2004 Membership Paid


NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2004 Welcome to the latest edition of the Trust Newsletter. This has been a successful year for the Trust, we have continued our work at Catherine & Jane Consols Mine, holding two well attended weekends there. We held our first Mid Wales weekend at Cwmystwyth over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, on the Saturday we held a “Heritage Day” at the mine for local residents. Work continues at the “Glyn Pits” at Pontypool and we have commenced a project to carry out restoration of the Engine House at Pen Y Clun Mine. I am very grateful to Simon Hughes for providing me with another excellent article on the mines around Talybont (Ceredigion). At present the Trust has 69 members, unfortunately 20 members have still not paid their subscriptions for 2004, this is unfortunate, as we have paid the insurance for these members. If you have paid your subscriptions you will see “2004 Membership Paid” in the box at the top right hand corner of this newsletter. Thank you for your continued support of the Trust. If it says “2004 Membership Not Paid” in this box, it means that you have not paid for this year. In which case I will be more than happy to receive your contribution as soon as possible. I fully understand that some members may feel that they cannot continue to support the Trust, due to the increase in membership fees, due to the increased cost of insurance. I also understand that some members may find themselves having to reduce the number of organisations they belong to again due to increased cost of membership. If this applies to you please send me a letter or an email and I will cancel your membership, it will save the Trust the cost of your insurance and postage on newsletters. I have done my best to maintain accurate records, but if you have paid and it says “not paid” at the top of your newsletter, please let me know. This year we welcome three new members to the Trust; Bryan Grimston of Porthmadog, Christine Smith and Steve Oliver from Llangurig, welcome, each one of you. Also welcome to Jenny Gowing who will be joining the Trust in 2005. SIMON HUGHES – Honorary Life Membership. At this years AGM held in October at the Pound House, Newent. The Trust resolved unanimously to award Simon Hughes Honorary Life Membership of the Trust, in recognition of his fundraising for the Trust. As most of you will know Simon has compiled a CD containing his well known book “The Cwmystwyth Mines”, plus many other items on Cwmystwyth Mine, plans, photographs etc., the CD is full to bursting point with very interesting material on this mine. Simon is most generously donating all the proceeds from the sale of this CD to the Trust. To date these donations have reached £200. Copies of the CD are still available, (price £10) from either Simon at Lery Mills, Talybont, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY24 5ED, or from myself. Thank You Simon, we are very grateful.


WMPT WORKING WEEKEND 15/16 MAY 2004 – at Catherine & Jane Consols Mine We held another very successful working weekend at the mine over the weekend 15/16 May. The weather was glorious, unbroken sunshine all weekend. As last time, I must thank Harold Morris for his assistance arranging the weekend, and his help in obtaining permission from CCW, now parts of the site have been designated a SSSI.

The working party at Catherine & Jane 15/05/2004 L to R Graham Levins, Bryan Grimston, Paul Smyth, Dave Seabourne, John Alder, Harold Morris and Roy Quilliam. My thanks also to Tilhill Economic Forestry for their continued permission, to allow our work to continue. I must also thank the Countryside Commission for Wales for granting us permission to work at the SSI site. Over the weekend we carried out the following work:1) Bigland’s Wheelpit The stream that runs into the wheel pit was diverted, so it now flows down the right hand side of the pit, into the gully below. The drainage outlet from the pit was also cleared and some of the silt that had accumulated in the bottom of the pit was removed. Although in times of flood the stream will still flow through the pit, the effects of erosion will be limited.


Nigel and Simon Chapman clearing the outlet from the wheelpit

Bigland’s wheelpit, with stream flowing into it.


John Alder, Roy Quilliam and Harold Morris diverting the stream. 2) The “Smithy” Some lintels were replaced, and the stone work supporting them was consolidated. Some more vegetation clearance was carried out around the building remains. Paul Smyth deserves a special mention for the excellent job he has done in rebuilding the dry stone wall at the “Smithy”.

