Please note that
this page will be constantly updated in the lead up to the event.
Temple Mine removed
from list due to bird breeding season restrictions.
be enlarged on separate pages linked to the main trip heading.
photographs and more about the mines on
Risk Assessments to
be available for download from each relevant page
Our underground program offers a wide
selection to cater for a wide range of capabilities ranging from easy walk
ins to SRT. Our Health and Safety commitment is such that at no time will
any delegate be exposed to unnecessary risk, or expected to do something
not described in the trip "TECHNICALITIES".
However, it is necessary for all
delegates participating in field trips to be covered by the usual public
liability insurance. We will be arranging short membership with a
participating organisation for those who do not have such cover.
Delegates booking onto underground
trips will be expected to have personal equipment suitable for the type of
trip they are booking on. Absolute minimum is a hard hat with chinstrap and
attached electric lamp plus sturdy footwear.
Underground, the meet leader is in
charge and anyone unsuitably equipped or demonstrating behaviour likely to
be prejudicial to the safety of the group will be rejected.
Generally mines in the area are easy
to explore and most can be done in waders or oversuit and fleecy,
whatever. There are no winch trips, I'm afraid Ceredigion does not hold
such niceties, and only 4 trips require SRT, although the upper ladder in
Frongoch 18 fathom rise will require a lifeline as its a massive 18 feet,
This is opportunity for the non
technical to explore some very interesting mines and being a 5 day event,
its well worth travelling a distance.
This is probably the largest single
mine in the area and exploration is a longish trip.
Entry from a manhole in the hillside by short easy
fixed ladders, no lifeline required, into deep adit and thigh deep water.
About 3/4 of a mile of adit to Engine Shaft with pump rods and other bits.
80 foot laddered rise to 18 fathom level .
Engine shaft with pump rods and remains of surface
balance bob dragged down when the rods were released. Stope with clog
prints, kibble and other stuff.
All day trips due to new additions. Start times will
be from 10.30 hrs staggered for each party by about 30 mins.
TECHNICALITIES: Moderate but a longish trip with some
stooping. No SRT but belay belt and jammer for lifeline on fixed ladders.
Thigh deep water in places. Optional swims, plus a grotty crawl.
Most of the mine can be seen without getting wet.
Bwlch Glas Mine.
SRT down to Deep Adit with cages, artefacts etc.
TECHNICALITIES Trip1 Fixed ladders 60ft,
vertical freehanging 60 foot pitch.
Trip 2. Very wet walk in, winze with kibble etc..
Trip 3. Short self led, upper adit, fairly dry.
Access by kind permission of Mr Bernard Moore
Not available in 2013. Access through CAL
Long straight adit leading to stopes and side
passages. Ore barrow stope has an ore barrow in really good condition.
Waterfall Stope is a handline descent of large stope with 2 waterfalls and
some interesting 'mooches'. Belay belt and cowstail required. Further
passages on main adit has clog prints and candle stubs. Possible
round trip (optional) requiring SRT and waterproofs. Delegates can do as
much or as little as they wish.
Trips running all day from 10.30 am with 'casual'
Not available 2013. Access through CAL.
Subject to permission the Forestry barrier at
Talybont will be open for the duration of the event and so provide ample
on site off road parking in a particularly pleasant shaded area surrounded
by relics of past mining activity. This will enable easy access for anyone
with some spare time to kill by an interesting self lead surface walk or
easy underground walk in. Downloadable guides will be available.
Trip 1: Deep Adit
TECHNICALITIES Easy SRT down a 40 foot slope of about
55 degrees, a free standing rebelay, followed by a 20 foot slope. 70 foot
descent by concrete steps and fixed ladders. No life line needed. Thigh
deep wading or optional deeper water heading outbye.
Remains of horse whim and pumping bob plus flat rod
supports. Remains of early wooden kibble and later iron one.
Trip 2: Western Engine Shaft stopes.
TECHNICALITIES Moderate SRT, 140 foot pitch in 2 sections, standing in the
middle - rebelay. Further 30 foot pitch. No freehanging, reasonable slope.
Short crawl through recent steel and concrete reinforced section.
From Wikinsons Level, easy walk in, shallow water,
the SRT descent takes one down to the 10 fathom level, then the 20. Last
pitch takes one onto a rubble floor above the 30. Spectacular vies up
shaft and large stope.
