Mine exploration, photographs and mining history for mine explorers, industrial archaeologists, researchers and historians Mine explorer and mining history videos on YouTube Connect with other mine explorers on Facebook
Tip: do not include 'mine' or 'quarry', search by name e.g. 'cwmorthin', use 'Sounds like search' if unsure of spelling

Advanced Search
'Sounds like search'
Quick a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Tip: narrow down your search by typing more than one word and selecting 'Search for all words' or 'Exact search'

Search for any word
Search for all words
Exact search
Tip: narrow down your search by typing more than one word and selecting 'Search for all words' or 'Exact search'

Search for any word
Search for all words
Exact search

Mine Exploration Forum

Author Waterfall Stope
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 02/01/2019 19:46:00
Reply |  Quote
From another thread.

ChrisJC wrote:

Peter Burgess wrote:

Santa's given Roy another mine to play withBig Grin


Can we guess which one?

Chris.


Go for it Chris, and anyone else not already in the know.

My first clue is Deja Vu
My second is hidden by trees
Old in name, long and narrow,
You first get to admire a barrow.



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


--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.106.230.184
Grout1

Joined: 08/03/2011
Location: West Wales

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 02/01/2019 20:30:45
Reply |  Quote
Could it be close to somewhere where pigs might swim?

Happy new year Roy
Even I can guess this one
Nearly time for booking NAMHO
For exciting underground adventures
Wild party nights in
Llanafan
Club re-unions
Haha
IP: 92.14.170.215
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 02/01/2019 21:08:35
Reply |  Quote
Grout1 wrote:

Could it be close to somewhere where pigs might swim?



and submerged farm and chapel

--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.106.230.184
ChrisJC

Avatar of ChrisJC

Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 02/01/2019 21:15:13
Reply |  Quote
To be fair, I am no expert on the Mines of Mid Wales. But I am going to guess somewhere near Nant-y-Moch.

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 02/01/2019 22:12:47
Reply |  Quote
Yes, its Henfwlch.
I will upload photos and description tomorrow.


--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.106.230.184
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 03/01/2019 10:25:33
Reply |  Quote
Henfwlch Mine and Waterfall Stope

Waterfall Stope is beautiful, vast, awesome, and slightly frightening. This is its story.

I first entered the Henfwlch Adit which emerges at SN 737882, in the late 1980s. At that time it ended at a complete collapse just past Strides Shaft. O T Jones refers to it as “Hafan Shaft”.
I was intrigued by a short heading on the left leading to a winze, this now know to be the no 1 winze. Talking to the late Damian McCurdy I was told that he had descended it with some friends and discovered a window into an enormous stope.
In 1994, I returned to the mine, in order to descend the aforementioned winze. There was a length of timber across the level, put there as a belay for this purpose by Damian and his friends, I backed this up with a number of bolts.
The winze was found to be about 50ft deep to a solid bottom where there were a number of sections of ladder which had fallen away from the sides of the shaft. There was a window to the west into the large stope, a floor of rubble being gained after a further few feet.
Here, water coming down the winze disappeared into the floor. Progress inbye was prevented by a continuation of the collapse from the Adit above.
Above a bank of deads, the stope was seen to extend about 15 metres in an outbye direction.
This was done by the light of an Oldham lead acid caplamp, best lighting available at the time. I now see that I failed completely to appreciate the enormousness of the place, all I could see was a rising pile of rubble.
This was the limit of my earlier explorations, however towards the end of the main level a gap in boulders draughted strongly, and in 1996 this was dug into the present winze used by explorers today to reach the workings with the ore barrow.

For the last few years I have been thinking of returning to the workings below, but put off a bit by the water going down. It then occurred to me that it would be relatively easy to dig through from the workings with the wheel barrow. This was achieved in but a few weeks, and at the time of the breakthrough I got to, as expected, the top of the rubble pile from the infill of Strides Shaft. That was point at which I went into shock.


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

I found myself looking down into a massive vertical stopes which plunged downwards immediately in front of me. My initial thoughts included “SRT”. The stope is vertical and looks from that high vantage point about 120 feet from top to bottom and about 75 metres long by about 3 or 4 metres wide.



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


Reaching the bottom, I estimate that it is actually about 75 feet high, but It has a very big time 'wow' factor.
Back in 1994 I only had the light of a puny Oldham bulb caplamp, so my perception of the size of the place was somewhat distorted. However, there has also been movement since my original descent.

I originally dropped through a 'window' in the winze after about 50 feet, about 7 feet onto waste rock from the rubble slope. This has now gone. The whole ground mass I originally landed on has dropped some distance and left the ‘window’ my original entry point about 20 feet up the wall of the stope when viewed from the very bottom, at the ‘stream sink’.

Descending the rubble pile from the shaft, now with fitted handline, the first of two waterfalls is encountered coming down from the left from a small timbered over hole in the roof of the stope.



