Roof Collapse in Level Fawr, Cwmystyth

Roof Collapse in Level Fawr, Cwmystyth

Roof Collapse in Level Fawr, Cwmystyth

Home About Us News Publications & Research Labyrinth Gadgets Digging Training Links
About Us News Publications & Research Labyrinth Gadgets Digging Training Links

SCMCRoof Collapse in Level Fawr, Cwmystyth

Serious Roof Collapse

A collapse occurred sometime between the end of May and beginning of June 2004, about 100m in from the entrance of Level Fawr (Cwmystyth) at a T-junction near to where a truck still sits on the rails. This collapse effectively blocked the main route on to the chamber near the skip road shaft and the passage off to the left (under impressive timber roofing) which also lead to the skip road.

What collapsed?

Fortunately club member Ian Cooper took a photograph of the area on 23rd May 2004 looking back towards the T-junction from under the timbering (see picture 1). At this time only a small amount of mine waste and rock had fallen from the void beyond the timbering into the T-junction area - it had been like this for a number of years.

Comparing the older picture with one taken on Sunday 20th June (picture 2) it appears that a very large fall of material occured from some point above and beyond the last 2 or 3 timbers. Studying the more recent picture (2) the actual timbers protecting the road-way still seem to be in place, although the last one or 2 timbers may have collapsed due to the inrush.

The result is that the debris has fallen straight into the junction area, completely blocking the route under these timbers and spilling back into the main route straight into the mine, partially blocking it.

Level Fawr, T-Junction area 23rd May 2004 (Ian Cooper)

Picture 1: The T-Junction area in Level Fawr, 23rd May

Picture: Ian Cooper

Same Junction area, 20th June 2004 after the fall. (Kelvin Lake)

Picture 2: The same T-Junction area in Level Fawr, following the collapse, end of May beginning of June 2004.

Picture: Kelvin Lake - I.A.Recordings

New Tube

A tube, of 'ribbed' plastic like the one fitted through the entrance roof-fall was fitted through the collapse during August. However to get this tub into place a section has been cut out of it, allowing it to be "rolled-up" and pushed through the entrance pipe.

The installation has been done by "interested" local people, and they have made a very good job of it (see Pictures 4 and 5).

A well constructed wall protects the 'in-bye' side of the tube, which is supported through-out its length (about 2m).

The tube is a little narrower than the entrance one, but it should allow 99.9% of cavers/mine explorers through !!

Level Fawr, truck with roof fall behind, entrance in distance. (Kelvin Lake, July 2004)

Picture 3: The view 'outbye' from the truck, with the fall behind and a glimmer of light from the entrance, early July 2004.

Picture: Kelvin Lake - I.A.Recordings

Similar view showing the new wall and tube. (Kelvin Lake, Oct.2004)

Picture 4: Almost the same view, with the tube fitted through some nice walling (built end of July 2004).

Picture: Kelvin Lake - I.A.Recordings

Ian Cooper negotiating the new tube. (Kelvin Lake)

Picture 5: Ian Cooper negotiating the new tube in October 2004.

Picture: Kelvin Lake - I.A.Recordings

Important Note  NOTE

Since this article was written the land owner Crown Estates has transferred the whole of the Cwmystywyth site to the Cambrian Mines Trust

The Trust allows underground access to properly equipped cavers and mine explorers with BCA or similar public liability insurance WHO ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE RISKS INVOLVED AND ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT THEM. Every group must be led by a competent person who is able to assess risk and make appropriate mitigations.

Cwmystywth mine site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The underground is part of the scheduled ancient monument therefore any digging or other interference with the fabric of the mine without Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent is illegal.

Find Out More About Cambrian Mines Trust

News Item


Miners hat with candle and lens



Warning  Warning

If you visit this mine, the word is caution - this mine is full of timbering, stacked deads and false floors and due care should be exercised at all times - use life-lines where necessary, but if in doubt keep out!

Make yourself aware of the Cambrian Mines Trust access conditions and read their guide for visitors

Cambrian Mines Trust
Guide for Visitors


Miners tub


© Shropshire Caving & Mining Club. Last updated: 12-May-2018