Friday 25 May 2018

Underground in Ratgoed Slate Mine

I begin by saying most of this mine is inaccessible and dangerous to explore without sufficient knowledge/guidance. In fact most of this mine is only accessible by abseiling!!! Fortunately I had an experienced guide with me to explore the easier access to part of the mine. (Again please don't attempt to explore this mine or indeed any other if you do not have the relevant expertise or a guide who has). Going into the mine was a little tight bit of a scramble but no big deal. Once inside the whole mine opened up. Tunnels and large chasms soon became visible. The scale of the mining operation provides an awesome sight underground with huge chasms, deep pits etc. It certainly looks like the slate mine was operation was carried out on a major scale. Sorry but the images do not convey the size of the industrial mining carried out. It was a nice cool relief from the heat outside though with cool air drifting through and water dripping with a foggy fine mist in some areas. Some old artifacts are still in place in the mine along with chain fences, pins etc. Well guess we better get onto some images:

Tunnel looks small but it is 6ft-8ft tall so easy to walk in

Another tunnel same scale as above

One of the massive pits in the mine, a fine mist/fog is evident here.

View of another tunnel

Two tunnels of in different areas of the mine

A relic of a teapot/kettle

A heavy duty bolt embedded in the rock

Difficult to scale this underground chasm is about 25-30 metes high I estimate and a the top there is a metal line presumably for running wagons from an upper part of the mine

Horizontal view of the above chasm whith what appears to be a lady of the time pinned to the wall crucifix style (not really, look top left)

As I said water drips down here and there

Metal parts strewn in some area are eventually being consumed by rust

Ratgoed Slate Mine External Site

The former Ratgoed slate mine is situated on a steep wooded hillside above the abandoned village of Ratgoed. Ratgoed is the English version of Yr Allt Goed from Welsh which indeed means "steep wooded hillside". The mine ceased production in 1946 but many relics and evidence of it's industrial past are still visible although nature is slowly taking over. The mine is situated in the Dyfi Forest near the village of Aberllefenni. Here are some images from the surface as you can tell from the blue skies and harsh lighting on the images typically it was the hottest day of the year and we were heading underground! (more on that in the next post)

One of the old buildings slowly being consumed by the forest

A large industrial winch which was used I assume to winch the good slate down the hillside

Clearly still evident is the steep incline, slate movement route below the winch

Wagons used to transport the slate, spoil and rubble

Another building slowly decaying

One of the many slag/spoil piles on the mine site

Not sure what the initials I/R mean stamped in part of the above building

Heavy pieces of industrial iron workings 

Thursday 24 May 2018

Ratgoed (Yr Allt Goed) abandoned village in Wales

Ratgoed pronounced Yr Allt Goed in Welsh, is now an abandoned village in the heart of the Difi Forest near Corris in Wales. A former slate mining village the quarry ceased production in 1946. The majority of the village has fell into ruin, Ratgoed Hall built for Horatio Nelson Hughes in 1860 still stands but appears unoccupied. The Yr Alt Goed is "Steep Wooded Hillside" and this is where the mine is situated above the village, another post on that later.

Old building

Slate fence of which there are many in the area

Ratgoed Hall

Ratgoed Hall (internal view)

A smaller ruin

One of the more intact structures