I am currently working towards my Local Cave & Mine Leader Award (LCMLA) and just recently I have visited a few mines in Cwmorthin with my partner in crime Scaredy Dave. There are quite a few slate mines in this area and we have visited the following:
Our intention here had been to find our way off the adit to the Croesor workings but due to route finding complications (flooded / collapsed chambers / blocked passages) and some very dodgy looking chambers we abandoned that idea after a few hours and we spent a little time exploring the approved route and the remains of the plant room at the end of adit. However, we have plans to revisit after we have done a little more research and tapped up a few people who completed the through trip for a few tips on the best way through.
This is a popular mine for groups so I thought it would be worth paying a visit to see what its like. We entered at the lower level and slowly made our way along the approved route to the upper level. There is not much to see in the way artefacts but its a pleasant enough trip to occupy a rainy day.
This mine is simply infectious and I’m keen to explore the complete workings and find out more about its history and the people who worked there. There are three distinct mining areas (Oakley, Cwmorthin Black Vein and Cwmorthin Blue Vein) with the oldest workings dating back to 1800. There are plenty of artefacts and disused plant to see and I’m already planning my next trip to tick off a few more passages.
Dave and I had an excellent time exploring these venues and we have a few plans up our sleeve to explore the more inaccessible areas by putting our SRT skills into practice but more about that later.