By Tony Beardsell and Martyn Young
A large area from the stable block to the eastern extremity where the Cambrian Railway enters the site.
This area contains the main East / West Cambrian railway through the site, a loop linking the Savin and Hoffmann and Cupola kilns and storage shed to the main line. A parallel siding to the main line with turnout and signal with a level tramway servicing one side of the main line siding, and a parallel inclined tramway servicing the south side with a tramway truck tipping device at the eastern end some 8ft above the main line. Possibly the area where a runaway tramway truck rolled out of control onto the main line and resulted in a signalman been struck by a returning passenger train while trying to clear the track.
Loads of stuff intertwined in the ivy, large piles of scrap, main line chairs, tramway chairs, mainline and tramway, nuts, bolts, fishplates short bits of rail, springs and leaves of springs from locos and trucks, ingots, slag runs of metal, wire, signal posts. Tramway sleepers complete with spikes intact and a tree growing through it. A very interesting place, wasps’ nests, and area riddled with rabbit and badger holes. At the top of a badger hole we found signal cable.
In July 2009 there were numerous metal finds through the area and below are just some of the images representing those finds. Click on the sketch for a larger image.
Spikes in a sleeper.
Spike embedded in a tree
Leaf Spring 3′ 3″ in length
Rail Section 2′ 6″ in length
The area of the turnout on the main loop opposite the Savin kilns, has revealed a cash of main line spikes, a short 16″ track bar, a 3″dia collar, 3″ dia ring, a broken end of a tramway de-spiking bar, various lengths of rod & big bolts up to 2′ in length, and 1 tramway spike. Click on the finds sketch below for a larger image.
Winter clearance of the undergrowth allowed us to look at the workshop area again in February 2017.
We started looking for the remains of a 5-plank wooden wagon which had its wheels removed. Several interesting pieces of corner plates, strapping, bolts, plates, main line, and tramway spikes, plus two lots of shell bearings, axle box oil cover. We also found two concrete plinths, both with 4 broken off studs, the centres of the hefty plinths being 23′ 9″ apart. This must be the front part of the workshop. The map shows the main line enters the building offset to one side, and when a scaled overlay drawing was placed on the map a structure was drawn in red on the diagram to make a building fit close up to the Welsh tramway, this matches the 1902 map. We have tried to locate the far end, but a lot of overburden has been deposited in this area, so we may never know the exact length. We also found 2 x 1″ diameter pipes together on a brick floor parallel with the line of the main building. Click on the sketch below for a larger image.
Clearing the Cupola Kiln Base Area
Winter gales demolished trees on the site, one came down the embankment across the cupola base. Another had seeded in the brickwork and all were removed during the clear up. The stump was lifted out with a toe jack borrowed from the W&L Railway.
Cupola Kiln Base prior to stump removal
Main Line Area Finds
This area is a sunken siding off the main line through the site. To the left hand side on the map is a shallow incline for tramway trucks to tip into mainline wagons and to the righthand side the opposite onto a lower tramway track. Click on the sketch below for a larger image.
Plates and Spikes