Cwm Cipwrth Adit

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I can't find any info about the actual adit online, so I thought I'd do a mini trip report.

I was up having a look at the water-wheel back in August, noting the two flooded shafts surrounded by fencing, and the flooded pumping shaft. There is suprisingly little spoil at the site. I noticed some more spoil a bit further up from the wheel. Investigation led to a semi-hidden trench leading to a wet looking adit. Lack of torch meant leaving for another day.

Which was yesterday. Entering the adit, your are immediately met with boll*ck deep water which continues via a couple of minor exploratory cross cuts to a junction with a passage to the left. Onwards leads to a loose terminal 'chamber', where the water is now down to foot level, making it safe to tentatively take the phone out for a photo. Back at the junction, a few metres into the passage, apparent in the water, is a flooded winze, depth unknown with the remains of a wooden platform around the rim. I didn't see any signs of copper, but there were nice flow deposits of black manganese, white hydrozincite, and nice yellow, iron stained calcite. Total length - approx 100m.

This adit presumably is unconnected with the other three shafts as the water level at the winze is perched at a few metres above the flooded surface shafts. An article on AN suggests that Cwm Cipwrth was a pumping and access site for the nearby Gilfach. I disagree. I think it's just a small share puffing enterprise with just enough workings to make it look like a going concern to investors - a familiar story.

It would be interesting if a camera could be put down the flooded shafts and winzes.

Nice one Robin. I have always wondered what is inside the level, but never been in a position to have a look!


Jenny P:
It is a fascinating area and I always wondered, after first seeing it before it had been restored and then later after the work had been done, how they got the big beam up there to restore the mechanism.  Then, when I'd thought about it (considering helicopters and the like) I realised that they must have done it the same way as they did back when the thing was first installed: sheer bloody-minded bloke power and probably some mules as well.

I did stick my nose into the adit but, as I had no torch with me and was on my own, I wimped out.  The whole site is amazing and well worth a visit just to see the surface gear and the huge wheel. 

There are also massive open shafts in the woodland directly below the site if you take a bee-line straight down to the bridge in the main valley, rather than following the line of the stream which loops away.  These don't have any sign of any hauling gear on the surface and have the appearance of jagged open pits - so possibly were just outcrops of a vein worked from the surface. 

Robin's exploration is rather as I remember it from 1971 and 1972 but with a lot more water.

I took a camera with me on one visit but the film ran out unexpectedly leaving me with only half a frame underground. I really don't remember a lot of water - I had my teenage wife with me and I am sure I would remember her complaining if water had gone over the top of her wellies. There were very slight traces of secondary copper minerals.

Even when I lived at the bottom of the valley the use of the names Gilfach and Ciprwth were not at all clear. Sometimes the upper and lower works had different names. It was not just a "share puffing enterprise" although at times there were elements of that. There is certainly copper on site, but not enough to be consistently profitable.


I recall sticking my head inside there on a NAMHO conference visit a while back. Memory is hazy, I thought I'd looked at everything easily accessible but it didn't feel like 100m? I do recall the water being above welly depth.


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