|No, not this one! This is the Sarn Helen mine, a very wet adit leading to a small chamber, on the route of Sarn Helen as it teeters between Cwm Teigl and the Gamallt.|
Petra has been organising a big map of all the mines that we have explored and all the ones we want to explore on Google earth. This has led to the discovery that there are some mines almost in our back garden that we haven't explored yet, because we didn't know about them.
So, I interrogated the Slate Gazeteer for information on Carters' quarry, one of the places we had somehow missed, to which it responded by noting that it is a "very small excavation", for slate, giving the grid reference of SH729432. Never mind, we are completists, so we set off the short distance to the waterworks turning above Llan Ffestiniog and the tramway to Drum. I've covered Drum and the wondrous Roman Fort, Bryn-y-Castell, elsewhere on this blog if you want further information, although for once, I did take a closer look at the smelting hearths at SH728429. There are ancient hearths either side of the lower Drum quarry tramway, well worth perusal. It looks as if they were used only a few years ago...incredible. Petra has written an interesting account of the fort at Bryn-y-castell on her photo site here.
|Iron Smelting slag in the hearth.|
|The Roman Iron hearth, looking north. Trackless, oozing bog in the middle of the photo.|
|The adit, with deads stacked to the left of the portal.|
|Inside the rather short adit|
|The tramway rail - one the scrap man missed!|
We did encounter another run-in mine as we made our way back to the Drum road. A glance at Jeremy Wilkinson's gazeteer will show that this area is covered with old mines, as if all the locals did was dig holes in the ground looking for minerals, when they weren't sheltering bandits, of course.
|Hafod Ysbyty in the trees, with the Manods cloaked in mist behind.|
|Looking towards Drum from Bryn-y-Castell, with the various tramways to each level winding round the contoiurs. The ruins of Drum lower mill can be just made out in the extreme left middle . The walls of the fort are in the foreground.|
Previous post about Bryn-y-Castell and Drum Quarry
RCAHMW site (Coflein) concerning Hafod Ysbyty