1 2005 Membership Paid

Registered at Companies House No 2715963

Registered Charity No 1027015

Website: www.mike.munro.cwc.net/mining/wmpt/wmpt_frm.htm

NEWSLETTER – MAY 2005 Welcome to the May 2005 edition of the WMPT Newsletter. Simon Hughes has contributed another excellent article in his continuing series on Mining and Smelting in Talybont. David James has written an article on the recently reopened level at West Cwmystwyth, plus details of the proposal by the Crown Estate to erect fences and grilles at Cwmystwyth, and lots more. Membership Subscriptions 2005 Unfortunately the Trust needs money to survive, many thanks to all of you who have paid their subscriptions for 2005. If your copy of the newsletter has “2005 Membership Paid” in the top right hand corner, I have received your payment, thank you. If your copy of the newsletter has “2005 Membership Not Paid” in the top right hand corner, this means I have not received your membership for 2005, please send your £8.00 subscription at your earliest convenience, thank you. New Members Three new members have joined the Trust for 2005. Jenny Gowing from London, Barry Clarke from Talsarn, Emyr Williams from Aberhosan. Welcome to you all. Welsh Mines Preservation Trust Website Thanks to the generosity and hard work by Mike Munro, the Trust now has a website, you will find the www. address at the top of the page. However to save typing all that in, you can go to the Welsh Mines Society website www.welshmines.org and follow the link to the WMPT pages. Mike is slowly building the site, and I will be grateful for any suggestions on how we can improve the site. Thank you Mike for all the work you have put into the site. Cwmystwyth Mine The Trust has become aware that the Crown Estate are planning to carry out “safety works” at Cwmystwyth Mine. I have not seen their full proposals yet, only extracts sent to me by interested parties. I recently made an application to Ceredigion County Council on behalf of the Trust, under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the Crown’s proposals, but as yet, they have not arrived. I understand these proposals include erecting fences around shafts and open stopes, and fitting grilles at

2 the adit entrances. This work is being carried out because of implications arising out of the CRoW Act, which comes into force at Cwmystwyth at the end of this month (May). I wrote on behalf of the Trust to The Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Environmental Director of the Crown Estate, I also wrote to Wardell Armstrong – the Crown Mineral Agents who will be managing the “safety works”, Ceredigion County Council’s “Spirit of the Miners” project as Cwmystwyth is the “Jewel in the Crown” of Ceredigion’s mining heritage, CADW and Cambria Archaeology. Expressing the Trust’s concerns over this “safety work”, which included possible damage to the site by movement of manpower and machinery to the various parts of the mine, the damage that fences of up to 2 metres high would do to the visual aspect of the mine and I also expressed concern that all the adits were going to have grilles fitted to them, preventing any further underground access, to research the outstanding underground archaeology and to rescue people and animals in the event that they managed to gain access underground. I requested that a meeting of interested parties be called, so that the Crown’s proposals could be discussed and a solution could be reached that took into account concerns of these interested parties. Ceredigion County Council’s “Spirit of the Miners” project, CADW, Cambria Archaeology and The Early Mines Research Group have been supportive of our concerns. CADW met with representatives of the Crown Estate at the mine recently and made the Crown Estate aware of their (and our) concerns. I have received a reply from Wardell Armstrong’s Crown Mineral Agent, Mr K J Bate, I quote from his letter: “We have set out to design the access arrangements and the nature of the works to minimise impact whilst at the same time meet the statutory responsibilities of our client. The visual impact of the proposals has been reduced as far as practicable by the installation of grilles, rather than palisade fencing, which in some cases is necessary. It is recognised that careful placing of fencing is appropriate in terms of safety, conservation, visual impact and potential impact on the scheduled ancient monuments, No new access tracks/roads will be installed, existing tracks will be used and physical impact will be mitigated by the use of a light low ground bearing pressure vehicle and hand excavation methods. It must be appreciated that the works will of necessity prevent access that could result in accidental death or injury. The mines are abandoned and the underground workings unsafe. They are not covered by Health and Safety at Work requirements and apart from the owners and their agents, no organisation, agency, society or individual has any legal right of entry, except in an emergency. The inclusion of gated grilles has been carefully considered for this and other sites, but it has been concluded that such installations do not give sufficient protection for a member of the public entering the mine and suffering the consequences.

3 The works to be undertaken are of a relatively minor nature and will serve to protect rather than damage the features that are entitled to legal protection by virtue of the various statutory conservation provisions. As regards the future, The Crown Estate has a program of monitoring and maintenance covering areas in Wales that contain similar features.” I also received a reply from Crown Estate’s Director of Rural Estates, Mr Christopher Bourchier and I quote his letter: “I am writing on behalf of Ms Dinah Nichols (The Environmental Director – Ed), who has asked me to respond to your letter to her concerning the Cwmystwyth Mine, Ceredigion. I understand that you have also been in correspondence with our Mineral Agent, Mr Ken Bate of Wardell Armstrong, who has outlined the background to the proposals and the related statutory responsibilities, with particular reference to our obligations towards public safety. You may be aware that at Cwmystwyth, the CRoW Act will be implemented on 28 May 2005 and therefore the commencement of the work is imminent. I am informed that the works have been designed to minimise impact, so as not to diminish the archaeological importance of the site and to offer protection to a number of features. I understand the concerns you express in your letter, but I hope you will be reassured by our intention to work closely with CADW on this matter. In view of your particular interest in this site, I have asked our Mineral Agents to contact you regarding the possibility of your Trust’s direct and practical involvement in the future management of the mine. In this way, we can insure that the access arrangements you request are under your direct control and responsibility. (I did not ask for any form of access agreement, I pointed out that members of various organisations had been carrying out research, surveys and archaeological digs at Cwmystwyth for over 25 years and various books and articles had been published. Ed) I do hope we can achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.” The letter from the Mineral Agent referred to in the Crown Estate’s letter has not yet been received. I will refrain from making any comment at this stage, but once proposals are received from the Crown Estate and their Mineral Agent, I will arrange a meeting of Trust Directors and interested members, so the proposal “of your Trust’s direct and practical involvement in the future management of the mine” can be discussed and the implications fully considered before any decision or agreement is made. If you would like to attend this meeting please drop me a line or an email and I will advise you the details of the meeting.

NAMHO 2005 – Dorking – 8 to 11 July 2005 This years NAMHO Conference and Field Trips will be held in my part of the country, in Dorking, jointly hosted by my local club, The Wealden Cave and Mine Society. Andy Belcher from the Wealden has sent me the following details. I am afraid (Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this years NAMHO, as I will be involved in the “dig” (see below) at Waller’s Stamp Mill. Ed) Are you interested in Caving, Mine Exploration, Military or Industrial Archaeology? The National Association of Mining History Organisations Conference 2005 will be held in Dorking, Surrey over the weekend of 8th - 11th July. The conference will be hosted by the Wealden Cave & Mine Society (WCMS), Kent Underground Research Group (KURG) and Chelsea Spelaeological Society (CSS). There will be a complete programme of lectures over the weekend including field trips to a variety of underground and surface sites across the South-east ranging from Neolithic flint mines to 20th Century hearthstone mines, as well as a chance to meet old friends and socialise with like-minded people. Many underground sites including mines, underground stone quarries, Napoleonic and WW2 will be open and accessible. Accommodation is also provided for those who require it, bed and breakfast at the venue itself or a campsite nearby. The full details of the conference including all required booking forms and documentation can be seen on the conference website: Website: http://namho2005.wcms.org.uk/ Email: namho2005enquiries@wcms.org.uk Write: NAMHO2005 Conference Organisers, 13 Beaufort Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9DQ Andy Belcher Forthcoming events Archaeological Investigation of Waller’s Stamp Mill at Cwmystwyth Mine. I have provisionally booked this for 2nd to 10th July, despite applying for permission from the Crown Estate and Scheduled Monument Consent from CADW in January, we have still not received the permission we have requested. (The permission to carry out this archaeological investigation, is probably being delayed, or may even be refused because of the Crown Estate’s proposed “safety works” at the mine. Ed). Hopefully this will be soon forthcoming. If you are interested in attending, just drop in for a odd day if you wish, people are not expected to stay the whole time. I am in the process of arranging a three day event over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, in partnership with Ceredigion County Council’s “Spirit of the Miners” Project. There will be one day at Pontrhydygroes, with George Hall leading a walk around Glogfach/Glogfawr, Penygist and Logaulas. I am also hoping to have a day at