The “Smithy”


The dry stone wall at the “Smithy” following rebuilding by Paul Smyth

View of “Smithy” showing replaced lintel


Bryan Grimston cementing a lintel in position 3) Vegetation clearance was carried out inside and around the other two buildings above the Smithy.

The building above the “Smithy” with the interesting chimney, there is a doorway beneath; the fireplace is in the right-hand wall.


Another view of the building, with undergrowth neatly trimmed. 4) Lower Dressing Floor More of the slate slab floor was exposed.

My thanks to the following members of the Trust and the Welsh Mines Society who attended over the weekend, John Alder, Nigel & Simon Chapman, Lyndon Cooper, Bryan Grimston, Simon Hughes, Tony King, Harold Morris, Roy Quilliam, Dave Seabourne, and Paul Smyth. WMPT WORKING WEEKEND 30/31 OCTOBER 2004 – at Catherine & Jane Consols Mine Tilhill Forestry had expressed some safety concerns about Catherine Jane Consols, following our work over previous weekends. They were very pleased with the work we have carried out at the mine, but had concerns that visitors to the forest could be tempted to climb on the building remains. On the 21st June, Simon Hughes, Harold Morris, Lyndon Cooper and myself attended a meeting at the mine with Tilhill’s Forest Manager, to discuss these concerns. It was agreed that fences would be erected alongside the footpath, at the Engine House, the two buildings below and the “Smithy”. These fences would only consist of posts and three strands of wire. Tilhill agreed to supply the materials and the Trust agreed to provide the manpower to erect the fences. Suitable warning notices will be placed by Tilhill. The meeting and its result is an example of the good relationship the Trust has developed with Tilhill, and I wish to record my thanks to Alan Miller, the Forest Manager for his assistance with our work at Catherine & Jane.


Barry puts life and limb at risk, by letting Christine loose with the sledge hammer, while ‘Sam’ and Harold look on. Over the weekend 30/31 October we erected fencing at the Engine House and the Smithy, with the materials provided by Tilhill. My thanks to the following Trust and WMS members who attended, Harold Morris, Bryan Grimston, Barry Clarke, Dave Seabourne, Tony King, Barry & Mary Dupree, Christine Smith and Steve Oliver.

“Tea Break” left to right Barry Clarke, Christine Smith, Steve Oliver, Harold Morris, Bryan Grimston, Barry & Mary Dupree


Fencing at the “Smithy” left to right Harold, Barry (Clarke), Christine, Steve, Barry (Dupree)

The completed fencing near the Middle Adit. Left to right Mary, Christine and Harold


The next working weekend at Catherine & Jane will be over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend 30 Apr/1 May. We will meet at the forestry gate as usual at 1030. If anyone who has not been before is interested in attending, please contact me and I will give you details. CWMYSTWYTH WEEKEND AND “HERITAGE DAY” Over the August Bank Holiday weekend the Trust held a very successful weekend of events at Cwmystwyth Mine, for members of the Trust and the Welsh Mines Society. It was decided that the Saturday would be a “Heritage Day” to which the people of Cwmystwyth and the surrounding area, would also be invited. Along with Simon Hughes and David James, I wanted the Trust to build links with the local community. The intention of the “Heritage Day” was to let local people know about the Trust and our aims, and to enable them to find out about the history of the mine which has been the main focal point of their village for hundreds of years. I also sent out invitations to the various bodies who have an interest in the mine and its surroundings. Thanks to the efforts of David James, details of the “Heritage Day” were published in the Cambrian News. The Cambrian News sent along a photographer and a very good report was published after the event. A copy of this report is included with this newsletter. Expecting about twenty or so people to attend I was pleasantly surprised to see over fifty people gather at the mine on the Saturday afternoon. The event started with a talk by David James on the geology of the area around Cwmystwyth, I was amazed to hear David explain a very complex subject in a simple way that everyone could understand. Simon Hughes then led a walk around the lower parts of the mine site, giving talks on the history of the mine and the ruined buildings. Simon also brought along with him various old plans and photographs to illustrate his talks.

