About these pages


A website with photographs of a few of the manganese mines was set up by John Ruston [2000]. When he moved away from the area in 2001 he invited me to take over his work. Rather than build on the existing website, I decided to develop an entirely new site and the only material re-used was some of John’s photographs. Work on the new site commenced in November 2001 with the development of a more or less standard presentation for each mine and has continued as time permits since then (see Change Log for details).

A paper providing further information about the project and detailing some of the advantages and disadvantages of the approach taken is available [Linton 2009] and an overview of the mines and mining, together with this website, is presented in [Linton 2014].


The list of mines and the information about them is derived from:

  1. The RCAHMW records originate from the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust’s Sites and Monuments Record. The main sources of these records are (a) a list of sites compiled by Peter Crew, Snowdonia National Park Archaeologist, working with Steffan ap Owain, and (b) a Gwynedd Archaeological Trust project to assess the condition of all the recorded metal mine sites [Geary 2001]. Source (a) was itself based on secondary sources, primarily Down [Crew 2002].
  2. Wilkinson’s records are compiled from Inspectors of Mines reports, Home Office Lists of Mines, National Archives (Public Record Office) records (particularly Board of Trade records of disolved companies) and other sources.

All locations which have been mentioned in connection with manganese mining have been included, rather than just those sites that have been positively identified as manganese mines. For instance it has been suggested that some non-manganese workings near Tanygrisiau were described as manganese mines by their owners during WWII in order to qualify for government investment (manganese being of strategic importance at this time – see The manganese trade). After the war the new equipment might have been moved elsewhere [Hopkinson 2002]. Details of workings or trials for other minerals in proximity to manganese workings have been included in the individual mine descriptions.

The maps and plans in these pages are based on:

Although scale bars and OS grid intersections are shown on most plans, these should be treated with caution and not used for precise measurements.

Where national grid references are given in the accompany text they are either taken from GPS readings taken in the field or based on measurements made on 1:25,000 OS maps.

Details of limited companies are based on information abstracted by Jeremy Wilkinson from the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office).


Nineteenth century industrialists, entrepreneurs and map-makers (mostly English) had difficulties with Welsh place names, particularly when they were not available in written form. The resulting anglicizations of spoken Welsh, and the modern use of more appropriate Welsh spellings, has resulted in various inconsistencies between names in mine and other records and names on modern maps.

In general, mine and company names have been left unchanged. Otherwise, I’ve used modern Welsh spellings for place names. Where appropriate, the modern Welsh spelling of a place name has been included as an alternative name for a mine. The Glossary of Welsh place name elements includes some common variants cross-referenced to their modern Welsh spellings.

The pre-1974 county of Merioneth is now the district of Meirionnydd in the county of Gwynedd.

Weights, measures and currency

Most of the sources for this work use the imperial system of weights and measures. Consequently, these have been retained throughout and S.I. equivalents have been provided. No equivalent has been provided for tons as it is considered that the imperial ton (1016.05 kg) is sufficiently close to the metric tonne (1000 kg) that an exact equivalent would be superfluous.

During the period the mines were working the UK pre-decimalisation currency of pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d) was in use. UK decimal currency equivalents of pounds (£) and pence (p) have been provided. When comparing prices with modern-day equivalents, the purchasing power of the pound in late 19th century Britain compared to the present should be taken into consideration.


The photographs have been selected to provide representative views of the mine sites rather than attempting to be an exhaustive record of all features on the sites.

The majority of photographs have been taken by me using a Pentax Optio 330 digital camera. The photographs have been manipulated and compressed to bring out detail and reduce file size. (In most cases the original photograph as uploaded from the camera has been archived to preserve the original resolution and picture information.)


C G Down’s publication The Manganese Mines of North Wales (British Mining No. 14) [Down 1980] is the basis of much of the information in these pages. The Harlech Dome area map, the mine plans and most of the tables of mine outputs and manpower are based on those in Dr Down’s publication and are used with permission. The copyright of maps, plans and other extracts from that publication remains with Dr Down and they must not be reproduced without his permission.

Attribution and copyright information is shown beneath all photographs not taken by me.

Photographs shown as © Crown Copyright: RCAHMW are © Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Any form of reproduction, transmission, display, lending or storage in a retrival system of such images without the prior written consent of the copyright holder is prohibited.

All other material in these pages, and the overall web-site design, is copyright © D J Linton 2001.

Landranger and Outdoor Leisure are registered trade marks of Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency of Great Britain. Netscape and Netscape Navigator are registered trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Web page creation and design

These pages have been created on Macintosh computers using text editors (BBEdit Lite and TextWrangler, both from Bare Bones Software Inc.). In-site links have been checked using my own link checking program (written in Perl). I’ve attempted to keep the page design and organisation as simple as possible. In particular I’ve not used frames and I’ve tried to avoid using unnecessary graphic elements.

The site is intended to be HTML 4.01-compliant and has been tested against (a) Safari 1.2.4 and, less exhaustively, Camino v1.0b1, iCab 3.0.1, Firefox 5.0, Internet Explorer 5.2.3, Mozilla 1.7.12, Netscape 7.2 and Opera 8.5 on Mac OS X 10.3.9 and (b) Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows XP. Earlier versions of the site were tested against Netscape Communicator 4.7, Netscape 6.2.1, Internet Explorer 4.5 and Internet Explorer 5 on Mac OS 8.6 Netscape 4.7.2 on Linux on a PC, however, these browsers are considered to be superceded and no special provision has been made for their continuing support on this site.

The top of page site navigation menus require a browser capable of handling W3C cascading style sheets. If CSS support is not available the pages will still display and all information should be readable. However, some page layout and formatting may be affected – in particular the top of page menus will be shown as a list. In addition, Internet Explorer requires JavaScript to be enabled for correct operation of the top of page menus.

Some problems are apparent with Opera 8.5 and the rendering of pages using Firefox and Mozilla is not ideal. Printed versions of pages should not show link underlining and the top of page menus, however, these appear on pages printed from Internet Explorer and Opera on Mac OS X. Please let me know of any other apparent platform or browser incompatibilities or any usability issues.

Corrections, amendments and contributions

This is a work in progress and consequently not all mines have been fully documented. I will include additional photographs and information gleaned from site visits and other sources as time permits. You can see what has been changed on the site from the Change log.

Corrections (including inconsistencies, spelling mistakes and broken or misdirected links), amendments and other contributions are solicited. In particular, I’d be very interested in photographs or any written recollections of the working mines. All material used will be acknowledged.

Submissions should be sent to me, Dave Linton, dave.linton@hendrecoed.org.uk, telephone: 01341 280901.

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