5 Talybont, and a day at Cwmystwyth. (Again subject to permission from the Crown Estate). These days will consist of guided walks around various mines, and a talk on the history of each mine visited. I am also hoping to arrange evening events on Saturday and Sunday evening, with talks, slide shows etc. The Trust will also be holding another working weekend at Catherine & Jane Consols mine in late September/early October. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please contact me by letter, phone or email and I will give you full details, as soon as they are available. The Van Mining Company. 1887. In former years the Van Mining Co. simply paid the royalty accounts as they were presented without any problem. But times had changed and during May the company was being actively pressed to pay off accumulating debts. On July 20th £301 10s. 3d. was paid off the outstanding debt. During December the Marchioness of Londonderry began to show an interest in the mine and requested from Mr. Gillart a description of the mine. At the Van Mine they have two shafts, Edward’s Shaft is 150 fathoms deep and Seaham Shaft is 120 fathoms below the adit level with crosscuts every 15 fathoms down to the 120 fathoms level. Steam power is used on both shafts. Mr. J. Clark of 20 Great Street, St. Helens, London is Chairman of the company. The Royalty is set at 1/12th. for the last 5 years of the lease with 8 years unexpired. The upper part of the mine that is above the adit level is drained to the dressing floors, by means of the level. The other part below, the water must be pumped up after being carried by levels to the pumping engine, there is no other method of keeping the mine dry for working which is done by steam power. They also have to pump water from the reservoir below the dressing floors for the ore in Summer time when the supply of water is insufficient from above. Mine accounts issued to shareholders at the end of December showed a loss on the year to the end of October of £873 10s. 4d. The Marchioness of Londonderry as a shareholders and landlord being unhappy with the turn of events, decided to have an independent inspection of the mine and arranged for Mr. G. B. Forester, the Londonderry estates Mining Consultant to visit the mine and compile a report. He wrote to her Ladyship on December 29th. I was at Llanidloes yesterday and the day before and had a long conference with the Manager and an inspection of the workings. The low price of lead during the last year is the chief cause of the deficiency in the funds and the loss of profit during the year with a deficiency of making up the quantity estimated to be raised. I think it is better as regards Royalty if the price of lead improves, but that it is best not to have put it on the market. The company are trying to obtain a reduction in the Royalty, while Mr. Gillart is against such a course. The purchaser of the Blende it is supposed, thinks he can abstract some particles of gold by some process from the Blende and I hope it will be successful. On February 21st 1891 a new company was registered to continue the working of the mine. Called the Van Mining Company, it had the same Director’s as the old and a capital of £60,000 in shares of £1 each. It would appear that this reconstruction was designed to bring further capital into the company to permit the mine to continue working. The £1 shares were in the first instance offered to existing shareholders with as a sweetener, 14s. considered as paid. With some money going into the bank, the director’s struggled to keep the company going and lead being produced and dressed until the following year. Mr. William Henry Williams as Mine Manager had found changes in the persons who directed the mine difficult

6 to deal with. He clashed with some of their ideas and objected to the way the mine was run. Matters came to a head early in the year so he decided to resign with effect from March 21st. During July 1892 William Henry Williams wrote from Severn Grove. Llanidloes, to G. B. Forester in the following terms; I refer to your visit. Since then owing to changes in the Directorate and differences of opinion with them and to the working of the mine, I have relinquished the post and am consequently in search of another or similar situation. I was recommended to write to you by Mr. Gillart, who supplied your address. I have spent 25½. years of my life there and superintended the whole of the erection of buildings, machinery and dressing floors and since my fathers’ death in November 1879 up to the 21st March 1891 held the responsible post of Manager. I have a wife and six children to support and after 28 years (altogether) of active service am tired of having nothing to do. Unfortunately no further correspondence was been found and W. H. Williams disappears from the story. Can one of our readers supply details of Mr. Williams subsequent career? Nigel A. Chapman. Goginan – Work Party – 23rd April 2005 Steve Oliver, Christine Smith, Robert Ireland, Kelvin Davies and his son Tristan, spent an enjoyable Saturday fighting the gorse at Goginan Mine recently. Over recent years the entrances to Taylor’s Inclines Plane and the 26-fathom Level were becoming hidden by gorse bushes.

L to R: Christine Smith (the only one who appears to be doing any work !!!,), Robert Ireland, Kelvin Davies and son Tristan.

7 Removal of the gorse above the portal of Taylor’s Inclined Plane revealed that tree roots are beginning to dislocate the stonework at the upper left hand side, some remedial work will be necessary in the near future, (looks like you have talked yourselves into another job. Ed).

The portal of Taylor’s Inclined Plane

The entrance to the 26 fathom Level

8 The task-force then went round above the quarry and cleared the tramway approach to the 26 fathom level, where the mouth of the level is in excellent condition. The Trust is most grateful to the owner Mr A Jones and the tenant Mr D Thomas for granting permission for this work to be carried out. If anyone has any more ideas for projects that can be carried out in Mid Wales by a small dedicated group please let me know Ed Report: Robert Ireland Photos Christine Smith and Steve Oliver Taylor's Adit ( West Cwmystwyth ) Accessed At Last ! This adit was the site of several trials, most notably in 1876 when a dedicated dressing mill was built at Glynderi, ca 180 metres to the west as noted in Simon Hughes' memoir. Locally it is known as Taylor's ( Glynderi ) to distinguish it from the Taylor's adit in Nant yr Onnen. It became inaccessible many years ago and this was presumed due to soil flowage and collapse of the timbering that lead through the soil to bedrock. The day before the Heritage Weekend, August 27, 2004, the adit literally blew out following heavy rain which had built up a large hydraulic head behind the collapse. It scattered mud and rock debris across the road and narrowly missed taking Barry Clarke and his van on an exciting off-road diversion. Preliminary survey with Barry, Graham Levins, David James and David Ormerod on the 30th revealed that much of the timbering was surprisingly sound but that one dangerous stretch with loose boulders in the soil would require reinforcement. Local geological opinion thought that the beginning of the bedrock passage was just visible. The surface depression thought to indicate timbering collapse in fact proved to be a narrow air shaft, choked with roots and soil.

Looking into Taylor’s before pipe was inserted.

9 With permission from Gwyn Morgan of Pentre for a small working party of insured members of the WMPT and Welsh Mines Society to attempt safe entry and thanks to the generosity of Simon Hughes Pipe Supplies Inc., a 4 metre length of plastic pipe similar to that used in Level Fawr was taken to the site on September 20. Simon, David Ormerod and David James managed to get it through the danger zone and flush to bedrock and on the 23rd David and I explored the entire workings which, predictably, end in a huge fall on the Ystwyth Fault. The stopes also end in a fall and there seems as yet no communication to the adit system higher on the hillside.

