Welsh Mines Society
Cymdeithas Mwyngloddiau Cymru

Autumn Meet - Weekend 23rd - 24th September 2017
Mid-North Wales : Dinas Mawddwy Area
Based at the Y Llew Coch (The Red Lion), Dinas Mawddwy
Organisers : David Roe - with thanks to Dave Seabourne and Simon Harris for their assistance.

[ Current OS Map : Outdoor Leisure 1:25,000 Sht.OL23, 'Snowdonia : Cadair Idris Area' ]

As to the programme of events, this was as follows:
  • Saturday 23rd September - The Red Dragon Mine.

    Met at 11:00 am at the farm  on the left hand side of the A 470 road from Dinas Mawddwy to Dolgellau.  (NGR SH 847 153 - View OS Map)  The farmer had kindly agreed for us to park on his land.
    We took the bridleway for a two kilometre walk up the Maesglase valley to this iconic mine site, that was the subject of a great deal of work by WMS Members under the guidance of Simon Harris in the 1990's.
    The remains include leats, an open adit, carpenters and blacksmiths shops, wheel pit, and the building that once housed the Perkes crushing & amalgamating machine of 1854 - the base of which was lovingly excavated and consolidated by WMS members over twenty years ago.
    Members had to bring their own lunch and be prepared for inclement weather.

    David Roe produced a 24 page memorial booklet on the Red Dragon Mine based on many items originally published in the first 50 WMS Newsletters.  It also includes a number of colour photographs taken during the work we did in the 1990s.
    A digital copy is available for download here.

  • Saturday Evening

    Dinner 7.00 pm  for 7.30 pm, at the (highly recommended) Y Llew Coch (The Red Lion), Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9JA  (NGR SH 859 148 - View OS Map)
    A copy of the menu (available here) was included with Spring 2017 Newsletter.

  • Sunday 24th September - Cowarch and Tyllau Mwyn (Friar's Coat Mine)

    ~ The Strenuous Route ~
    Met at 10:30 am at Cowarch (NGR SH 852 187 - View OS Map) (there is ample parking at the end of the valley) for a brief look at the limited remains of the Cowarch Lead Mine.  We then set off up the footpath to the top of the ridge at a leisurely rate set by our field trip leader, David Roe.  It's about 1,200 feet to be climbed, achievable in say 90 minutes - so it's a stiff climb but great fun !
    At the top we then headed north for the scattered remains of Tyllau Mwyn iron mine at NGR SH 844 205 that David Bick associated with Elizabeth Baker's "Friar's Coat" Mine of 1770.  We returned by Glasgwm and viewed the mysterious ruins high on the ridge before returning to Cowarch.

    We were lucky to not to have to re-enact Mrs Baker's experience :
      "Last Friday I was at the long concealed spot that produced the Friar's Coat ... Hail, rain and the tops of mountains covered with snow; for two miles at least on the edge of a precipice the mare climb'd the rock .... And the rain ran off my petticoats as they were too wet to receive more."

    ~ The Less Strenuous Route ~

    We were successful in gaining permission from NRW to use the forestry track from the northern side of the mountain via Coed y Brenin.  Organising this route proved rather more complex than originally expected.  David Seabourne did some excellent work with the Forestry paperwork and we at last got permission to use the forestry road to the Friar’s Coat Mine (Tyllau Mwyn iron mine) at NGR SH 844 205 (View OS Map).
    All those who elected to take this route were sent the details of access, parking and timing by e-mail.

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This page created 2nd March 2019 (M.P.Munro)
Last update (reformatted) on 26th April 2021