David James (centre) explaining the geology of Cwmystwyth


The days events continued at the Church Hall (Ysgoldy Goch) in the evening. The hall was packed, with even more attending than the afternoon event. Around the hall were displays of Geological maps and plans prepared by David James, an excellent display on mining in Ceredigion by Simon Hughes and a display of artefacts from Cwmystwyth Mine collected by Reg Budd from the Old Post Office at Cwmystwyth. The evening started with a talk and slide show by Ifor Richards. Ifor has a wonderful collection of slides that show his underground explorations at Cwmystwyth over the years, some parts of which are either no longer accessible or too dangerous to enter today. This was followed by a talk and slides presented by David Bick on William Waller and the Mine Adventurers, which coincided with the publication of his latest book “Waller’s Description of the Mines in Cardiganshire”. (Copies of this very interesting book are available from David at The Pound House, Market Square, Newent, Glos, GL18 1PS £9.99 +p&p). It was a very successful day, with many local people attending, and hopefully learning a little about their village’s heritage and history. I was also pleased to meet Richard Jones from CADW and Peter Austin the Tourism Officer from Ceredigion County Council, who both attended the “Heritage Day”.

Simon Hughes giving his talk at Cwmystwyth


George Hall and Simon Hughes in deep discussion, amid the crowd The rest of the weekend was for members of the Society and the Trust to enjoy the delights of Cwmystwyth. On the Sunday twenty attendees were taken on a walk up Copa Hill, as well as exploring surface remains and the ancient open workings, some were taken underground into Alderson’s, Herbert’s and Cross Road Adits.

Barry Clarke with the rescued sheep on Copa Hill


The Bank Holiday Monday started with a rescue of a sheep which had fallen into an open stope on Copa Hill (close to Queen’s Adit). The day then continued with an underground tour of Level Fawr, those who came underground were able to see the recently inserted pipe through the collapse on the Kingside Lode. I would like to thank The Crown Mineral Agency, Mrs Raw of Ty Llwyd, Cwmystwyth and Mr & Mrs Morgan of Pentre, Cwmystwyth for granting permission for the weekend’s events to take place. I must also thank Simon Hughes, David James, Ifor Richards and David Bick for their assistance in planning the weekend and their contributions to the “Heritage Day”, thanks also to Barry Clarke for his assistance with the “sheep rescue” and the underground trip into Level Fawr. I am planning to hold another Cwmystwyth weekend over the August Bank Holiday next year, full details in next newsletter. COED Y FEDW MINE, COLOMENDY In June this year I was advised by Trust director Tony King that plans had been submitted to Denbighshire County Council to build an Outdoor Recreation Centre at Coed Y Fedw Mine, Colomendy, Denbighshire. With Tony’s help I corresponded with The County Archaeologist at Denbigh C C, and the developers Axis, who are acting on behalf of Liverpool City Council, raising concerns about damage to the mining remains at this site by the development. The developers have taken our concerns into account and have made revisions to their plans, moving planned constructions away from “sensitive areas” at the mine. Last week I received a phone call from one of the directors of Axis telling me that they now planned to build a heritage centre as part of the development, so youngsters using the Outdoor Recreation Centre can learn some of the site’s history and heritage. Tony King will continue to monitor the situation and will attend the planning meetings. This is another aspect of the Trust’s role, where hopefully we can have an input into schemes that could affect or destroy historic mining remains. SPIRIT OF THE MINERS PROJECT – CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL I have received the following letter from Peter Austin, Tourism Development Officer, Ceredigion County Council. “Ysbryd y Mwynwyr – Spirit of the Miners (The Ceredigion Uplands Mining Heritage Project) You may recall that I wrote to you in May of this year to advise you that Ceredigion County Council was in the process of developing an Objective 1 project that aimed to use the legacy of metal mining in the Ceredigion Uplands as a means of Community regeneration, and I thank those of you that replied. I have pleasure in advising you that the application was successful and that the Welsh European Funding Office have agreed to fund the project from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, matched by Ceredigion County Council’s allocation of Wales Assembly Government’s Local Regeneration Funds. I am extremely pleased to advise you that the Countryside Council for Wales have also allocated funding to this project.