Collapse on Ystwyth Fault The importance of the site is that the two lodes worked can now be proven to dip south, not north as claimed by O.T.Jones. The main lode, ie Penparc Lode, is in fact the Comet, but in the footwall of the Ystwyth Fault (in Level Fawr it is of course in the hanging wall). This clears up a major anomaly in the interpretation of the geology of the Cwmystwyth Mines, a full account of which is now in preparation. A preliminary survey, based on compass and pacing, is complete A previously unrecorded winze, now flooded to adit level, must have been at least 5 fathoms deep and would have posed interesting dewatering problems while working. A further feature of interest is a large chamber ( ? caban ) near the entrance with much waste rock packed alongside the line of the adit. Water level is still uncomfortably high (underwear level even for the tall) and some more gardening to improve drainage would be a very useful investment. It is hoped that access arrangements will be concluded before the next Heritage Day to allow a WMPT/WMS visit. Unfortunately there is no safe parking nearby on this narrow and dangerous stretch of road and the adjacent farm gates must not be blocked. We ask that any visitors park at the main mine site and walk back up to the adit. We are very grateful for the interest and tolerance of Gwyn Morgan and trust that this will not be abused.


Your editor samples the waist deep water, in the large chamber.

Barry Clarke looks into the flooded winze


Survey of Taylor’s Glenderi David James (Photos by Graham Levins)

(David James)

Barry Clarke and myself visited the mine in early November, when the photographs above were taken. I must also add my thanks to Simon Hughes for providing the pipe. (Ed)

12 Pen Y Clun Engine House Despite contacting four contractors, we have only been able to submit one estimate. Our application was received and acknowledged by CADW on 24th February. We received a letter of thanks from CADW on 8th March, in which they explained the need for additional estimates or copies of the correspondence sent to other contractors as required by their auditors. During discussion with Andrew Evans (the landowner Ed) he offered to assist with the transporting of material/equipment to the site, due to its difficult location and also indicated his interest in conservation of the Engine House and the site in general. Christine Smith & Steve Oliver Latest News - Pen Y Clun Engine House I have just been advised by Steve that he has managed to obtain an estimate from another contractor, to carry out the restoration work at the Engine House. This was considerably cheaper than the first estimate. This has been sent to CADW, so hopefully the project will now start to move on. Thank you Christine & Steve for all the hard work you are putting into this project. Mining and Smelting in Talybont – Part III – Simon Hughes Ulrich Frosse of Augsberg first came to Britain in 1563 as a young mineral surveyor and then returned in the summer of the following year to undertake trials for copper near Keswick. In the October of 1564 his masters were awarded Letters Patent for the working of mines. During the summer of 1567, he passed through Wales in order to survey its mineral potential, on his journey from Keswick to Cornwall. The Society of Mines Royal was incorporated in the following year mainly for the purpose of mining and refining copper near Keswick. There were then few developments in the Cardiganshire mines until after 1583 when the Society's mining rights for Wales were licensed to Thomas Smythe. Initially, Thomas Weston, Smythe's young agent, spent some time in Wales, probably in Cardiganshire and at Neath supervising the development of their furnaces there. Eight men were sent to assist at Talybont on 8 August 1585 but whether they attended the mines or furnaces is unknown. Some three or four years after this, the Talybont works appear to have been run by Mathias Ryley, a German master smelter. Other smelting works, mostly for Cornish copper had now been built at Aberdulais near Neath and was then under the supervision of Ulrich Frosse, now Smythe's trusted aide. The Cwm Bwa, Felin Hen and other small hearths appear to have fallen into disuse by this time with the exception of Maen Arthur which appears to have been erratic in operation until around 1610. Whilst under Ryley's supervision, the old Talybont hearths were so greatly improved that they now only consumed 20 % of the charcoal that they had previously used. Ryley had also managed to reduce the cost of manufacturing charcoal locally, was profitably re-smelting the slag left behind by the previous operators, and had

13 improved the costs of the refining process. These improvements confirm that there was an established mining industry in existence before 1585 and that they smelted their ores locally. The reference to refining at this date refers to the refining of the lead from pig lead, that it the removal of the residual sulphur, antimony, bismuth and silica slag to produce malleable metal. Pig lead, on account of its antimony content, is too brittle to be rolled or fabricated into anything useful. I do not think that, at this date, refining refers to cupellation of the pig lead and reduction of litharge back into lead. It is reputed, that a little after this time, i.e. sometime after 1590, it was discovered that some ores, particularly those from Darren and Cwmsymlog, were rich in silver. Traditionally, this discovery is credited to Thomas Smythe but this is most improbable and I suspect that Mathias Ryley pointed out this fact to Ulrich Frosse who conveyed the news to his master on his deathbed; and it was the heir to his Estate who benefited. Whether or not silver had been extracted from the ores in previous times is most unlikely at the Talybont mines. I am not convinced that the Cwm Bwa or Felin Hen hearths were ever used to cupellate the rich ores found in that district. There must have been simple boles in use before the erection of these old hearths, but their location has not been discovered. Should anyone have a spectroscope available for a few months, some further indications could be given regarding what ores were smelted at the various houses. William Rees was of the opinion that silver was discovered at Cwmsymlog by Thomas Smythe's son John, who was the licensee after his father's death in 1591. It is also worth noting that in 1591 Frosse lacked suitable facilities at the Neath works and was still trying to assay the Cardiganshire ores, meanwhile he was having to send the silver ore to Cornwall, and the gold to London for assaying. However; whilst it is noted that Ryley had made improvements to the refining process, this would appear to be the refining of lead, as previously explained, and is not an indication that he had assay or cupellation facilities. It is most curious that there does not seem to be any communication between Ryley and Frosse or even any knowledge of each other. Ulrich Frosse was in Aberdulais until at least 1596 and maybe until 1598 when the Smythe lease came to the end of its term. It is probable that he retired after he left the works and returned to his wife and family in Keswick. He had faithfully served Smythe and the German interests of the Society of Mines Royal since he first came to Keswick in 1563 as a clerk. He had married well, enjoyed an excellent salary for many years and must have been of advancing years by now. His poor health is recorded in correspondence from Carnsewe to Smythe as early as 1583 " you must not over work Ulrich for he is subject to infirmities - you may make him sink under his burden ". By the time that the various arrangements and modifications had been put in place, at least a year, if not two, would have passed, and it must have been John Smythe who first sent silver to London in about 1596 and the supply is likely to have ceased within two years due to the closure of the Neath works. The fate of the Talybont works and Mathias Ryley become obscure for the next 20 years or so. If there were no smelting facilities available in North Cardiganshire, it becomes difficult to account for the 15 tons of lead despatched from Aberdyfi to France in 1599.

