|As to the programme of events, this was as follows:
- Saturday 12th
June - Minera Mine - Leader C.J.Williams
Met 11:00 at the museum car park (signposted from the main
Wrexham-Ruthin road) at SJ 276 509. (View
There are extensive remains of these mines, operated by John Taylor
& Sons between 1849 and 1914, including the Meadow or City Shaft
engine-house. The site was reclaimed by the local council, and opened
to the public in 1994.
We first visited the Penrhos engine-house at SJ 291 532. (View OS Map - Note that parking is very limited.)
is a restored pumping engine-house for one of John Wilkinson’s
collieries. It was built about 1795, and is probably the earliest
engine-house in Wales to survive to its full height.
Lunch was taken in and around the car park, despite there being a pub
a short drive away !
After a visit to the display of artefacts in the visitors cente (a
rebuilt ore-house, dating from the 1860's), a tour of the site was
taken, including a visit to the Meadow Shaft engine house, which dates
from about 1857.
We then set off along the trackbed
of the standard gauge line which served the lead mines, stopping to
review the remains at Taylors shaft and Phillips shaft, before
continuing through the site of the Minera Lime Works, and on to the
Eisteddford mines, where a substantial hush, and other related
features, were viewed.
Mike Klimaszewski had offered to lead an
underground trip to Cabin Shaft, Minera, (located at SJ 258 519, at the end of the yellow road at Gwynfryn - View OS Map). Cabin Shaft
is entered using a 30-foot electron ladder, and that there are several
crawls, despite this, there were insufficient takers.
There are two useful books on this area :
- John Bennett (ed.), 'Minera : Lead Mines and Quarries'
(Wrexham Maelor Borough Council,1995), with chapters by various WMS / WMPT
- Nigel Jones, Mark Walters and Pat Frost, 'Mountains and
Orefields : Metal Mining Landscapes of Mid and North-East Wales' (CBA,2004),
which has well-illustrated sections on the early and later Minera mines.
- Saturday Evening - Dinner at the The
Anchor Hotel, (Ye Olde Anchor Inn), Rhos Street, Ruthin, LL15
Tel. 01824 702 813. The Menu can be viewed here.
- Sunday 13th
June - Pool Park area -
Met at 10.30a.m. at SJ 254 512, the turning to Park Farm. (View
OS Map : Printable
here for brief details of CPAT survey of this area.)
We visited several old mines on Minera Mountain, and
while there are numerous complexes of dumps, foundations, sites of
so on, there are no substantial remains at any - it being a requirement
of the land-owners (the Grosvener Estate), that all structures be
demolished on ceasing mining. This didn't prevent much discussion
and speculation as to the identity of the various remains.
Chris Williams provided some information on the decoys on the
mountain, which led
to the area being heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe in the Second World
War - at which point the rain arrived, and soon after a general retreat
to the vehicles ensued.
Again, an alternate trip to Ogof Dydd
Byraf (mine workings leading to half a mile of natural cave) didn't prove sufficiently attractive for members.
Other sites of interest:
Those in visiting the area might consider visiting the West End mines, about SJ 252 525, (View OS Map), where there is extensive
evidence of early (medieval and later) mining, including the Hush Vein.
There is a public footpath to this area from the minor road to the north.