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Author Cwmcorrin Silica Mine and others
Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 14:57:54
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Thanks Peter. I'd forgotten about the easily accessed area to the north of the tunnel. 'Chute' nicely describes the steep connection to high level heading. Big Grin

Presumably, the passage that dips to water is in the same silica bed as the workings a little downstream of the quarried area?
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Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Posted: 08/01/2013 16:41:11
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Yes I think it must be the same bed, but the water in the lower passage is simply ponded up against a blocked entrance I think rather than reflecting the river water level.

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Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 17:05:24
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Yep, from memory said passage is well above river level. I suppose from all the info posted so far it may be safe to assume the original quarry was extended UG as overburden dictated at each end?

Edit: I've been doing a bit of rainy day research on the Kilhepste site question and wonder if this may be the area to search?


(click image to open full size image in new window)



Edit2: Suggest search Old Maps at NGR SN9216009050
IP: 86.9.230.82 Edited: 08/01/2013 20:19:28 by Morlock
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 20:13:26
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That location looks like a mine. But ....... would they really have run trams loaded with silica through the middle of a working gunpowder factory? Is it possible that spot is simply the very furthest part of the gunpowder complex? Somewhere I have a book about the powder works with the full site plan.

I had thought that perhaps the extensive "Dinas" mine workings were the Kilhepste quarry workings. If the Kilhepste "estate" or property extended as far as the Sychryd, then the mine might simply be named Kilhepste, and would not really need to be that close to the house/farm of that name.

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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 20:17:41
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I have been looking at the solid geology of the area. Search for Pontneddfechan on

http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html

and explore the area. It all looks a bit too complicated to form any firm conclusions on where the silica beds might have been worked. The Twrch sandstone is the formation to concentrate on.

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IP: 92.10.167.145 Edited: 08/01/2013 20:19:42 by Peter Burgess
Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 20:29:39
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As you say, geological maps for area are difficult to interpret.
I have the Gunpowder Works book somewhere so will research along lines you suggest. Only other thought that comes to mind, were the mine and GP works operating at overlapping times?

Edit: Looking at the book it's probably "Magazine".

Back to the drawing board. Big Grin
IP: 86.9.230.82 Edited: 08/01/2013 20:48:43 by Morlock
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 20:59:20
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There was a retired gentleman who lived in Glynneath in the 1980s - Richie Evans - and I met him several times, did a field walk round the powder works with him, and he gave us two to three hour slide shows in the Croydon CC caving cottage for the price of a pint from the New Inn! He had an astonishing collection of old photographs and intimate knowledge of the area. I wonder what happened to his collection? If anyone would have known about the mines, he would have, I suspect.

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IP: 92.10.167.145 Edited: 08/01/2013 21:00:46 by Peter Burgess
Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 21:16:35
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I often wonder during various bits of research just how much stuff is about in private collections, worse still, how much stuff is thrown out when a knowledgeable collector inevitably passes away.

Mention of New Inn reminds me of the Ancient Briton when it was a real pub and full of colliers etc. Sadly missed.
IP: 86.9.230.82 Edited: 08/01/2013 21:19:51 by Morlock
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 21:51:28
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Location of Kilhepste is given in:

http://booksnow1.scholarsportal.info/ebooks/oca9/16/specialreportson06geol/specialreportson06geol.pdf

Quarries : Bwamaen Quarry and Kilhepste Quarry are situated respectively west and east of the River Sychnant, and about 1/4 mile north of Pen-cae-drain Farm, 3 miles west-north-west of Hirwaun.

Bwamaen Quarry: Latitude 51° 45' 32". Longitude 3° 34' 15".
Kilhepste Quarry : Latitude 51° 45' 32". Longitude 3° 34' 10".

Checking on Streetmap.co.uk that looks like the workings either side of the bridge over the Sychryd.

So, do we change the mine names in the database?