14 There are then very few references to mining and smelting in Mid Wales until the Myddelton lease of 1617 and it would be easy to infer that the works were disused and neglected. A small, and possibly illicit trade would be most difficult to detect after the passing of four centuries. In 1604 it it frequently quoted that 3,000 Ozs. of Welsh bullion were sent to the Tower Mint but this oft quoted figure cannot be verified. It was possibly sent from Neath whilst under the troubled tenure of Sir Thomas Myddelton. The ore may very well have originated from Cornwall or Devon, where the Godolphins operated lucrative copper mines for which Sir Thomas Myddelton had been Crown Agent since 1595. In 1617, Sir Hugh Myddelton, the younger brother of Thomas - the Crown Agent, took the lease of the Mines Royal at £ 400 per annum. His reputation as an engineer developed after 1609 when he commenced a great scheme for bringing fresh water to London, reclaiming salt marshes on the Isle of Wight, and draining part of the Fens. His introduction to mining was probably through his older brother, Thomas, who had been appointed as the Crown Agent for Cornwall & Devon in 1595, and had held an interest in the Aberdulais smelting works at Neath since 1598. During the 14 years that Sir Hugh worked the mines they apparently prospered, but he personally appears to have benefited little due to his other commitments. From Cwmsymlog Mine alone he is reputed to have made a profit of £ 2,000 per month but was subject to conveying the silver to London to be minted, and this was considered more of a burden than a benefit and there were reputedly great losses incurred during the transit of the bullion. Silver, at this time was valued at 5/- per Troy ounce of which there are 12 to the Troy pound of 373 grammes. The 1617 Myddelton lease was renewed in 1625 for a further period of 31 years, that is to 1656, and during that term the political structure of the country would be changed beyond recognition. They must have met some success almost immediately, for he seems to have been responsible for the construction of a cupellation furnace in about 1620 or '21. The location of this facility is either Talybont or Ysgubor y Coed, most probably the latter. He is also credited with building a miner's chapel at the Cwmsymlog Mine, as a satellite of Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn church, at about the same time. William Rees, p 445, and Gough both mention the claims of Levine Van Hack, but the former makes little of this impostor. After maligning Myddelton and making wild claims about his capability, and great knowledge of furnaces, Van Hack along with Sir Francis Godolphin and Sir John Lewis, as umpires, were ordered to go to the mines and take two or three tons of ore from the mines, or storehouse, and report their findings. This report was submitted to the Lord Treasurer on the 30th July 1623 and is worthy of further study :Three tons of ore was mixed, divided and delivered to both Levine Van Hack and Myddelton's smelters. They were also each supplied with one and a half tons of fresh ore from the mines, so that they had three tons each. Using two furnaces they took 11

15 hours to melt down the first ton and a half into ten sows that, in total, weighed 1221 Lbs. The mine ore took fourteen and a half hours to yield 11 sows weighing 1274 Lbs. An assay of these showed that they contained 77 Troy Ozs. Of silver per ton of pig lead. The pig lead was then brought to the Refining House, which took a day, and in the presence of the umpires, yielded an 84 ounce cake of silver with an additional ounce and a half being picked out of the cracks in the bed of the test. The litharge produced during the cupellation was reduced to 2014 Lbs. of lead still containing nearly 6 Ozs. of silver per ton. 2468 Lbs of lead from 6720 Lbs. of ore is pretty awful yield at 36.72 %, and 85.5 Ozs of silver from 3 tons of ore is only 28.5 Ozs. Per ton or 886 ppm. When it came round to Van Hack's turn, he made constant excuses and appears to have intentionally damaged a furnace so that he did not have to undertake these trials. It was later declared that he was " a meere impostor and great Abuser ". Never the less, another attempt was made to verify Van Hack’s abilities when William Gomeldon unsuccessfully petitioned the King on the 29th of March 1624. After the smelting contest Godolphin and Lewis visited the mine that yielded 20 tons of ore per week through the efforts of about 150 persons. In parts it had been worked four or five fathoms deep and the lode varied from two feet down to six inches. It was prone to flooding and it was suggested, probably by Godolphin, that an adit be speedily driven to allow the continued working at depth. This cannot be Darren or Cwmsymlog and must therefore refer to the Talybont mine. Myddelton is recorded as having sent some 26,300 Ozs ( 818 Kg.) of fine silver to the Mint in 1625 - '26. Upon Sir Hugh's death in December 1631, Lady Myddelton – a daughter of the Pryses of Gogerddan, appointed a manager, but she later assigned the lease to Bushell in the October of 1636. It was later alleged that just as Bushell was being assigned this lease of the Talybont mines, the pumps were withdrawn, and waste thrown down the shafts. Bushell's interest in mining is commonly attributed to his old master, Sir Francis Bacon; but it is clear from contemporary accounts that great influence, and inspiration, came from young Sir Francis Godolphin. As noted previously, Godolphin had inspected the mines and furnaces in 1623 on behalf of the Treasury. The Godolphins were Cornish land owners who had gained some considerable acumen in the development of mines & minerals. We must be careful here as there were three Cornish gentlemen of the same name, the first Sir Francis who defended Cornwall and the Scillies against the Armada died in 1608, the second Francis being a younger son of the above who inherited the Cornish mines when his elder brother William died, and finally young Francis a grandson who was born in 1605 and died in 1639 or ’40. The original partnership of Bushell & Godolphin was therefore quite brief due to the premature death of the latter, aged only 34 or 35. Bacon is known to have deplored the loss of silver from the Kingdom, due of the lack of refiners, and, by which, the Dutch & Spanish benefited greatly by taking advantage of this state of affairs. He also knew a little about mining and the extraction of metals,

16 whereas the Godolphin family had been involved in the successful development of several Cornish mines. Bacon died in 1626. It was undoubtedly Godolphin, rather than Bacon, who spurred Bushell into commencing the Talybont adit to drain Myddelton's drowned workings. This new adit was commenced in 1637, and cut through 200 fathoms of rock before holing through into the old workings, apparently 38 fathoms below the surface, in June 1641, considerably deeper than the four or five fathoms deep as recorded by Godolphin in 1623. It was impossible to gain a back of more than about twenty fathoms from this adit and maybe the correspondent meant 38 yards below the surface and it was obvious that the old men had sunk considerably deeper than the four or five fathoms as reported. My interpretation of this matter is that the Steel Ore Stopes were drained to about thirty feet below the surface but had been worked to 15 fathoms below the sole of the adit and it was these flooded workings that burst forth that June night in 1641. The new drift was therefore advanced about 12" per day. Sadly, Godolphin died at the time that this adit was only half completed. Old Bartholomew Clocker and Fisher, either Francis or John, are recorded as being present at the holing through in 1641. Curiously, the names Caspar Klocher, later, Clocker and many Fishers occur in the lists of miners employed at the Keswick mines over half a century earlier. George Hammersley, in his study of Daniel Hechstetter the Younger, also notes the Clocker connection and suspects Bartholomew of being the grandson of Caspar. Furthermore, Bartholomew Clocker is noted in the Alnwick Castle Records, as being involved with the Cumbrian Mines in 1637 but these petered out in 1638 and many of the men were transferred to Cardiganshire. The bad winter of 1637 – ’38 cannot have helped matters. In the summer of 1566, the Fisher brothers were the leaders of a mob who attacked the German workers and killed Leonard Stoltz; However, they were reprieved from the gallows by the intervention of Lady Radcliffe - Ulrich Frosse's mother in law. Shortly after this racially motivated murder, we find that Hans Mair married Agnes Fisher, Simon Buchberger married Janet Fisher, and Andreas Ringeisen married Elizabeth Fisher. The movement of personnel between Cumbria and Cardiganshire is of particular interest as some long established Cardiganshire families suddenly “ appear “ in the mid 17th century. It strikes me as possible that they were amongst Bushell’s miners recruited from the second and third generation of German miners who had moved to Cumbria to provide technical expertise. The names Clocker and Fisher have long since disappeared but both Bonner and Mason, long associated with the mines, have survived up to the present. In the 1620s at the Newlands Mine, the drainage adits were still being referred to as “ Stoln “ or “ Stollen “, a relic from the Harz Mountains which appears not to have been carried to Cardiganshire. I have also heard of unconfirmed contemporary reports regarding Thomas Bushell visiting Frieburg with Prince Rupert circa 1638, and that whilst there he discovered how to use gunpowder. This new method of working appears to have been adopted at Talybont where the progress of the adit then progressed at a fathom per week as opposed to the yard a week which was being achieved elsewhere. The contemporary reference to rock boring by John Ray only adds credence to the possibility that Bushell may have been the person who introduced blasting into the

