Underground Works 2016


A notable feature of Lefel Fawr is the huge stull above the incline skipway. Much photographed over the years, this was the scene of a massive fall some time ago which blocks direct access to the skipway, the main route down to the workings below.

Almost directly above the skipway timbers are noticeably sagging and steadily going rotten. After much consideration it was decided that the only feasible remedy was by adding support using concrete. When finished the intention is to cover the modern concrete with packwall in a way that is harmonious with the work of the old miners. (Phase1)

There is also a plastic tube which needs to be crawled through to reach this area. Due to it being restrictive and some distance above the floor, it can be quite difficult to get through. The plan is to replace this with a steel roadway in order to enable easier access. (Phase 2)

Phase 1

Above is the area of concern.

Before the temporary jack went in.


10th April 2016. Materials have been moved into the mine and shuttering is in place ready for the pouring of concrete.

16 and 17 April 2016

Saturday was mixing and pouring concrete, today I got some blockwork done. Behind the blocks is also being filled with concrete. Its a crying shame to cover in some of this lovely 'old mans' work, but leaving it would eventually lead to a catastrophic collapse with possible loss of access to the skipway.

Above is the view down, all the work is true to plumb.

The intention is to get some support under the sagging timber before removing the jack and continuing the concrete and block work towards the camera. The whole lot will eventually be packwalled in in a way that harmonious to the original.

The timber below the one with the sag is cracking, and Daggers heard it crack on a previous visit.

Both timbers are rotten as pears and what is actually being done is not so much support the timbers but support what they are supposed to be supporting.

Those two timbers are taking deadweight and its's possible that the stress has been cause of them rotting.

Above is looking up from Lefel Fawr. Timber immediately above the ladder is quite solid but had to take the work round in the interests of solidarity so as form a substantial pier.


23rd and 24th April 2016

Extended the blockwork upwards, now there is solid support to the timbers, also started upslope of the jack. Plus more concrete behind the blockwork. 

Also started fitting upright iron rails into the area in the photo below. Pondered long and hard on this one, rails will look authentic.

Weekend 30/04/2016 and 1/5/2016

Rails have been wedged at the top behind a timber and concreted in at the bottom to retain deadwork where the original timbers have rotted. The packwall will be extended down slope to cover the blockwork. The jack has also now been removed.

Packwall/cladding has also been started at the bottom.

It was started from little rock pegs driven into the packwall.

Weekend 7th and 8th May 2016

The packwall has been extended upwards over the blockwork and in places some brackets used for extra bonding.

Weekend 14th and 15th May 2016

The packwalling is finished and also widening of the path up to the upper skipway. It is imperative that this route remains closed for concrete to harden as this has been used to make up the path.

Next weekend will see the area cleared and the project finalised, hopefully.


Saturday 21st May 2016

Final clearing up and photographs, everything moved outside of the second drum ready for phase 2 work when SAM approval is finalised.

I am well pleased with the result as it has turned out exactly as I intended with low visual impact against the background of the original mine fabric. I have had to widen the path up to the upper skipway for safety reasons as the width had been reduced by the support work.

Its a very sturdy job which harmonises well with the surroundings

Phase 2

The picture above shows the second tube as it was.

Above, fall on the left cleared and packwalled.

Above, he upright in position ready to take the spans.

Above, mucked out and finished. Area beyond draining.

Beyond the second tube was a truck standing in water and mud. Tube left hand side behind the rock face.

As is now, truck moved back, area drained, new Steel Road beyond.

Special Note

Please note that the Scheduled Ancient Monument status extends to the underground and that consent had to be obtained for these works.


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