Sunday 10 June 2012

Llywernog Mining Museum

The Llywernog Silver Lead Mine is situated along the A44 near Ponterwyd in the heart of Wales. It is known locally as Gwaith Poole ( Poole's Minework ). The Museum provides a fascinating living history of what life would have been like as a miner in the 1800's.

Llywernog mineral vein was discovered in 1742 and by 1790 two levels were being worked in the hillside using hand drilling and gunpowder charges. It is these levels that are open to the public for viewing. Lower levels are flooded and therefore not accessible. The silver-lead ore was discovered at a depth of 17m and the mining lasted for a number of years.

Lead prices were high and the mine was extremely profitable. The mine was leased between 1824 and 1834 to the Williams family of Redruth in Cornwall thus starting a long tradition of association with Cornwall and the expertise of the Cornish miners. The Cornish miners had their own traditions, customs and even pit language. Your guide at the Silver Mine is very knowledgeable and will explain how the mines were operated more like ships than any land based establishment.

Eventually, Llywernog Mine became a victim of falling silver lead ore prices and competition from huge mines in Australia and the USA. All the mines in this area became unprofitable and were forced to close. Whole villages and communities, many originally from Cornwall rather than Welsh, left the area for destinations overseas or for mines in South Wales. The valleys and hills are littered with abandoned and derelict mining cottages. The museum was opened in 1973 by a mining historian Peter Lloyd Harvey and his father, and continues today as a monument and testimonial to the mining communities and the heritage of this once great industry.

An award-winning Mining Heritage Trail with colourful exhibitions and the best collection of Silver-lead mining curiosities in Wales, both educational and fun.

For more photos of Llywernog mine click here


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