17 Welsh Mines in 1640. Llanymynech, Ecton and Cwmsymlog all claim the first use at various times between 1670 and 1709. After the Civil War, Bushell retired to Somerset and remained involved in mining. Curiously, the art of blasting rock was taken from Somerset to Cornwall by Thomas Epsley in 1681 according to Breage Parish Records. There is little doubt that Bushell had known Prince Rupert since the meeting with his sister, Queen Henrietta – wife of Charles Ist, since they visited his home at Woodstock, and later when he returned to Oxford to aid the cause in 1643. There may be some confusion with Prince Rupert, later being elected Governor of both the Mines Royal Society and the Mineral & Battery Works, and with his delivering a lecture on the use of powder in mines in 1670 one can only wonder if Prince Rupert's interest in mining was stimulated by Thomas Bushell. Within a year of meeting the King, Bushell was petitioning for a mint to be established at Aberystwyth Castle and now thought that 300 Lbs. of silver could be produced weekly. Whilst 300 Lb. is 112 Kgs. - £ 300 is only 37 Kgs. and a far more attainable figure. Being held in great favour by the King, the award was made to Bushell despite the Council of the Mint having grave misgivings about the scheme. The Comptroller appointed to the Aberystwyth Mint was Edmund Goodyear, a wealthy neighbour of Bushell's in Oxfordshire, who had apparently discharged some of Lady Myddelton's mine debts when Bushell procured the lease. At the commencement of Bushell's tenure, he states that Myddelton had sent 100 Lbs. Troy ( 37.32 Kg.) of silver weekly to London for the last 16 years, and from this amount £ 50,000 worth of coin had been stamped. This comment is worthy of further analysis as there appears to be another confusion of units; and if we assume £ 100 worth per week for 16 years of about 32 productive weeks, the output becomes 6.25 tonnes of silver. At 5/- per ounce, £ 50,000 worth of coin would also have weighed about six and a quarter tons and supports the wrong pound theory. The 100 Lbs. weekly which is quoted seems far more likely to have been 400 Troy Ounces( 12.5 Kgs. ) weekly and that the furnaces only operated for 32 weeks of the year. It would appear that this weekly yield could have been obtained by smelting two or three tons of good ore, which would have yielded a ton or two of pig lead for cupellation. We are therefore looking at the mines having an output of about 150 tons per annum during the 1620s. Apparently, 500 families depended upon these works and the bad winter of 1637 - '38 forced Bushell to purchase 121/2 tons of corn from Pembrokeshire. The weather also caused a delay in attending to the de-watering of the mines, the new adit was begun at Talybont to regain the old drowned works of Sir Hugh Myddelton, and a shortage of ore caused much prospecting for new ground; A vein as far away as Pwllheli was even under consideration by the October of 1638. Could there really have been 500 families dependant on these works? Considering that they were hand pumping to regain old stopes, flooded to a hundred feet below the adit, this is quite possible. Recall that there are mid 18th century accounts of 27 pumpers being necessary to keep three miners at work in Ffairchance. The fineness of the silver to be employed for coin was specified as having 11 Oz. 2 Dwts. of fine silver and 18 Dwts of alloy in every Troy pound ( 373 grammes ). Bushell was to receive 2/- for every pound of silver coined with an allowance of 14d being given for costs and disbursements to the officers, with the remaining 10d being reserved for the King.

18 The standard of the silver which Bushell was required to supply was of a lower fineness than that previously submitted. Myddelton's silver had frequently been cupellated to within 2 Dwts. of pure metal. That is, about 990 / 1000ths pure and of considerable value in cleaning up corrupt bullion. In consequence of this, it commanded the slightly higher price of 5/3d per Troy Ounce. By now, Bushell's findings were that some of the ore contained as much as 20 Lbs. of silver per ton of ore ( 7460 ppm. = 0.74 %) and others as little as 6 Lbs. ( 2238 ppm. ) which, by blending together yields a higher average of silver. By applying the fact that elsewhere there has been a confusion of pounds, then £ 20 of silver is 80 Tr. Ozs = 2488 ppm. whilst £ 6 of silver is 24 Tr. Ozs = 746 ppm. These are more realistic figures than can obtained otherwise. On the 28th of September 1642, from Shrewsbury, Charles Ist. summoned Thomas Bushell, with orders that the mint be moved there from Aberystwyth, meaning Ysgubor y Coed, in order to convert plate into coin. However, the plate was of poor quality and Bushell had to contribute £ 100 ( 400 Ozs.) of fine silver cake weekly in order to maintain the purity of the coin. We are told that this operation only lasted for a few weeks and appears to have been an effort to pacify the unpaid troops. It was noted that for want of workmen and instruments, they could not coin a thousand pounds sterling per week. Bushell and the mint were then moved from Shrewsbury to Oxford still with £ 100 worth of silver being sent there weekly from the Cardiganshire mines. Further supplies of silver were being obtained by issuing promissory notes of 5/- per ounce for plate. In 1643 the mint, and Bushell, were moved from Oxford to Bristol where he lost most of his beloved writings and accounts in a house fire. It was whilst he was in Bristol that he began to consider reviving the mines in Cornwall & Devon as the silver mines in Wales were under threat from the Parliamentary forces. After Bushell left Cardiganshire, the mines and their ancillary works passed into the control of his business partner, Edmund Goodyeare, and it is doubtful if Thomas Bushell ever set foot in Cardiganshire again. Soon after his leaving, there were attacks upon the Cwmsymlog Mine and Bartholomew Clocker was sent to London to give testimony in the House of Lords along with Joseph Hechstetter. In the November of 1644, Sir Thomas Myddelton's men ransacked Gogerddan whilst on their way from Lampeter to North Wales. They later skirmished with Sir Richard Pryse of Gogerddan and his troops at Machynlleth and then plundered the town. The troops must have passed by both the Talybont and Ysgubor y Coed works and could hardly have failed to recognise them, though it does not appear that they caused any lasting damage. About a month after this, more Roundheads, this time under Sir William Myddelton, camped at Llanbadarn Fawr, plundered Trawscoed house and the surrounding countryside. It is said that the Parliamentary forces also ransacked Goginan Mine, I have been unable to confirm this but feel that it is quite possibly a confusion with the earlier attack on Cwmsymlog. Further losses were incurred in 1645, whilst on a journey to deliver bullion to Bushell at Bristol, John Williams was relieved of £ 107 worth of silver cakes by Thomas Bowen at Llandeilo, and later of two ingots valued at £ 77 were stolen in Swansea. John Williams later testified, that John Port and others, stole some £ 30,000 worth of

coin and silver bullion from the storehouse, weighing about 3 /4 tons, and transported it to Holland by boat from the port of Aberdyfi. In present day terms, this haul was worth a hundred years wages, two million pounds maybe! At the height of the Civil War in Wales, it would seem that during an interval in the siege of Aberystwyth Castle, the Mint was spirited away to Ysgubor y Coed whilst Captain Swanley landed a two and a half ton naval cannon fitted to a land carriage. This 27 pounder rapidly led to the surrender of the Castle on the 12th. April 1646. In fact, Swanley's cannon appears to have caused so much damage to the castle as to render it totally useless and Goodyear requested, in March 1647, that the mint continue at the smelting mills until the Castle was repaired, which never happened. There is an entry in the Aberystwyth Mint Book for March 1646 stating - " the first coining at Mills " but the issue is then confused by Boon in his comment that this must refer to the silver mills near Talybont - the site of the later Dyfi iron furnace. There were furnaces and mills at both Talybont and Ysgubor y Coed at this time. Talybont probably smelted the ore to pig lead, whilst Ysgubor y Coed refined the pigs into lead, silver and litharge, and it was there that the coins were struck. At the mills, on the 8, 14 and 17 March 1646, it is recorded that 546 ounces of silver was coined and another 750 ounces made ready but not struck. This was probably used to issue back pay to the soldiers and the staff of the mint. Bushell eventually surrendered his final refuge on the Island of Lundy on 24th February 1648. The dies for the mint were surrendered by John Sydenham, Bushell's manservant, on 23rd of February 1649, along with 40.5 Troy ounces ( 1260 grammes ) of silver and that was the end of the issue. Pettus notes that the dies and other equipment were still at the Tower Mint in about 1667. There is interesting correspondence in 1655 between Sir Owen Wynn and John Estrope, formerly Bushell's head refiner, still resident in the area, who states that no German workmen were available nor any money made in Mr Bushell's time. Talybont ore was £ 4/10/- and Goginan ore £ 12 per ton. There was no ore was to be had from Cwmsymlog but when there was any, it commanded £ 17 per ton, thus suggesting that it yielded about 50 Ozs. of silver. (Wynne:2071 ). It is worth noting that John and David Estopp are included in Bushell's list of refiners. By December 1655 Goodyear was severely in arrears on his rent and the whole business had been severely disrupted by the Civil War. In February 1656 Langstone, Wildman & Hill applied for a lease of the mines and works. Of Langstone we know nothing; but Major John Wildman was formerly head of the Levellers, a radical dissident group, who was described at one time as being one of the most dangerous men in the country. Formerly a lawyer and businessmen, but now elevated to Postmaster General, he had always been a staunch Republican. His interest in silver mines was born out of his liking for money and appears to be the commencement of his " treasure seeking " phase that continued until about 1685, by which time he was paying handsomely for guidance from spirits and fairies. He was arrested for his support of the Duke of Monmouth during the Rebellion of 1685, and is not heard of again. Hill can only be Major Richard Hill, Master of the Silver Mills, who furnished an account of the smelting and refining process to John Ray. Shortly after giving this



