Crossing the Bridges of Death

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Image: dudley bug

Subterranean bridges might conjure images of Khazad-dûm in the Mines of Moria, where Gandalf faces the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings. Here on middle-of-the-road Earth, however, things are not quite so dramatic. Not quite, but nearly. In the bowels of underground abandoned mines, bridges of timber supported by rusting metal chains cross precipitous, abyssal gaps; yet mine explorers need no second invitation to brave them.


Image: (Bridge of Death, Moel Fferna) simonrl

View from up top: Moel Fferna’s Bridge of Death

The rotten planks of the legendary Bridge of Death in the Moel Fferna slate mine, North Wales straddle a heart-stopping drop, but this bridge is actually in better condition than most found in the Welsh slate mines. Even so, treading across to make it to the other side will earn you some well deserved kudos with the mine exploring community.

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Image: Vanoord

Subterranean Bridge of Death: Moel Fferna slate mine

This image shows another perspective on Moel Fferna’s impressive Bridge of Death, which spans the roof of a large, high vaulted chamber. A scarcely visible tramline runs along the chamber floor, where the silhouette of a mine explorer can be seen. Moel Fferna is a rare case of a slate mine where there is no trace of surface workings; they were all completely underground.

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