Deep in the Welsh countryside lies a spooky reminder of Britain’s industrial – and often deadly – past.
‘The Slaughterhouse’, is the name given to the abandoned Cwmorthin quarry near the village of Tanygrisau. It gained its fearsome reputation due to years of dangerous work, in which people were injured and even killed.
In the years between 1875 and 1893, 21 people are reported to have tragically lost their lives out of a workforce of around 550. Locals, wary of their family and friends working at the site, gave the quarry its grim nickname.
The north Wales quarry opened in 1810 and work at the site ran all the way until 1997, as slate was extracted to be used for anything from chalkboards to table tops and insulation.
Cwmorthin itself is now an abandoned village, but once home to around 200 people, according to cwmorthin.com, but the last family actually moved out in 1948.
Its history stretches back all the way to the 11 century and a farming community that supposedly lived on the site of the village.
The ruined Cwmorthin Uchaf farmhouse is believed to have belonged to a man called Sion Jones, who lived until the 1860s.
The local history site claims “many sources ” said Sion was around the age of 100 when he died, and revealed his family had lived in the area for around 800 years up to that point.
Locals wishing to visit the area can hike up to the site near the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Alternatively, there is now an adventure challenge for people to enjoy located within the mine, containing authentic old wooden carts and a leather cap.
The Go Below team said: “We don’t install mains flood lighting into this magnificent historic environment. We don’t lay smooth concrete floors. We don’t put in gantries, fences or safety barriers. The mine is absolutely radiating character and personality just as it is, and we don’t want to spoil that magic at all. Not one bit.”
BBC Travel reviewed the experience in 2015 and said it was “a three-mile route through a massive slate mine that includes the world’s deepest underground zip line, first underground free fall, a 22m abseil and numerous traverses and via ferrata-style climbs.”
Cwmorthin mine is said to hold the “deepest underground spot in Britain” that is open to members of the public.