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Mine Exploration Forum

Author New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Rheidol United

Joined: 30/10/2011
Location: Mid-Wales

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 06/11/2018 17:12:14
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Written and designed by Ioan Lord, published by Vale of Rheidol Railway. 272 pages, hardback with dust jacket, includes plans, surveys, sections and a wide range of old and new photographs. Contains geological study of the orefield, history of all 40 mines in the valley and archaeological descriptions of the surface and underground workings. Available at:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rich-Mountains-lead-mining-Rheidol-Ystumtuen-Ioan-Lord-zinc-Ceredigion-Galena-/273503764248

This detailed history of the lead, silver and zinc mines of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen studies the rise and fall of the mining industry in this often-forgotten part of the Central Wales Orefield. A huge number of sites have and continue to be bulldozed, landscaped and destroyed; sites which have great significance in local heritage, and which shaped and transformed mid-Wales forever. Very few of these local industrial sites are protected, and many more can still be saved and preserved out of the hundreds which are scattered across the county. This book contains the individual histories of each mine site in Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen as well as modern day examinations and ground-breaking underground surveys; sites which all contributed to forming one of the largest and most important industries which Ceredigion ever had.
‘Not a person had stood at this place underground since the May of 1863, and many tools and artefacts lay exactly where they were left by those people from a bygone age. We filled in the entrance again after we left. Perhaps the time capsule of workings beyond are best left this way: entombed and silent, in respect of the people whose footprints still cover the floors, and who worked and laboured here more than 150 years ago.’
Ioan Lord, aged 20, has been studying and exploring the old abandoned mines around Aberystwyth since the age of 6, and started to write this book when he was only 8. A decade of further research and with the support of the Vale of Rheidol Railway who have published this unique academic book, Ioan has finally achieved a childhood dream and has a book which breaks new ground in exploring not only the history of an industrial valley which has never before been studied in detail, but also the lives and legacies of hundreds of men, women and children whose lives revolved around the mining industry. Ioan studies Welsh History at Bangor University, and when not working as a Guard and locomotive Fireman on the Vale of Rheidol Railway, volunteers in curating and exhibiting industrial museums at Corris and the Llywernog Silver-lead Mine at Ponterwyd.
This book is the culmination of many years of archival research, archaeology and underground digs and explorations which tie in the history with some fascinating discoveries recently made hundreds of feet below the earth in Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen. It brings together a vast archive of old photographs and documents, maps and books which date back as far as 1670. It demonstrates the local and national importance of a 4,000-year-old industry, which deserves a much higher recognition and value.
IP: 31.205.1.213
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 06/11/2018 21:24:07
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Highly recommended.

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"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, Masters of the Universe
IP: 88.106.230.184
joso

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Joined: 28/07/2018
Location: Mid Wales

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 08/11/2018 15:11:36
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A good read! IP: 86.136.10.108
danswift

Joined: 31/03/2016

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 30/11/2018 11:23:49
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Not a person had stood at this place underground since the May of 1863, and many tools and artefacts lay exactly where they were left by those people from a bygone age. We filled in the entrance again after we left. Perhaps the time capsule of workings beyond are best left this way: entombed and silent, in respect of the people whose footprints still cover the floors, and who worked and laboured here more than 150 years ago.’[/I]

This right here is what it's all about. the fuel for the drive to keep exploring. Now who's got the grid ref Thumbs UpThumbs Up
IP: 88.144.140.98
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 30/11/2018 11:49:39
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An interesting dilemma for the explorer.

Do you seal a place as a time capsule or leave it open for others to enjoy?

So far I have followed the latter.
After I worked reopening the far reaches of Henfwlch someone I though was a friend went in and took a miners pick out for his private collection in Dolgellau.

Artefacts have gone missing from Taylors Level at Cwmyctwyth, so it is something for me to think about.

That, and the theft of fixed aids and ropes etc is a strong argument for the gate it all crowd.

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"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, Masters of the Universe
IP: 88.106.230.184 Edited: 30/11/2018 11:50:05 by royfellows
Rheidol United

Joined: 30/10/2011
Location: Mid-Wales

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 30/11/2018 12:47:37
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A very good point. I had a similar experience recently, when a friend wanted to explore an adit I had reopened in the valley last year. This adit had a length of over 700 feet of the best hobnail boot prints I'd ever seen, throughout that entire distance. Less than a week later I was told that he'd explored it right to the end, before I had a chance to tape off the hobnail boot prints, and when I asked about them the reply came "what hobnail boot prints?" They are now all gone, trampled through completely.

Since then I have adopted the principal of leaving most of them open, but being extremely careful who I tell about them. This, along with precautions such as tape and warning notices such as at Henfwlch and Frongoch, I believe to be the best way of dealing with the situation. Many explorers are only interested in seeing how far into the earth they can get, and will not pay attention to what they trample through or disturb as they run along!
IP: 188.164.31.18
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 30/11/2018 13:27:14
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Hi Ioan
Yes, the warning notices will soon be everywhere where I have a degree of control.
Awareness that a certain place is owned by someone and actively managed may go along way.

Having said all of this, I have not had a lot of trouble, ropes walking from Frongoch I needed for haulage, handline from Alltycrib, and stuff I have mentioned.

My attitude is same as coming home and finding the garden furniture gone and pond filled in, its all private property.

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"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, Masters of the Universe
IP: 88.106.230.184
Moorebooks

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Joined: 28/11/2007
Location: Newport, Shropshire

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New book on the metal mining industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen near Aberystwyth
Posted: 30/11/2018 16:32:29
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Sadly Roy there is market for these artefacts and if its worth protecting I disagree with filling in but forming a gated controlled access and taping off the items and footprints. However the sad fact is that the items are taken away as some form of trophy and into private collections. In the lake District many an item went into Hollands and Tylers collections. The latter of course did run a public museum although on retirement the lot got flogged off .

The NAHMO guidelines are quite specific find it , photograph and leave for others in future to see. In saying that the trucks on the 40 yard level at Snailbeach have deteriorated and rotted over the years so maybe not the best solution either

Mike
PS the book is a real credit to Ioan its very good
IP: 77.100.235.46
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