The project will run until the end of November 2007 and has a total project value of £464,000 which will fund a Project Officer for the duration of the project, will fund the marketing exercise and website development that will support the project, and will provide a grant scheme for Community groups, organisations and businesses to access to aid project development. The next stage of the project is to advertise for the Project Officer post and to assemble a steering group; should you be interested in being part of this steering group please let me know. I would like to take this opportunity again to thank those of you that responded to my original correspondence as this played a vital part in the success of the application. I will contact you again in the near future with more news when available.” MORE METALLURGICAL DISCOVERIES NEAR TALYBONT – SIMON HUGHES Further to the account in the last issue, Cambria Archaeology returned to the Erglodd causeway at the start of June 2004. A date of 970 – 1010 AD has now been ascribed to repairs carried out on an overlying younger structure. At the southern end of the causeway, at SN 6486-9060, there is an abundance of charcoal immediately below the turf and on closer examination this layer was found to contain a high proportion of black vesicular slag of the type normally associated with lead smelting. Further excavation suggests that an industrial operation of some magnitude must have taken place with the slag & cinder dump being at least ten metres in diameter and nearly a metre deep. Granulated slag and dross possibly mixed with tailings appears to have been used to construct part of the causeway, or to dress the surface. Most of this material appeared to be crushed and roughly sized to 4 or 5 mm. thus suggesting that the slag was dressed in a similar manner to the ore to recover the trapped metal. I estimate that we are looking at several tens of tonnes of material imported and treated on this site, possibly over a fifty year period, rather than hundreds or thousands of tonnes accumulated over several centuries – forensic archaeology will tell us more in due course. Set near the centre of this dross, and partly overlain by the causeway is a 60 cm diameter base of a furnace with three tapping points cut into the ground. The ground is badly burned and baked in this area. Two of these have been badly damaged by subsequent road making and later repairs but the third appears to be relatively intact and is to be further excavated. Whatever stonework existed in this hearth appears to have been robbed for road-making along with some of the tailings and slag, a small mortar stone about 20 cms in diameter was also recovered from the fabric of the causeway. Beneath the hearth, are 10 or 15 definite layers of charcoal mixed with slag and lead dross and now largely cemented together by white and bluish secondary mineralisation. Several pieces of furnace lining were recovered and suggest that it was constructed from a mixture of stone and porous brick or clay. The inner side of the lining was coated with a thin film of yellow-green glaze to which pieces of black vesicular slag had adhered along with fragments of brick or baked clay. The slag still retained globules of metal, litharge and fragments of ore and my initial opinion is that the furnace ran at too low a temperature to be really efficient but it is possible that there were other processes applied to recover some of the high losses and improve the general quality of the finished product. The product would appear to have been pig lead and we must therefore consider the remains to be Romano – British until some firm radiocarbon dates are obtained.


The site of the furnace is about 200 yards away from the nearest stream and there are no indications that the furnace was blown by anything other than a natural draught or by hand bellows. Traditionally, bole furnaces of this type are built in an elevated position to take advantage of the prevailing wind but this site must be a contender for the lowest example in Britain being only a metre or two above present sea level. I am at a total loss as to why this furnace was constructed at this location, the surrounding mines are all in an elevated position and appear to be far more enticing sites upon which to build a bole furnace. It is of course possible that there was a better crop of wood available at this location on the edge of Cors Fochno and that the poorer draught was of less consequence than we now imagine. For the bole to have been used over a period of so many years suggests that it cannot have been a failure, or only used for a trial run. Several interesting points arise from this discovery :1) Were these furnaces associated with the Roman Fort at Erglodd ( SN 6527-9035 ? Almost certainly, which then raises the question about the dates of the furnaces at Erglodd Mine ( SN 65639037 ). My inclination is that these must be later, possibly Medieval and pre-dating the development of larger furnaces alongside the River Leri at SN 6528-8908. (#22),

Plan of Alltycrib and Llwynadda Mine 2) From which mines was the ore obtained ? From what I have seen so far I am more inclined to think that the ore was derived from Alltycrib and Llwynadda rather than Erglodd, but without proper analysis and examination this is no more than a personal hypothesis.


