Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Expotition to an old lead mine

As the final field trip of the course he's teaching, G had arranged for someone to guide us round some old lead mine sites near Llanrwst. This was just a surface tour looking at the locations of the shafts and adits and also exploring some of the old ore processing sites, one of which has been nicely excavated and made safe for visitors.

My pictures of the mine sites are really only good for a record of the visit, but I've polished up the prettiest shots and


Wales is best known for sheep, so these creatures are an unusual sight. :)

Old stone buildings

The remains of one of the old mine buildings.

Path through trees

Parts of the old site were contaminated with heavy metals, but nature is quickly taking over the hillside again.

Chimney at lead processing site

The chimney was interesting because the lower part was local stone whilst the upper part was brick. Presumably this was to keep down the cost and only use brick for the upper part where it was presumably lighter.

Shaft cover

The mineshafts had been capped with these pillbox like structures. The design is intended to stop people falling in whilst allowing ventilation into the mines where the bats live. The bats can also come and go through the bars.

Lead ore processing plant

This is the most complete of the ore processing plants. The ore starts at the top and as it's crushed and processed, it drops down from level to level until the fine residue can be smelted. The technology was updated through the years and the earlier buddles were replaced by froth flotation cells.

Lead has been mined and processed in the area since at least the 1750s.

Immature robin

While we were standing listening to our guide explain various details about one location, this confident little chap came and perched nearby. He or she is an immature robin.

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