20 account, Hill lost control of the mines in the August of 1663, on account of the termination of Bushell's lease during the inter-regnum, having been an officer apparently did him no favours upon the restoration of the Monarchy and it must be considered that he may have been a Parliamentarian. He later seems to have formed a partnership with William Dickinson, a smelter and refiner who had a legitimate lease of various smelting works, granted by Lewis Edwards. Hill was supposedly thoroughly experienced in the mines of Cornwall, Cardiganshire & Montgomeryshire. In later years Hill was active at Dyserth Mine in 1664. He smelted some silver rich ore in the iron forge at Mathrafal in 1664 - '65 and in 1669 discovered a mine near Barmouth. He is supposedly the brother of Colonel John Hill who served King Charles at Oxford and may possibly have also known Bushell and Prince Rupert. In 1658, '59 & '62 John Ray, the famous Cambridge philosopher, visited the area and stayed with Major Richard Hill in his residence at the silver mills, possibly Ynys Hir hall. There are several excellent and detailed accounts of how the ore was worked, how it was smelted, and how the silver was extracted in cupellation furnaces. Many versions of these visits exist and are frequently plagiarised, or misquoted. He is clearly confused and misplaces the new Ysgubor y Coed works at Talybont: His account is a valuable record of both the methods and yields, and probably reflects the practices used since Myddelton established the works. 6.9.1658. " I travelled to Mahantler, and thence to the silver mills. Six parts of Darren ore are mixed with four parts of Talabont. Darren being rich will not melt off the hearth without a quantity of Talybont. At the first smelting they mingle several sorts of ore, some richer, some poorer, else they will not melt so kindly. The silver made here is exceedingly fine and good. more in my fourth voyage. Heard of the death of Oliver, Lord Protector. “ 3.6.1662. " We travelled over the sands from Aberdovy and so came round about to Talabont, to the silver mills, and viewed the mint at Talabont, and took as exact a description and account as we could from Major Hill, who was then master of the silver works ". Ray notes that one ton of pig lead, when cupellated, will yield 10, 15 or even 20 Lb. Troy of silver; That is, from about 120 to 240 ounces ( 3732 to 7464 grammes ) equivalent to about 80 - 160 ounces in the ore ( 2500 - 5000 grammes ), and the premiums would have added from £ 30 to £ 60 worth of silver. At this time only Talybont was being worked. Once again, if we substitute weight for value and take the yield as being between £10 and £20 the quantity is reduced to a more plausible 40 to 80 Troy Ounces in the pig lead which equates with about 25 to 50 ounces in the ore. However, Ray is most explicit in the use of Troy pounds. In some of the accounts of this visit, recited by later authors such as Fuller. Ray comments on the way miners descend the shafts using stemples, much in the Derbyshire style. He also mentions the use of a " small iron pique " which he names as a gad. More importantly, he also mentions that the rock is pounced to powder with an iron rod which makes a hole. It is possible that the hole was filled with quicklime, which then swelled and heaved the rock apart, or it could have cut a void upon which a plug & feather could act. However, if gunpowder was being used, it tends to reaffirm that this is one of the mines associated with its earliest use in Britain. At the

21 Gamallt Mine, in 1655, fire setting was still being considered for breaking rock. Wynn:2084. In 1670, H.R.H. Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the King's uncle, published the Articles of Agreement for the ill fated " Undertaker's Co. " and we learn that Major Richard Hill, Master Worker, was to be given a salary of 100 marks ( £ 33 ) and that as well as working the mines at Talybont, Cwmsymlog, Goginan, and Cwmerfin; the mines near Barmouth were included in this proposal. Note that Talybont was a lead mine which effectively provided a flux for smelting the refractory high silver ores from the other mines. Most of the ore mined at Talybont contains an insufficient amount of silver to be extracted by cupellation whereas the Cwmsymlog, Goginan and Cwmerfin mines commonly yield over 30 or 40 Troy Ounces per ton of ore. The location of their Barmouth Mine has not been ascertained. Sir John Pettus, now Deputy Governor of the Mines Royal Society, visited the area in 1667 and this account was published in 1670 as " Fodinae Regales " - Royal Diggings. In the reversed woodcut of Cwmsymlog Hill, building " K " is supposedly the smelting mill, driven by one wheel, located some six miles distant; this can only be Talybont as Ysgubor y Coed had several wheels, is eight miles as the crow flies and well over ten miles by road. Despite showing the waterwheel, Pettus omits to show a chimney stack. He gives a list of the materials at the Talybont Mines and a lengthy account of the four wheels driving the great smelting mills at Ysgubor y coed. However; there is no description of the smelting mill at Talybont, or its associated machinery, and it can only be concluded that these works were probably not in operation at the time of Pettus's visit, it had probably now been eclipsed by the larger works which had now developed at Ysgubor y coed. The Talybont smelting works were revived under Waller after 1693, continued until about 1707 or ‘08 and maybe erratically until the 1720s when the works were converted into a corn mill. During their last phase of working, Waller informs us that there were four hearths and as many sets of bellows, driven by a single wheel. It is probable that it was only producing pig lead periodically for the refining mills at Ysgubor y Coed at this time. Roger Bird informs me that a survey of 1708 states that there were “ four Blast Furnaces at Tallibont, which are not at present made use of “. Thomas Kitchin's map of 1754 shows neither a corn nor smelting mill at Talybont. Although the smelting of the ore was moved to South Wales, and never returned to this site, mining continued locally for another two centuries. Useful buildings are never empty for long and records show that that the woollen trade was brought here by Thomas Morgan in 1809 to provide flannel for clothing the miners. If you take flannel and boil it in linseed oil you get an oilskin suitable for making miners jackets. Leri flannel was apparently particularly durable and whilst the mines thrived, so did the mills and other ancillary trades. Also in 1809, a new 12’ x 4’ breast-shot waterwheel was fitted to the old storehouse and a leat cut to join the existing one. There was a folk memory amongst the old mill workers that there had been a carding set attached to the old wheel but this was abandoned around 1860 or ’70, as it was difficult to run both wheels at the same time. In the early 1840s, on the Tythe Map, the field behind the old buildings was still known as “ Cae Felin Fwyn “ or The field of the ore mill. SJS Hughes 6th March 2005

22 Catherine & Jane Consols – Working Weekend Over the weekend 30th April/1st May, the C&J working group completed the fencing work at the mine, fencing has now been erected at the three locations requested by Tilhill Forestry.

