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Moel Fferna Slate Quarry

5th February 2011 - Nigel Dibben - SJ 125 399

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Another of Ed's mining trips, this time to Moel Fferna slate quarry (i.e. mine) in North Wales. It was a dark and stormy night ... well, day, actually when we met up by a green tree in a lay-by in darkest North Wales. The group was Ed, John, Tony, Sue, Nigel, Tom, Lauren, Sam and Michael. Transferring to two cars (I'm glad I didn't have to drive up there!) we were soon on the hillside getting much wetter walking to the mine entrance than we were going to get in there. The entrance is a shaft that looks much like a cave entrance in the Dales until you get to the bottom and into the railway tunnel leading to the main workings. Once in, and after going through an awkward hole in the wall (why didn't someone make this bigger - said Tony), we were soon at the bottom of the incline from level 5 to 6. However, we stayed on level 5 for a while exploring west and then down to levels 4 and 3 including a look at the bridge of death or BOD as Ed called it. The workings are massive but not too difficult to move up and down and of course easy to move from side to side because of the well built levels and lack of any rock collapse. Coming back up from levels 3 and 4, we went on up to level 6 and eventually 7 after stopping for the team photo by one of the brake drums. At level 7, you could see the top end of the last phase of slate workings, as they seemed to be working up hill. At each level, there were tips of waste down to the level below but various walls stopped the railway levels from getting blocked.After about four hours romping around, we headed back to the entrance and the miserable weather on the surface where the steams seemed to be higher than when we went in. However, downhill and with your back to the wind, the walk wasn't too bad and we soon reached Llangollen for a drink, a meal and a discussion about the trip.A good time was had by all. There are more of my pictures on the photo album and Ed's and Lauren's pictures on Flickr and the aditnow/mine-explorer websites. 

Below 1: A view down the worked out stopes   Below 2: Climbing up to the highest working face   Below 3: The 'Bridge of Death'   

Picture 1: A view down the worked out stopesPicture 2: Climbing up to the highest working facePicture 3: The 'Bridge of Death'

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