SH 853 140
Drive to Dinas Mawddwy on the A470 but do not turn off to the village. There is a layby on the main road North of a roundabout by around 1/2mile – park there. The mine is at the top of the large hills and through the working pine forest. A public footpath leads upwards past a few log/slate houses – follow this up to the top and the obvious spoil heaps. Get right to the top !
Ungated and Unknown. Some adits are in the working forest so are possibly controlled by the forestry commission
There is one shaft requiring rigging but the vast majority can be seen without any equipment.
The main system and other non-connecting adits/chambers are probably in excess of 1 mile.
The main system’s adit is flood to 2 feet with evidence it has been as high as 3 feet. The system is otherwise dry (apart from a huge lake). Flood risk is low.
The main adit is located at the top of the hill in an obvious quarry. You will see a brick built drainage adit next to the old finishing house – walk through that into a small quarry and the entrance is facing you. The water is 2 feet deep or more here but takes you into the main mine which is dry.
The main mine is HUGE in size. The chambers are gigantic and the layout of the mine is unlike any of the slate mines in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Each chamber is circular and extremely high with virtually no evidence of any roof collapse.
The main mine is comprised of a good number of these chambers with non-uniform connecting passages.
Some equipment remains in place and there is also a very deep lake.
Higher above the adit is another quarry with another entrance. This is about 50feet down a very slippery slope (with running water going in) and requires TWO electron ladders. You don’t need to enter via this entrance as it all connects anyway but if you do go in you will be in another immense chamber sloping downwards with a huge opening near the bottom leading into yet another huge chamber sloping downwards which in turn connects to the main area.
As far as imagining a “hollow mountain” – this is the closest I have seen.
Higher still outside, in a gully leading upwards and to the left, is another adit (you can see the spoil heap as you look up from the outside). This is a trial adit but is surprisingly lengthy. It is flooded at the entrance to about 1 foot and has some nice pretties inside.
Heading back down the hill, veer off to the right (as you are facing downwards) and you will see the remnants of a pully incline. There is an adit just above the tree line of the forest here (it’s a working forest and it was “in progress” when I was there) as well as a shaft (by a fenced tree) which will require rigging (about 40feet).
There are adits within the forest which are a little tricky to find especially the ones covered in brash where the trees have been felled. Look for the giveaway spoil heaps. I found around 6 and they were all open except one which has a collapsed entrance.
These adits (except one) all lead to their own little (unconnected) part of the mine with at least one big chamber in each. Some house some remnants of equipment and railway lines are still in situ in some places.
It will take the best part (or all of) a day to walk up to the entrances and see everything.
If you google this mine it will tell you it is called “Red Dragon Mine” and it produced lead and pyrite. However, it is patently a slate mine and I saw no evidence of any lead or pyrites. I suspect an error has occurred somewhere.
Release the Kraken .....