3) Was the causeway built to carry ore from Llancynfelin Mine or for carrying timber to the furnace as fuel ? From what we know of the Spanish Mines during the Roman occupation, the smelters burned everything in the area and were forced to scour the surrounding countryside for fuel. For this reason I suspect that it was predominantly used to carry fuel. A few hundred metres to the west of Erglodd Fort, at SN 6515-9015, lies the Tanyrallt Mine which, initially, appears to be a late 19th century venture. However, there is a long narrow opencast which was discovered some years ago and was of indeterminable age. Recently, a rather fine stone hammer was discovered very close to this opencut and when the foliage is less dense, it is hoped that a better examination can be undertaken. Were these workings an easterly extension of the Llwynadda Mine, I suspect so.

Tanyrallt Hammer Stone 10cm scale

Having dug into a dusty corner of my archive and looked through my thesis I find that there is a good entry for Llwynadda, also known as North Alltycrib, which is worth updating and expanding upon at this time. The name is best translated as Adam’s Grove and there can be no doubt that the workings on this hillside are of considerable antiquity, particularly the opencast on the crest of the hill above the Alltycrib Engine Shaft, #10 on the plan. Without doubt, the Coffin Level (#12) is a particularly fine example of a pick-cut adit which must pre date the Myddelton and Bushell era. The large but shallow tank, Cistern II on the plan but commonly known as Llyn Jack and associated leats at SN 6484-8943, (#11) can only have filled during the winter rains and their purpose was never fully ascertained. There are only minor signs of hushing and the tanks are not particularly well placed for impounding washing water, however, several bucking stones, or querns, were found in this area with one being incorporated into the turf wall of the tank. Having wondered around this hillside for nearly forty years, it saddens me to see the manner in which, so called agricultural improvements are gradually obliterating our heritage. Returning to Alltycrib, it is largely due to the field work of Roy Fellows, that I have now been able to identify the western end of Bushell’s, or the Chapel Level, (#2) which we know dates from a little after 1641. We now know that this adit was never driven much past Felix’s Whim Shaft (#8) and never connected with either the long winze below Wilkinson’s or the Old Engine Shaft (#10), which was later sunk below the deep adit (#1) during the 19th century but never yielded much ore in comparison with the old workings. Myddelton and Bushell both appear to have been getting their ore from stopes off the Engine Shaft, the Whim Shaft (#3) and from the Steel Ore Stopes (#7) now accessible through Wilkinson’s Adit. By a process of elimination, it can be demonstrated that both the Tally Ho Adit ( SN 6520-8947 ) (#6) and the adit at SN 6482-8936, dubbed Myddelton’s, both pre-date Bushell’s work whilst the Llwynadda Coffin Adit, is of a considerably earlier age. It is only of recent years that I have become


aware of Godolphin’s visit to the Talybont mine and smelting works in 1623, during Myddelton’s tenure, to investigate the claims of Levine van Hack – a phoney Dutch metallurgist of little acclaim. Of the two main ore shoots, the Steel Ore stopes are the best defined and most accessible whilst the Old Engine Shaft, at SN 6483-8941, has run in a catastrophic manner and appears to have obliterated all the workings in the vicinity. Some felling of the dense conifers may reveal potential sites for finding shallow workings. Before the driving of the deep adit in the 1840s, this shaft was drained by an adit, vaguely coffin shaped, which seems to have been that described by Godolphin in 1623, There is a similar adit, named the Tally Ho Level driven into the steel ore stopes which appears to be more or less contemporary with that just described and both must pre date Bushell’s Adit of 1641.