Harold Morris and Paul Smythe knock another post into position, while Barry and “Sam” supervise.

The completed fencing alongside the buildings in the middle of the site.


The large stone corner block that was starting to sag. Work was also carried out on the ruin of the Engine House, where sleeper blocks were inserted to support one of the large corner stones, that was beginning to sag. The Engine House is built on a timber base and one of the timbers has completely rotted away. This is a temporary measure to prevent the stone block dropping further. In the long term, it would be great if we would like to completely fill the void with stone.

Sleeper support in place

24 Undergrowth clearance was also carried out around and within some of the building ruins by our dedicated “gardeners” John Hopkinson and his wife.

John and his wife clearing vegetation, prior to the fence being erected Nigel and Simon Chapman began clearing the demolition rubble from within and at the rear of the Engine House, so that the original outline of the building and some of its internal features can be seen. This was a back-breaking job, moving some very heavy stone blocks, that will in time enable an in depth survey of the building to be undertaken. .

Nigel and Simon Chapman, exposing the original outline of the Engine House.


Simon and Nigel take a well earned rest from their labours. We must give some serious consideration to the restoration of the chimney on the lower of the two buildings in the middle of the site. The chimney is in danger of collapse. This is a very unusual building, as the chimney has a doorway underneath it.

View showing the doorway beneath the chimney


View of the fireplace on the right and the flue Facing the chimney, inside the building, the fireplace is on the right hand side; the flue travels diagonally up the wall and then into the chimney.

View of the missing lintel.

27 The lintel supporting the chimney on the inside of the building either fell (although it can not be seen anywhere within the building, or on outside) or was “robbed” at some time in the past. The weight of the chimney is bourn by the outside lintel. We need to devise a plan to replace the lintel either with stone or timber and reinstate the missing stonework. If any member has experience of this type of work, and would like to offer their advice, or even better offer to carry out the work, I would be very pleased to hear from them. Harold Morris is hoping to get a rough estimate from a contact of his, for the cost of having the work carried out by a local contractor. At this time it is just to get a rough idea of what it would cost. If we are not able to carry out the work within the Trust, we will explore the possibilities of obtaining grants, for the restoration of the chimney. If any member has any ideas of possible sources of funding, please let me know. The Trust is most grateful to Tilhill Forestry, especially Simon Miller the Forest Manager, for providing the fencing materials and their continued support of our work at Catherine & Jane. My thanks to the following members who attended over the weekend; Nigel and Simon Chapman, Tony King, Harold Morris, Bryan Grimston and his son David, John and Mrs Hopkinson, Paul Smythe, Barry Clarke and “Sam”. Researcher’s Corner It has been suggested that a small part of the newsletter is devoted to informing members of items of interest found in Record Offices, Libraries etc. National Library of Wales – Trawsnant Mine, Llanwrtyd. Steve Oliver and Christine Smith have found the following items in the National Library in Aberystwyth under the deposit name Glansevin, bundles numbered 486 & 487. 486 consists of a 2 year lease of Trawsnant Silver Lead Mine dated 8/12/1863 between Morgan Pryse Lloyd of Glansevin, parish of Llangadoch, County of Carmarthen and Josiah Harris of Ess Hill House, Newton Abbott, Devon. 487 consists of a 2 year lease of Silver Lead Mines at Trawsnant, Llanwrtyd dated 16/4/1872 between M P Lloyd Harries and Messers Trevithic and J Perrett Jnr, Richard T (?), Somerset, Gent., Joseph P (?), Clifton, Bristol, Engineer. This lease includes a ‘nice’ plan of Trawsnant and Glynglas (part of Trawsnant), parish of Llandewi, Abergwessin. West Glamorgan Record Office – Waller’s Stamp Mill, Cwmystwyth Mine. Roger Bird has found a sheaf of papers in the West Glamorgan Record Office (Neath Antiquarian Society) Gnoll/Industrial 1/1: (NAS Gn/I 1/1). Which refer to:“An acct. of disbursments in Carrying on ye Workes of ye Lead mines of Cumustwith by ye Direction of Wm Waller from ye 12 of March til ye 6 of June 170 [blot]”

28 These papers are the accounts for the building of William Waller’s Stamp Mill at Cwmystwyth. The transcription provided by Roger Bird will greatly assist and add spice to our investigations at Waller’s Stamp Mill in July. Gathering the Jewels This is the title of a website that I have just discovered. It is a collection of digital images of articles from various Record Offices, Museums etc. The internet address is www.gtj.org.uk On the site under Mining you will find a picture of a Promissory Note issued by the Cwmellan Lead Mines in 1840, a handwritten article (13 pages), by Hugh Pugh of Dolgellau, detailing his work in the Gold Mines in 1890’s, it also contains interesting facts and figures on the mines. The site is very large and I still have not seen all of it, but it is well worth looking at. Ed If anyone would like to share their discoveries with fellow researchers of mining history, please send details to me by post or email and I will include them in the next newsletter. Cwmystwyth Mine – Safety Work (May 19th) Barry Clarke reports that safety work at Cwmystwyth has commenced. Contractors working on behalf of the Crown Estate are beginning to erect post and rail fencing around Herbert’s Stope. The work is expected to take 2 to 3 months.

The first fence posts in place, around Herbert’s Stope. (Photo Barry Clarke) Items of News from David Bick Dylife Members may like to know that a new book on Dylife and district exceeding 200 pages is about to be launched out of the blue, by Y Lolfa of Talybont. The author is a

29 young man named Michael Brown who has been working on it for years, and I have been requested to write a few words to go on the back cover. (As yet I have no date of publication Ed) Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments (Wales), Aberystwyth Peter White has retired and now in charge is Peter Wakelin, late of CADW. I think he could be the right man for the job, and I intend to give him my congratulations. We at least talk the same language. David Bick “Spirit of The Miners” Ceredigion County Council have appointed the Project Officer, for their Spirit of The Miners Project. Her name is Meleri Richards. To give members an insight into the Spirit of The Miners Project, I asked Meleri to pen a few words for the newsletter about the project, and to suggest ways that the Trust and its members may be able to contribute towards it.

Ysbryd y Mwynwyr – Spirit of the Miners
Securing a future from the Past Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners is a new £464,000 community regeneration project set up by Ceredigion County Council. It sets out to create an identity for the Ceredigion Uplands using the legacy of metal mining as a theme for regeneration. The project will mainly focus on the human, social and community aspects of mining culture. In short, the very reason many uplands villages exist. Meleri Richards, a Project Officer has been appointed until November 2007, who will have the responsibility of developing and marketing this identity within the area whilst also working with the local communities & businesses to develop potential projects. As part of Ysbryd y Mwynwyr – Spirit of the Miners a grant fund has been created to facilitate project development. This funding is made up of contributions from European Objective 1 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), Welsh Assembly Government’s Local Regeneration funds, Countryside Council for Wales and Ceredigion County Council. This project development will provide all sections of the local community with an opportunity to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of mining in the area. The grant scheme will help create opportunities for tourism, new jobs, community led projects and new businesses. Its long-term aim will therefore be to preserve the memory of mining whilst creating an image that will become synonymous with the area. The grant fund will only be available for projects that are associated with the Uplands metal mine heritage and the scope of projects that can potentially be

30 supported is wide, for instance, ideas however traditional, modern or innovative may be initially considered. The project is time limited and the grant fund is now available on a first come first serve basis. Therefore to re-word a Welsh saying; “We must ensure for future generations the heritage that was once ours…..” I would like to hear from any members of the Trust who may be able to provide local knowledge, photographs or other general information that they think might be useful to the project and also from anyone who may be interested in becoming involved on a local basis via the Trust. Furthermore if you have any ideas or suggestions on potential projects in the area or require general information contact Meleri Richards on 01545 574162 or by e-mail melerir@ceredigion.gov.uk. Meleri Richards Late News Powell Mine, Ponterwyd. A wall around the Engine Shaft, at Powell mine, near Ponterwyd, has been demolished, during building work at the site of the mine. It is a great shame, that Ceredigion County Council is on one hand working to preserve Ceredigion’s mining heritage through it’s “Spirit of the Miners” Project, while on the other hand it’s Planning Department is giving permission for a feature of over 100 years old to be demolished. Two articles were printed in the Cambrian News on this tragic event. Pwll Roman Mine, Taliesin. A large hole has appeared in a lawn, at Taliesin. It is part of the Pwll Roman mine workings that have collapsed, it has been ‘plumbed’ to a depth of 100 feet. This was featured in the Cambrian News. Thanks to Simon Hughes for the photograph below.