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

I originally thought that the adit above over which I and countless others have passed, had a small section of false floor. I now believe that this hole corresponds with collapsed workings to the north, part of which can be seen in the adit above. It has deposited a nice formation down the wall of the stope. Progressing down one reaches a point where the water disappears into the floor, this is the section that has dropped since my visit of about 25 years ago. At the back is a rock inscribed “RF 94”, Déjà vu.



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

Above this point I have crossed the stope with the handline to a ledge on the left looking down. The rope is extended along this to provide a traverse line to reach the bank of deads at the back, Cowstails advised.



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

It provides a nice view into the bottom of the no 1 winze with the remains of the collapsed ladders now liberally coated with flow deposit. I have picked foot holds where possible, the last step being a steel bracket bolted to the stope cheek.



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

The bank of deads and backfill extends about 15 metres, at the back a blind heading attempted to find a payable section of the lode, unsuccessfully. Only notable artefact is an old tea tin. There is also a significant collapse into workings below, care needed here, edge crumbling. This gives an indication as to the likely true nature of it. Not a bank of deads and backfill but the top of a stull.

This, a cross stemple and the base of the winze, all being on the same level causes me to think that this is the original horizon of the 10 fathom level. Below this there is a 20 and a 30. Also the water disappearing into the floor must be exiting by the Hafan Deep Adit. Whether by natural fissure as the late David Bick suggests, or by a drift. We will never know. Of course a natural fissure could be a fraction of an inch or several feet forming in effect a natural cave.

Also, "waterfall stope" is vertical, unlike "ore barrow" stope, which has a more pronounced dip on the lode.

I am very well pleased but puzzle as to why I have not done this before. Its certainly worth the effort. Henfwlch is a very nice little mine as it was, this makes it seriously good explore. At NAMHO any wetsuit enthusiast can do a round trip. I may be able to build a platform at the winze top to give a rope run clear of the initial water.

This whole mine is a very interesting place to explore with different kinds of rocks and colours. I fancy that it has been worked by tributers after it officially closed, as were other mines in the area. Random areas of backfill are everywhere with abundant signs of fosicking.



--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.106.230.184
ChrisJC

Avatar of ChrisJC

Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 03/01/2019 18:29:04
Reply |  Quote
Looks good - going to be a popular NAMHO trip!

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 03/01/2019 20:06:00
Reply |  Quote
Well done Roy,
At our time of life you have definitely shown the youngsters, how to make these breakthroughs, just keep them coming.
Have a good new Year in there!
IP: 86.177.208.237
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 03/01/2019 21:25:35
Reply |  Quote
You should see me at karate and aikido. I have been told I am like a cobra.
Anyway, there may be more mine success yet in time for NAMHO.

I have though been seriously thinking about the time when the projects all finish. Will I feel a vacuum in my life?
Just become another casual explorer wondering around looking for something to do.?
I seem to thrive on challenge.
I suppose that I am a funny old sod.

--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.106.230.184
somersetminer

Avatar of somersetminer

Joined: 19/05/2012
Location: Bristol

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 03/01/2019 22:31:11
Reply |  Quote
royfellows wrote:


I have though been seriously thinking about the time when the projects all finish. Will I feel a vacuum in my life?
Just become another casual explorer wondering around looking for something to do.?
I seem to thrive on challenge.
I suppose that I am a funny old sod.


If you are up for a bit of travelling I have one kicking off down south, a bit below Bristol.
Would certainly benefit from having a professional eye cast over it if you're keen Roy.
IP: 79.69.16.105
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 04/01/2019 15:10:21
Reply |  Quote
Grout1 wrote:

Could it be close to somewhere where pigs might swim?


I can think of another project where when that breaks through they will have learnt to fly.
Laugh

--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.108.3.166
ChrisJC

Avatar of ChrisJC

Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 04/01/2019 20:13:15
Reply |  Quote
royfellows wrote:


I suppose that I am a funny old sod.


Are you confusing the words 'suppose that I' with 'definitely'?

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 05/01/2019 12:20:19
Reply |  Quote
Yes but you all love me really.
Where would NAMHO be without the karate demonstrations?
Laugh

--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.108.3.166
royfellows

Avatar of royfellows

Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Waterfall Stope
Posted: 13/01/2019 21:21:53
Reply |  Quote
More goodies.
Was in there yesterday with David James helping him do a survey and being with someone braved the climbdown into the collapse at the back of the bank of deads. It leads to a very small working on the vein and I suspect that there was originally a stone lined winze down which has given way,
Anyway, at the bottom was a lovelly little kibble which must have fallen with the collapsing ground. After a great deal of thought I decided to move it to a safer location as it was at risk of becoming burried.

Photo below.



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

--

I have been to Waterfall Stope, wow!
IP: 88.108.18.88 Edited: 13/01/2019 21:27:52 by royfellows
Safety LED Miners Caplamps Moore Books: Specialist Books I.A. Recordings: Mining and Industrial History DVDs Starless River - Caving Store Explore a Disused Welsh Slate Mine
Disclaimer: Mine exploring can be quite dangerous, but then again it can be alright, it all depends on the weather. Please read the proper disclaimer.
© 2005 to 2015 AditNow.co.uk
Top of Page