Plan and Section of Alltycrib Mine 1850


Regarding Child’s Shaft, at SN 6497-8941, (#9) this appears to have been sunk to meet a poor shoot on the back of Wilkinson’s Adit (#4). About 15 metres below the surface it was possible to get into another adit, driven east from SN 6488-8937, which predated Wilkinson’s. I think that the shaft was sunk during the 18th century and was later intersected by the branch of Wilkinson’s that follows the South Lode. I am not sure about the story regarding the shaft being sunk using child labour as Child was not an uncommon surname; Job Sheldon, who worked in these parts around 1800, had a particularly poor reputation for social welfare and it is therefore not beyond the bounds of possibility. Felix’s Shaft (#8) lies at SN 6505-8942 between Child’s Shaft and the Steel Ore Stopes with its collar at about 478’aod. It was formerly known as the Whim Shaft and in more recent times was referred to as the Airshaft. This can be confusing as there is another airshaft (#20) on the back of the later Deep Adit. Much work has been done here over the years, it appears to have been one of Bushell’s targets in 1640, again in the mid 1850s during Wilkinson’s tenure and finally in 1910 when Pryse’s Level (#5) was commenced to cut the ore left standing by the old men. The old man had in fact missed nothing and the ground was all but barren below the old stopes. According to the various mine plans, the floor of Wilkinson’s adit at the portal lies at 383.77’ or 387.5 but the Ordnance Survey show the 400’ contour running just below the portal. The last time I looked at this shaft, and the various stopes running off it, it was in a very poor condition and was not a place to dwell for any great of time.

Section along South Lode

The old workings which are met with in Felix’s Shaft, 40 feet, or so, below Wilkinson’s Adit, cannot be anything other than the western end of Bushell’s Adit or The Chapel Level as it was later


dubbed by Capt. Matthew Francis. On the 1913 plans, another level, named Loder’s, meets Felix’s Shaft at 36’ (352’ aod) below Wilkinson’s and very near to the old workings. This has intrigued me for many years and I think that I may now have found an answer to a long standing anomaly. The dumps from Wilkinson’s Adit quite obviously overlie an earlier dump, of similar magnitude, which cannot be readily explained. There is a little dampness where one would expect the portal and it lies at the same altitude as Bushell’s Level; could Loder’s Level be a misguided pre Wilkinson attempt at easing the congestion on the old level by bringing a westerly continuation to the surface ? Quite possibly. I have long been fascinated by Bushell’s adit ( SN 6536-8949 at about 350’aod. ) (#2) which lies above my old primary school and have made several unsuccessful efforts to gain access over the past 35 years. The incident of the Smokey Banquet of 1641 is described by Thomas Brodway and has been frequently recited. Briefly; One Bartholomew Clocker and partners, not wishing to foul the air, had withdrawn to the portal for a smoke, when the water suddenly, and without warning, broke out of the old workings. After flooding the houses lying below the adit, Fisher “ with more curiosity than wit “, ventured back into the adit, kindled some flammable gas with his candle and was somewhat scorched for his efforts. The level has been driven along the lode as a drift and we know from Lewis Morris’s description that it was narrow and winding and desperately needed widening to be useful in the 1750s. Would the effort of digging the portal clear yield a reasonable result, probably not. It may reveal a few metres of modified and widened level before the next fall. It seems to have been abandoned by 1840. We have both a date of commencement for this adit and know that it holed through into the Steel Ore Stopes (#7) on 27/28th of June 1641. We do not know when it was extended to Felix’s Shaft (#8) and as the whole industry fell into turmoil after Bushell’s departure from the area on the 28th of September 1642 and development thereafter must have been erratic. Bartholomew Clocker and two Fishers are noted in Bushell’s List of Miners along with several other alien names – Baltiser, Cockler, Emblin, Edriser, Ficharet & Tyson. They may well have been the children of the German miners who had settled in Keswick, when the Society of Mines Royal was commenced, and were then transferred to Cardiganshire around 1585 or a little later as the rich copper ores ran out and the demand for silver increased. We also know that Bushell’s (#2) was the principal adit for nearly two hundred years and I had long presumed that the ore was taken to the river to be washed, probably in the approximate position of the mill at the mouth of the later Deep Adit (#1). However, I find that this is not so and that the old dressing floors were on the west side of the main road and had the chapels and a school built upon them once the other floors were established. Formerly, the area was known as Pen Rhylog ( derived from Pen yr Hillock ) and three washers cottages still survive as lockups near the playground at SN 6552-8956. There is no convenient source of water within a hundred yards of this place. Some fifty metres to the west of Bushell’s adit is the site of the Old Whim Shaft (#3) alongside the remains of a whim circle and shallow opencast at SN 6532-8943 / 425’aod. This shaft must be contemporary with the driving of the new adit but the opencast probably pre-dates it. Little more than a metre square with heavily worn sides, the Forestry Commission thought that it was a hazard and inserted a tree stump in the mid 1980s before it was possible to explore and survey it. At that time it was well over 100’ deep and is therefore likely to meet Bushell’s Adit. Easy access would make a re-opening fairly easy provided that the Commission would consent.


