Cwm Mynach

LocationSH679215 (Area map showing location.)
Production and Employment1,613 tons
1886–1887 Merionethshire Mining Co.
1889–1891 D Richards
1892? Cwmmynach Manganese Syndicate Ltd?
1906 Welsh Manganese Co. Ltd agent J H Netherton
TransportHand carrying of ore on upper levels [Gwyn 1998: app. 2: 155]. Short internal tramway at incline head level to substantial and well-engineered balanced incline (two 18" tracks on 10' wide formation, steeper at top). This was followed by short section of near-level tramway to bridge to loading bank on Cwm Mynach road.
RemainsOvergrown with forestry plantation and, above the forestry, deep heather. Dangerous-looking underground workings including large stope with waste on rotten timbering. Some of the pack walls have started to collapse. Shelter (roofless). Further underground workings above forestry followed by shallow opencast workings rising to crest of ridge. The adit shown on the plan at incline head level has run in. Remains of drumhouse or brake-base at incline summit SH68032147. Piles of ore (starting to become overgrown) either side of loading dock at incline head. Incline and tramway to loading bank at side of road. (April 2002)
AccessThe incline and approximate route of the tramway from the bottom of the incline to the road are waymarked as a path for walkers.

graphic: plan

“Manganese ore presumably carried by hand on upper levels as there is no trace or road or railway” [Gwyn 1998: app. 2: 133].

[Down 1980: 47] shows the incline continuing to the loading bank, however, Gwyn [1998: app. 2: 133] interprets a shelf-like formation across the incline as a transfer point where the incline wagons emptied into other wagons on a near-level length of railway.

The 1900 revision of the 6" map [OS 2nd edn XXXIII NW] marks the course of the incline as “Old Tramway” with no track shown so presumably it had already been lifted by that date.

Down [1980] refers to a “West Manganese Ltd” in association with this mine in 1906 but no company records have been found. (Possibly a typographical error for Welsh Manganese Ltd.)

underground surface

Also a gold mine [GAT SMR: 20628].

photo: underground working   Underground working

Looking towards daylight along the level at the bottom of one of the stoped-out beds.

The level has been driven along the strike and the bed worked up-dip from the level.

Debris on the floor of the level is from collapsing pack walls.

photo: shelter   Shelter

The shelter is built against the outcrop which forms its back wall. There is no sign of a chimney which suggests that the building did not serve as a smithy.

photo: incline head   Head of incline

The head of the incline of the mine. The standing figure is looking down the incline.

The ore appears to have been loaded into the incline wagons from the raised dock around the incline head. (Ore ready for loading can be seen on the extreme left of the picture.)

photo: incline head   Head of incline

The head of incline loading dock seen from below.

Remains of the drum or brake house can be seen behind the loading dock.

Tipped waste can be seen behind the trees on the right of the picture.

photo: incline   Incline

Looking down the incline.

The incline is on a small embankment at this point, in the distance it passes through a small cutting.

photo: loading bank   Loading bank and tramway embankment

Looking south towards the loading bank by the Cwm Mynach road.

The embankment carrying the tramway from the foot of the incline can be seen coming in from the right of the picture. It is presumed that this embankment would have ended in a masonry-faced abutment and that there would have been a bridge over the small stream.

photo: loading bank   Loading bank and tramway embankment

A further view of the loading bank looking north-west towards the tramway route from the foot of the incline.

In the foreground is what appears to be a remnant of the original cart track from the loading bank.