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IP: 92.10.167.145 Edited: 08/01/2013 22:07:23 by Peter Burgess
Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 22:36:12
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Peter Burgess wrote:


Bwamaen Quarry: Latitude 51° 45' 32". Longitude 3° 34' 15".
So, do we change the mine names in the database?


Pretty sure that position corresponds to the heading running from Pen-cae-drain rail tunnel out to the gorge?

6th pic down.

http://www.tunnelsuk.com/site_visits/2010/june/06_s_wales_01/pen_cae_drain.html

Things are getting interesting.
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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 22:41:05
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I wonder how accurate the Lat/Long analysis is though. That's either Streetmap or the old published figs, or both.

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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 22:51:53
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The old report also says:

At both quarries the section is similar. The dip is S. 15° E. at 13°, but increases to 22° near a fault, which throws the beds against Carboniferous Limestone. The quarry-face, which is nearly 100 ft. high and is worked in benches, shows the following beds :—
(thicknesses in Ft.)
'Silica Seam' with 'sand' or weathered rock (used for ganister mixture)… 18
Clay (black shale) … 15
'White Seam' good silica-rock with 'spar' (quartz-conglomerate), the 'spar' used for ganister … 20
Black shale (useless) … 3
'Yellow Bed' (best silica) … 16
Black Shale (sold for furnace-seatings) … 4
'Red Bed' (good silica) … 18

The best stone is fine round-grained quartzite. The quartz-conglomerate contains pebbles up to 3 or 4 in. long of vein-quartz set in a quartzose matrix; this is crushed and milled for ganister mixture.

So the sites whose locations are given were open quarries at the time, although there were underground workings that both pre- and post-dated this report.

I suggest the open quarries were the crags that can still be seen immediately above the mines on both sides of the river.


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Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 23:05:01
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Interesting reading on quarries and agree position info may be suspect, also found another Urbex image source with a pics of both adit ends.

http://www.blackmountainsite.co.uk/tunnels-and-caves/pencaedrain-tunnel-rhigos-tunnel/

"I suggest the open quarries were the crags that can still be seen immediately above the mines on both sides of the river."

Most definitely a strong possibility.

Think I can feel a day out coming on.
IP: 86.9.243.38 Edited: 08/01/2013 23:07:53 by Morlock
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 08/01/2013 23:13:12
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If you are local, it would be good to meet you there next time I am in the area, and do a brain-storming field visit. Unfortunately, I have only just got back and so far have not scheduled my next trip.

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Morlock

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Posted: 08/01/2013 23:31:49
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I live about 10 miles (as the crow flies) from Pontneddfechan so no problem should you be in the area at any time. Just PM me about a week before proposed visit.

If my reply is delayed it's because I'm retired and wander about the country a bit. Big Grin

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Graigfawr

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Posted: 09/01/2013 20:00:08
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Peter Burgess wrote:

I wonder how accurate the Lat/Long analysis is though. That's either Streetmap or the old published figs, or both.


Check them against the transcription of the report that I posted upthread. Also, Tony provided a sketch map in his book that located the various quarries and adits (see reference upthread).
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Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 10/01/2013 09:31:07
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Sometimes putting a request for imfo in a local newspaper can get good results, thinking of any photos, imfo from anyone who worked there etc. IP: 46.60.252.89
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 10/01/2013 09:45:45
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Graigfawr wrote:

[

Check them against the transcription of the report that I posted upthread.
Yes, that's the same document I downloaded and referred to above.

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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 06/10/2015 18:31:35
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I have just been looking at British newspapers online and found one reference from the Hereford Times, 5th Jan 1833. It is a notice of sale by auction in Neath of land called Kilhepste including farm, land, and the Dinas Rock. It says the Dinas Rock abounds with valuable lime stone and fire clay, which have been worked with great success for upwards of 20 years. The estate is at the head of the Neath Valley ..... and is now let (exclusive of the limestone and fire clay) to John Morgan at the annual rent of £80.

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royfellows

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Posted: 06/10/2015 22:19:21
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Thanks people for bringing this thread back to life.
Thumbs Up

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