Between the Old Whim Shaft (#3) and the Steel Ore Stopes (#7), at SN 6527-8947, are a series of overgrown shallow grubbings and pits along the outcrop of the South Lode. It has never been possible to determine the depth of these workings and they do not appear to be drained by a contemporary adit. My guess is that they must pre date 1640 when the new adit was being driven. Prior to the driving of the new forest road this was an area which had changed little in centuries. None of the workings on the Cwm Leri Lode (#17-18-19) are of any great age; However, near the north end of the Middle Adit, SN 6474-8921, is a rich shoot, or pipe of ore (#16), which has been worked down from the surface as part of the Llwynadda Mine. Some pits have been cut along the course of the lode and it is likely that these also yielded a few tons of ore. The most north-westerly excavations are Bishop’s Workings (#15), at SN 6460-8931, where the Cwm Leri Lode forms a rich shoot, or pipe, as it cuts the Alltycrib South Lode as it heads west, near the Llwynadda boundary. I am sure that these workings were more extensive than appeared to be the case thirty years ago when cattle had been using the stope to shelter from the rain. This stope had vertical walls about a metre apart and the dump was several times the volume of the void. On the 1857 plan, a shaft is shown nearby which may have been sunk to communicate with Tyrell’s Adit. Another trial shaft was sunk between 1857 and 1886 about a hundred yards to the west of Bishop’s workings and the older Ordnance maps show a further occurrence of lead on the same lode at Llwyn Ysgubor Wen, a mile further west. The main adit to Llwynadda in later years was known as Tyrell’s Adit (#14), at approximately 330’ aod. a cross-cut of about 200 metres into the North lode, driven south from alongside the old chapel at SN 6447-8948. Properly Capel Bethania but known colloquially as Capel Fach Pen-level. There were simple dressing floors on the northern side of the road to Dolybont, where there is a paucity of water. The main cross-cut appears to have been driven during the early 19th century, there is unfortunately no access beyond about 100 metres where it meets the first shaft to the surface, at the collar of which where there is a considerable run of ground. According to the only surviving plan, dated 1857, Tyrell’s adit intersects two branches of the Alltycrib North Lode. It is said locally that Tyrell’s connected with Wilkinson’s Adit but this is a myth. The next adit above this, which has not been accessible for a long time, is named Dick Sham’s (#13) on the more recent plans but is unnamed on the 1857 version. Located at SN 6464-8941 and lying at about 400’aod. Llwynadda Coffin Level A little above this lies the Llwynadda Coffin Adit (#12) at SN 6470-8940, and at about 430’aod., it is unmarked on all contemporary editions of the mine plans. This was a remarkable discovery by the North Cardiganshire Mining Club in 1972, and is quite dissimilar to other examples in the area, it is in my opinion more akin to those at Dolaucothi. A few metres from the portal, it intersects a narrow


