Welsh Mines Society
Cymdeithas Mwyngloddiau Cymru

Summer Field Meet - Weekend, 12th - 13th June 2010
North East Wales : Minera Mining Museum and Other Workings in the Vicinity
Based at The Anchor Hotel (Ye Olde Anchor Inn), Ruthin
Organiser : George Hall

As to the programme of events, this was as follows:
  • Saturday 12th June - Minera Mine, Wrexham

    Leader : C.J.Williams
    Met 11:00 at the museum car park (signposted from the main Wrexham-Ruthin road) at SJ 276 509.  (View OS Map)
    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 nearby Penrhos engine-house at SJ 286 532. (View OS Map - Note that parking is very limited.)  This 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 center (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, but 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 members.
     - 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 1DY.  The Menu can be viewed here.

  • Sunday 13th June - Pool Park & area, Esclusham Mountain.

    Leader G.W.Hall
    Met at 10.30a.m. at SJ 254 512, the turning to Park Farm.  (View OS Map).
    (Brief details of the CPAT survey of this area.)

    We visited several old mines on Minera Mountain, and while there are numerous complexes of dumps, foundations, sites of shafts, and so on, there are no substantial remains at any - it being a requirement of the land-owners (the Grosvenor 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 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.

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This page created 10th July 2010 (M.P.Munro)
Last update (reformatted) on 17th April 2021