowed the use of a water balance while providing a ready exit for waste. This was developed into a platform with wheel-pit, with the intention building a mill at a lower level to avoid up-haulage at some point in the future.

Annotated Old O/S map detail of the quarry:



And the 30-foot waterwheel behind the main mill building:



In 1935, the railed water balance was replaced with a chain incline. Powered by a water wheel running off the main mill wheel supply, some considered it more primitive than those installed in the 1860s. The mill itself housed 22 Greaves saws, a planer, and some mechanical dressers in the "waliau" (open-fronted workspaces). Locomotive power was used in the mill area via a De Winton engine which was operational from the 1880s up until around 1930, followed by two diesels (one a 1934 Ruston & Hornsby).

In terms of output, in 1882 45 men produced 1,285 tons of slate. In 1938, 52 men were employed, before the quarry finally closed in the 1950s. Much of the quarry and its associated buildings still remain, including the mill building and associated structures and some of the water balance structure although, over time, the incline has been quarried away.

2. The Explore
Nothing spectacular here, but interesting all the same. Think it is the first time it has been reported on here. There’s quite a bit remaining and although the buildings have started to fall down, you can get a real feel for how the quarry was laid out and how it was operated.

So, one very windy January morn I set off for the quarry. I parked just off the A5 and started the long steep ascent up to the quarry, along a fairly well marked-out footpath. The main issue was the wind and rain blowing straight into my face. Even when I’d arrived, it was hard to take shelter from the wind as nothing appeared to be in the leeward side of the gale that was blowing. I ended up having an enjoyable hour or so at the quarry. I ventured into the upper reaches of the quarry only and didn’t get too close to the edge, given just how windy it was! Overall, a really interesting and enjoyable little wander.

3. The Pictures

The first thing that comes into view is the lower water wheel pit (A) that was built but never used:



Continuing to walk along the raised exit tramway you come to a row of barracks/cottages (B):









The nearby waste tips:



Another nearby quarry building:







Looking over to the mill (D):


And to the rear of the mill:





East of the mill is this neat stone channel that runs from the mill’s tail race to the southern edge of the tip:



At the end is a second, smaller water wheel pit:



Back up to the mill:





One of the many rotting roof beams:



This looks like an engine mounting block:



Defying gravity:





On the quarry side of the mill is this building which was, most likely, the quarrymen’s caban:







Oh bugger, secca have spotted me:



Looking through the door of a building in the cutting to the quarry (E):



On to the quarry itself (F):

 
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HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
CONTINUED:

It was VERY windy so didn’t want to get too close to the edge!



The eastern face of the pit is quite shear and very deep. The western face, however, is more eroded and still contains the balance tank for the original incline.













Above the quarry is a second water wheel:





Some of the remnants of an anchoring point of the up-haulage system:



Some of the old rusting winch wire:



Looking back over the mill:



One final "arty" B+W shot...

 
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wormster

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Gosh almighty, that's a blast from the past, T'owd Man and I had quite a few mooches around there when I was a nipper! Beautiful photos and a precise potted history to boot
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Gosh almighty, that's a blast from the past, T'owd Man and I had quite a few mooches around there when I was a nipper! Beautiful photos and a precise potted history to boot
And cracking report and write up mate.
Good to see somewhere that's rarely visited. Love the last B&W shot
Excellent stuff, looks a nice place for a wander
Cheers chaps, much appreciated. Just realised, forgot to post these shots of the lower end of the mill site, including following the leet down to the lower water-wheeel pit...

R











 

CantClimbTom

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Lovely report. So many pics, I haven't been that way for years and last time was walking up Moel Siabod and I must have walked pas the quarry without paying attention, looks like I missed out :(
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely report. So many pics, I haven't been that way for years and last time was walking up Moel Siabod and I must have walked pas the quarry without paying attention, looks like I missed out :(
Cheers @CantClimbTom
Ha ha, you did mate. It's a great little quarry. Never made it all the way down to Moel Siabod. One for next time...
 

Meso

28DL Member
28DL Member
Very nice - thanks for the info and images. It's remarkaly sad how Wales just sits around and watches its heritage rot away.
 

CantClimbTom

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very nice - thanks for the info and images. It's remarkaly sad how Wales just sits around and watches its heritage rot away.
It costs a LOT to keep it, and few have the cash. Once the roof slates are removed and sold, or even just left but start to leak, it's amazing how rapid the decline is from then on, even walls collapsing to rubble sometimes over only 20 or 30 years.
OK this is conglog not Rhos but I was researching conglog and saw these very sad photos, you have the same shots retaken about 20 years later. Sorry if this is a downer :( http://www.jgd.org.uk/rotwsi/conglog01.html
 

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