Trip 3 Wilkinsons Level
Easy walk in, non technical, shallow water., short
crawl as above. Can be
The level starts as a cross cut and appears to be a
modified earlier coffin level. A left branch follows Wilkinsons Lode to
Western Engine shaft and the SRT winze. The shaft is completely run for
all its depth. A right branch cuts Felix's Shaft which was the site of an
oil engine and winch used in the last 1910 working, foundations to be
seen. The level eventually reaches Steel Ore Lode stopes. An easy explore.
Trip 4 Myddletons Level
Easy walk in, non technical, shallow water. Can be
Interesting example of Elizabethan coffin level. I
have only identified one shot hole. Was the site of an underground steam
engine in the 1870s, bits of the flue and boiler plate can still be seen
at the run in at the end where it originally cut Western Engine Shaft.
Level Fawr Trips
Easy access to the back workings by The Steel Road
rather than the small plastic tube.
Trip 1 TECHNICALITIES Hands and knees short entry
through roomy tube, water up to thigh deep
General mooch in the level with lots to see plus an
all day underground ‘event’ in Lefel Fawr with a series of underground
talks with groups moving between leaders.
#1 Underground Works, the challenges and difficulties
by Roy Fellows.
#2 Geology and Mine Exploration, Prof David James.
#3 A self guided tour on a ‘one –way’ system.
Short ladder of a few feet to look at skipway.
Trip 2 As above, plus
TECHNICALITIES moderate SRT down skipway to lower
workings, about 80 feet.
Aldersons and Herberts Levels
TECHNICALITIES: None, except possibly wet feet
Easy walk ins, fairly dry. Will
possibly be combined with a surface walk.
TECHNICALITIES: Water up to waist deep
Mines of the Rheidol Valley.
Leader Ioan Lord
TECHNICALITIES: None, except possibly wet feet.
Mixed; Surface and optional
short easy walk in undergrounds. Highly recommended. Ioan lives in the
valley and has spent a lot of time studying them. Basically, a repeat of a
WMS field trip which turned out to be one of the best.
Get his book!
Site of the famous underground water wheel.
TECHNICALITIES Easy walk in, ankle deep water, fixed
temporary aluminium ladder with lifeline to upper level, life lined traverse over flooded understope.
Lefel Fawr at Pontrhydygroes
TECHNICALITIES Shallow water, some crawling, roped climb
up to upper level.
[More details to follow]
Mine of the black cave pearls
TECHNICALITIES: Handline down open cut, wriggle
through hole into deep water.
This is preferably a wetsuit trip and is subject to
access continuing to be physically possible.
TECHNICALITIES: Open entrance but very wet, chin deep
water in entrance.
This is preferably a wetsuit trip
CANCELLED DUE TO DANGEROUS STATE OF THE ACCESS. ABOUT
TO COME DOWN.
No 6 (Aldersons Level Fawr)
TECHNICALITIES: Stiff climb over uneven ground to reach the mine. Mine
itself is shallow water and ochre. Quite nanky.
An interesting complex of adit workings draining the
workings of Ystem Tien
Possibility of several different trips vertical and
non vertical walk through's
Combined surface and easy underground. In dry weather
the adit is bone dry! Although really a trial its and interesting easy
walk in. Surface remains include flooded shaft with remains of bob.
See surface trips
Leader David Sable
Leader David Sable
Graigoch - Brook Shaft Mine - Wemyss - Frongoch
All day trip.
This is an all day trip led hopefully by a geologist and
industrial archaeologist, so a lot to se and lean about.
Leader: Prof David James.
Henfwlch - Eaglebrook- Brynyrafr- Camdwrbach - Esgair
Hir - Esgair Fraith - Blaen Ceulan
Probably several trips moving by car to and from
Self lead with downloadable pdf guide from central off
road parking area. Can be fitted in with the organised trips.
Llywernog Lead and Silver Mine
Tourist Mine. Special NAMHO tips will hopefully be
arranged. Interesting surface, underground, and museum
Remains of wheel pits, waterwheels, dressing floor and lots more. Site of
major work by Welsh Mines Preservation Trust. An easy underground walk in
for those with helmets. A very wet one as well for wetsuit enthusiasts.
Mainly a surface trip but with a short underground bit
Rheidol Light Railway.
Train ride though Rheidol Valley mining area. To
hopefully be arranged, possibly late afternoon, early evening.
[page constantly under construction]