stope on the Alltycrib South Lode. This was worked both up to the surface and below the adit. Some years ago it was possible to squeeze down into a stope on the back of Dick Sham’s Adit but it was not possible to get into the adit. At about 100 metres from the portal, the Coffin Level meets later workings and the passage is then blocked by rubble which has accumulated at the bottom of a narrow shaft. This would be a worth-while dig as it is quite likely that the more recent workings are simply enlargements of the earlier one. There may well be more un-enlarged old workings beyond the fall which, after another 140 metres, ought to eventually emerge on the south side of the hill, somewhere in the area above the Old Engine Shaft (#10). Another reason that I greatly value this adit is that it is the only local example of a coffin level to exhibit an abandoned forebreast with the remnants of the central cut. Unlike Cwmystwyth or Grogwynion, at Llwynadda there is a thin film of calcite covering most of the walls of the adit with tiny stalactites in places which suggests that the latter is of much greater antiquity than the former examples Simon Hughes All plans and photographs supplied by Simon Hughes PLANS FOR 2005 Since taking over as Secretary I have been keen to make the Trust more active and provide “hands on” events for the members, such as our working weekends at Catherine and Jane. I arranged the weekend at Cwmystwyth to build links with the local community as well as providing an entertaining weekend for Trust members (also WMS members). Living in Sussex means my ability to attend events in Wales is somewhat limited, if any member would like to arrange a working weekend, or another event in Wales on behalf of the Trust please contact me. It would be good if the Trust could have a project in South Wales. Catherine & Jane – 30 Apr/1 May Working Weekend at Catherine & Jane Consols 30 April/1 May (May Day Bank Holiday Weekend). Bearing in mind that Mon 2 May is a Bank Holiday, I will arrange something, if anyone is interested in staying on for a further day. Let me have your ideas. Cwmystwyth – Survey of Waller’s Stamp Mill – July I am pleased to announce that Simon Timberlake has agreed to organise the survey, it is hoped that this will take place during July, subject to permission being obtained for an in depth survey from CADW. If any member is interested in assisting or just wants to come along you will be more than welcome. Full details in next newsletter. Cwmystwyth/Mid Wales 27/28/29 Aug I am keen to build on the success of this year’s weekend at Cwmystwyth. I am planning a weekend of events at Cwmystwyth and the surrounding area over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Full details in next newsletter. I would like the Saturday to be for local people, similar to this years “Heritage Day”, with a series of talks/slides on the Saturday evening, if anyone has any suggestions for this weekend, please contact me. Catherine & Jane – October The next of our ongoing series of working weekends, details in next newsletter.


31 October 2005 - AGM – Birmingham The 2005 AGM will be held at Nigel Chapman’s home in Birmingham, (14 Dorset Road, Egbaston, Birmingham), starting 12 noon, members are more than welcome to attend. PEN Y CLUN ENGINE HOUSE The Trust has been approached by CADW to carry out a restoration scheme at Pen Y Clun Engine House, near Llanidloes. CADW are willing to provide a grant for 100% of the restoration costs. George Hall represented the Trust during initial discussions with CADW, but was unable to devote the time required to manage the project. At this years AGM, new members Christine Smith and Steve Oliver offered to manage the project on behalf of the Trust. Whilst it was great to see new members attending the AGM, it was even better to see them volunteer to work on behalf of the Trust. Many thanks Christine and Steve. They are at present obtaining estimates from contractors for the restoration work. It is hoped the work will take place during 2005. Once the work has been completed, I hope to arrange a working weekend at the mine to carry out some undergrowth clearance and tidy up the site.

Pen Y Clun Engine House
Photo by Christine Smith



Unfortunately this is the time of the year when I have to ask you to get your cheque books out. Following all the problems we had obtaining insurance last year resulting in the rise from £5.00 to £8.00, the Trust finances are healthy. At this years AGM it was agreed that the membership subscription would be held at £8.00 for 2005. Form included with this newsletter. I had hoped to include a copy of the AGM Minutes with this newsletter, but due to family and work commitments the minutes have not yet been typed up, they will be included with the next newsletter.

NADOLIG LLAWEN I hope you all enjoy this latest edition of the Trust newsletter, thanks again to Simon Hughes for his excellent article. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. All articles and photographs are by the Secretary, unless otherwise stated. Graham Levins Secretary Welsh Mines Preservation Trust 1 Stonecrop Close Broadfield Crawley West Sussex RH11 9EP Email: graham.levins@btinternet.com Tel: 01293-510567 Mobile: 07880-817370