Photo: Simon Hughes I would like to thank all the contributors to this newsletter, David James, Nigel Chapman, David Bick, Barry Clarke, Steve Oliver and Christine Smith, RogerBird, Meleri Richards and especially Simon Hughes for the third instalment of his excellent series on Mining and Smelting around Talybont. Without your input, there would just be a few pages of my ramblings. I am sorry I am unable to give more definite information on the Trust activities this summer, I have held back from publishing this newsletter in the hope that I could give full details, but circumstances beyond my control have prevented it. If you require any information on activities please feel free to contact me. Details below. Also included with this newsletter are the Minutes of the 2004 Trust AGM and Trust Accounts. The 2005 AGM will be held in Birmingham, Nigel and Mrs Chapman have generously made their home available for this AGM. The AGM will be held at 1200 noon, on Sunday October 30th, at 14 Dorset Road, Egbaston, Birmingham. If anyone requires directions please contact me. I hope to see some of you, at either the Welsh Mines Society Weekends or Trust events this year. Best Wishes Graham Levins (Newsletter Editor)


Secretary: Graham Levins 1 Stonecrop Close, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9EP. 01293-510567, Mobile: 07880-817370, email: graham.levins@btinternet.com WELSH MINES PRESERVATION TRUST Minutes of the 12th Annual General Meeting Held on the 3rd October 2004 at the Pound House, Newent. Present:T W Evans (TE) (Chairman), G C Levins (GL) (Secretary), S Timberlake (ST), D E Bick (DB), G W Hall (GH), A P King (AK), N A Chapman (NC) (Directors). John Hine (Chairman Welsh Mines Society), Christine Smith, Steve Oliver and Robert Ireland (Members). Meeting Opened at 1200 1. Chairman’s Opening Address The Chairman welcomed every one to the AGM and thanked David Bick for making his home available for the meeting. He said it had been a good year for the Trust, the continuing work at the Glyn Pits, the ongoing working weekends at Catherine & Jane Consols, and the successful August Bank Holiday event at Cwmystwyth. The support from the membership for events like Cwmystwyth is very good to see. TE told the meeting that when he gives talks or attends functions he is always proud to introduce himself as the Chairman of the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust. 2. Apologies for Absence None Received

33 3. Minutes of Last AGM It was proposed by AK and Seconded by NC that the Minutes of the 11th AGM of the Trust held at The Pound House on 5th October 2003, were a true and accurate record. Rest of meeting in favour. 4. Matters Arising from Minutes Cheque from I Jones At the last AGM GH asked the reason for a donation of £75 from Mr I Jones. The secretary received the cheque from the previous secretary and did not know the reason for the donation. The secretary has been in touch with Christopher Williams, who explained that the cheque was donated by Mr I Jones towards the restoration of the Maes Maelor Chimney, a structure Mr Jones had known since he was a boy. Transfer of Reserve Account At the last AGM it was suggested that the Trust’s Reserve Account should be moved from Nat West to another institution that would give a better rate of interest. The decision made was that Directors should forward suggestions to the Secretary. None have been received.

- 2 TK suggested that the “ING” Bank gave a very good interest rate. It was proposed by GH, seconded by TE, that TK makes inquiries and if Chairman agrees money will be transferred. 5. Secretary’s Financial Report and Presentation of Accounts The Secretary’s Financial (and Membership) Report was read and discussed. A copy of this report is attached to these minutes. The bank balances as of 5th October 2004 are Current Account £839.79, Reserve Account £1235.43, with £156.00 to be banked giving total assets of £2231.11. It was proposed by DB and seconded by TE that we accept the Financial Report and Accounts as a true and accurate record of the Trust’s Financial Status. Special mention was made that donations by Simon Hughes from the sales of his Cwmystwyth disc have now reached £200. It was proposed by GL, seconded by NC that Simon Hughes is made an Honorary Life Member of the Trust in recognition of his generous donations to the Trust. This was agreed by all present. Secretary has produced a certificate that was signed by all Directors present at AGM, which he will present to Simon in due course. The question of members who have not paid membership subscriptions for 2003 and 2004 was discussed, GL explained that he has sent them a reminder with the last two newsletters but payment has not been forthcoming. It was proposed by GH and seconded by TK that the two members concerned D Gwyn and A Williams be removed from the list of members.

34 6. Re election of Directors due to Retire by Rotation It was proposed by DB, and seconded by TK that G Hall and N Chapman be elected for a further 3 year period of office, it was agreed by all in attendance. 7. Insurance 2005 It was proposed by GH, seconded by NC that we continue to insure the Trust and its activities with the Council for British Archaeology for 2005. 8. Membership Subscriptions 2005 Taking into account the Trust’s finances, it was proposed by NC, seconded by TK that we maintain the subscriptions at last years level of £8.00 for 2005. 9. Appointment of Auditor It was proposed by TK and seconded by NC that we appoint N Bennett as the Trust’s auditor for the forthcoming year. All in agreement. It was noted that the Secretary had written and thanked him, for the valuable service he is providing to he Trust.

- 3 10. Dates of Directors Meetings 2005 Sun 21 Feb 2005 at West Winds, Penydaren Park, Merthyr Tydfil, 12 noon. AGM Sun 30 Oct 2005 at 14, Dorset Road, Egbaston, Birmingham, 12 noon. It was decided that we would not be holding a Trust Directors meeting during the WMS meeting at George Hall’s this year. 11. Activities for next year Work will continue at the Glyn Pits, Lottery application has been made, something will soon be happening. The Trust involvement at Catherine & Jane Consols will continue, further working weekends will be arranged April/May and Sept/Oct next year. It is also hoped to hold a further weekend at Cwmystwyth over the August Bank Holiday weekend. GL and ST are hoping to arrange to carry out survey of Waller’s Stamp Mill at Cwmystwyth next summer. 12. Any Other Business The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to David Bick for making his home available and providing refreshments for this meeting, this was echoed by all present.

35 The Chairman asked the Secretary to ensure in future that the AGM agenda is sent out to directors two weeks before the AGM. AGM Closed 1345

WELSH MINES PRESERVATION TRUST Agenda for 13th AGM to be held at 1200 noon, on Sunday 31st October 2005, at 14 Dorset Road, Egbaston, Birmingham

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)

Chairman’s opening remarks. Apologies for absence. Minutes of 12th AGM held at held at the “The Pound House”, Newent, on 3rd October 2004. Matters Arising from Minutes. Secretary’s Financial Report and presentation of Accounts. Nomination and Election of Director’s due to retire by rotation: D Bick, T King, S Timberlake, P Claughton. Insurance. Membership Subscriptions 2006. Appointment of Auditor. Dates of Director’s Meetings 2006.

36 11) 12) Activities for next year. AOB.