Mynydd Nodol

Alternative nameManganese Royal
Royal Manganese [Wilkinson 2003: 14423]
Great Northern
LocationSH859391 to SH865399 (Area map showing location.)
GeologyAsh beds containing irregular stringers of manganese ore and quartz. The ore is mostly psilomelane, sometimes in the form of kidney-ore. [Dewey & Bromehead 1915: 54]
1867–1871  Great Northern Manganese Co. Ltd manager J Harris
1877–1882C Herbert Stokes
1885–1886Henry Hands agent Edward Halse
1897Edward Mounsey & Co. Ltd agent G Spargo
1898–1900J A Wylie agent G Spargo
1906–1908G A Claughton agent E J Evans
Production and Employment

underground surface
1885 120
1897 4 
1908  1
TransportCart road to Arenig railway station [Dewey & Dines 1923: 70].
RemainsAn extensive area of worked ground on the west and north sides of Mynydd Nodol. On the west side of the hill most of the workings apear to be shallow surface excavations, although there are indications of run-in levels. On the north side of the hill, overlooking what is now Llyn Celyn, are some deeper workings, an incline and the remains of buildings.

Specific features include a small surface working with a possible bucking stone (SH85903914), remains of an ore-bin (SH86003960), a large open working leading to a deep worked-out rift with remains of a wooden ladder (SH86213979), the incline foot, an adit, tip and buildings (SH86433988) and a possible smithy (SH86293981). (February 2009)

The site was surveyed in detail by RCAHMW in 2011 as part of the Atlanterra Project.

AccessWith the exception of openings to the deep workings and the adit at SH86193978 which have been fenced off, the remains are on Public Access land.

In July 1868 it was reported that “at great expense, immense veins of manganese have been searched for and found, the quality being equal, if not superior, to the foreign manganese. Samples have been submitted to Prof. Crace-Calvert and Dr. B. W. Gerland, both of whom pronounced them to contain from 70 to 75 per cent. of oxide of manganese.” [MJ 1868 p. 592].

Halse [1892: 943–946] describes in some detail an abandoned working “on the smaller hill near Arenig” following a vein at a depth of 100 feet (30m) from the surface for 250 feet (76m). Nearby, another vein was worked to 60 feet (18m) with one sample of ore having 56% manganese. A number of other workings are described including a vein of 46% manganese ore beneath old workings which was worked to a depth of 43 feet (13m) [Halse 1892: 941–942].

In 1898 it was reported that gold had been found whilst looking for manganese [MJ 1898 p. 535].

In August 1905 W Bowen-Jones noted that one man was employed for one or two days in the spring cleaning the opening to an old level [GAS CAO: XD/35/420 p. 101]. In October 1906 he reports 4 to 12 men employed since the spring of that year clearing old workings and making trials for manganese [GAS CAO: XD/35/420 p. 150]. In April 1911 the Inspector notes “One man in charge of Mr Claugton’s Sett. No mining done. There are one or two dangerous holes on the lowest Sett.” [GAS CAO: XD/35/422 p. 82]

Down commented in 1980 that ore could be found in numerous small opencast workings in a myriad tiny veins [Down 1980: 51], however, there was little of this to be seen in 2009.

photo: surface working   Surface working

Surface working at SH85903914.

The figure is standing by the stone anvil (shown below).

photo: stone anvil   Stone anvil

What appears to be a stone anvil at SH85903914, presumably used for breaking ore. The the pen’s shadow indicates the depth of one of the two concavities on the upper surface of the stone.

photo: quarry   Quarried area

Quarried area at SH85993923.

photo: surface workings   Surface workings

Surface workings in the form of trenches and linear tips at SH85963935.

photo: robbed tip   Robbed tip

Robbed tip, probably for ballast, at SH85993947. The section through the tip shows the tip material, which appears to be mostly broken rock.

photo: ore bin   Ore bin

Looking down on remains of an ore bin at SH86003960. The curve of the back wall of the bin can be seen to the left of the photograph.

photo: incline   Incline

The figure is standing near the bottom of the incline which runs up the hillside to the cutting with visible tip material on its left and vegetation on its right.

photo: building remains   Building remains

Remains of buildings at SH86433988.

The buildings are close to and probably associated with the incline and an adit and its associated tip.

photo: walls and pit   Walls and pit

Built-up level area bounded by walling with a pit (purpose unknown) at SH86293984.

photo: smithy   Smithy

Possible smithy at SH86293981.