Remains of double winding house, New York, Dinorwig slate quarry

Remains of double winding house, New York, Dinorwig slate quarry

Alongside the footpath at New York level stand the remains of the unusual double winding house which controlled movements of wagons on a four-track incline. Please stay on the path and do not cross the fence.

Aerial view of Dinorwig C1 incline in 1946Slate was originally carried down from New York to Muriau, the lakeside level, by an incline further north. The four-track incline, known as C1, was built c.1930. Two further inclines, C2 and C3, were also added, further up. All were gravity inclines. Laden wagons hauled up empty ones via cables which passed through the winding houses, where brakes controlled the wagons’ movements.

The four-track incline is visible near the bottom of the 1946 aerial photo, courtesy of the Welsh Government. There was a sharp bend at its foot. The large New York mill building is in the top right corner. The photo shows that by 1946 the original C1 and C2 inclines had been largely obliterated by further quarrying activity.

The four-track incline functioned as a four-track railway does: two tracks for long-distance movements and two for local ones. The southernmost pair of tracks here connected New York to Muriau only. The other pair provided access to three intermediate galleries. The access points to those galleries appear as small triangles of shadow in the aerial photo.

The access points connected only to the incline’s northernmost track, which carried all laden and empty wagons for the intermediate galleries. The adjacent track was used for ballast wagons. They were heavy enough to haul empty wagons upwards but light enough to return to the top as laden wagons descended to Muriau.

Each pair of tracks had its own winding drum here. The low wall between the gable-end walls supported the central bearings for each drum. Notice how large blocks of stone were used where the end walls took the weight of the drums, and smaller pieces where the walls supported the roof only.

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