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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Copper Mines on Snowdon
merddinemrys

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 11:06:35
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Has anybody looked at any of the copper mines on Snowdon. Are they easily accesible and is there much to see?

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kate tyler

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 11:20:15
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Hi,

there are a couple of walk in adits but the stopes higher up are grilled but are bolted for srt.
Its a great place for a wander as its really interesting.
(shame its so close to the tourist drag!)
The highest stope that you can see has a small level that is over CWD but has a nice bit of copper staining. (mind the timbering at the entrance!)

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royfellows

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 11:31:26
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Britannia Mine
Several levels open years ago, but don’t know current situation. Some are hard to find. Biggest accessible mine if you can find ways in, but I understand that the wardens challenge anyone seen going in.

Clogwyn Coch
Nothing underground, stiff walk to get there.

Llanberis
There are 2 main lodes worked, and cut by different levels. First (South Lode) is explorable in its entirety by hairy SRT from the top level. Bottom level is open but grilled, so much if there was a rescue! Go through the gate next to the lay by and its on the right.
North lode has bottom level covered by scree and under water a lot of the time. It may be explorable from engine shaft on hillside. Eldon Pothole Club did a write up in 1983, download from this site. Shame about the difficulties with this mine as there is a lot to see.

The above 3 are listed under “Snowdon” in the late David Bicks book. There are many other copper mines in the north Wales area, many of which are accessible. I have to mention in particular Brynfelin. The adit is regarded as run in, it is not. Clear some leaves and branches and get your wetsuit on. A long crosscut leads to high stopes and other interesting workings.


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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
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merddinemrys

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 11:48:30
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Cheers guys. Will make a detour to take a look. Brynfelin sounds good to. Is that the one just south of Beddgelert?

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royfellows

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 15:46:35
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merddinemrys wrote:

Cheers guys. Will make a detour to take a look. Brynfelin sounds good to. Is that the one just south of Beddgelert?


589472 according to D Bick
Parking may be a little difficult now as they may have taken the informal parking by the road bridge doing the highland railway.
There is more to explore if you drop the round shaft. Its in 2 stages, about 70 foot then 20 or something like that. Gives access past a fall in the adit, but not much to see down there.
In the main adit at the end, bearing over to the left, there is a rather neat flooded winze in a chamber.
Also round there, the levels at Cwmbuchan are open, as are the levels at Hafod y Porth and Hafod y Llan, however at Lliwedd the main adit, which used to be easy to explore, is now blocked by a major fall that happened a few years ago.

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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
IP: 89.240.163.234 Edited: 27/06/2009 15:47:41 by royfellows
kate tyler

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 18:34:30
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I'll confirm the wetsuit thing! was in there a couple of weeks past and it was near neck deep! Blink
The stopes are really impressive Smile

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Ben Fisher

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 22:10:47
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royfellows wrote:

merddinemrys wrote:

Cheers guys. Will make a detour to take a look. Brynfelin sounds good to. Is that the one just south of Beddgelert?


589472 according to D Bick
Parking may be a little difficult now as they may have taken the informal parking by the road bridge doing the highland railway.


There's no "may have" about it - the old informal parking now has passenger trains running through it! And the council have kindly provided a wall because of the people who kept cutting the fence wire regardless. There is however still space to park about three cars (if you're lucky) in an unmarked layby on the curve about 100m south of the railway bridge, on the left as you're heading from Beddgelert into the Pass.
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Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 27/06/2009 22:39:14
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royfellows wrote:

Britannia Mine....



Just out of curiosity, is it true that the mine was actually officially "Brittania Mine" because it was registered by someone who couldn't spell? I'm sure I have somewhere an A4 pamphlet/book/extract on this from about 20 years back.



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royfellows

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 28/06/2009 11:42:36
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Ben Fisher wrote:

royfellows wrote:

merddinemrys wrote:

Cheers guys. Will make a detour to take a look. Brynfelin sounds good to. Is that the one just south of Beddgelert?


589472 according to D Bick
Parking may be a little difficult now as they may have taken the informal parking by the road bridge doing the highland railway.


There's no "may have" about it - the old informal parking now has passenger trains running through it! And the council have kindly provided a wall because of the people who kept cutting the fence wire regardless. There is however still space to park about three cars (if you're lucky) in an unmarked layby on the curve about 100m south of the railway bridge, on the left as you're heading from Beddgelert into the Pass.


This sounds rather like another bit of 'Snowdonia Green Key' anti car strategy.
For alternative view, see the Freedom-to-Choose at

[web link]

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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
IP: 89.240.163.234 Edited: 28/06/2009 11:44:46 by royfellows
JonK

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 28/06/2009 17:58:38
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For information the North Lode is explorable by descending the open stopes.

This is very vertical with a descent of about 100 m in a series of pitches. Extreme caution is needed to ensure that the loose material is not dislodged since it falls on those below. For the descent the following ropes are needed

1 x 80 m
3 x 30 m
1 x 30 m

Plus 25 x 10 mm hangers, 7 rope protectors and 2 short slings. The 10 mm Hilti bolts were installed in May 2008.

At the bottom there are the remains of a pump in a flooded shaft. The adit is explorable until it enters a section built up in slate where it is blocked.
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royfellows

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 28/06/2009 19:00:03
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Thanks for this Jon, do you have any pictures that you can post?

Also you refer to a flooded shaft with a pump. Obviously an engine winze, are there any signs of a power train such as at Talybont?

Finally, an apology re my reference to "engine shaft", it’s just an open stope. I was getting mixed up with somewhere else.


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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
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JonK

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 28/06/2009 20:46:12
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Hi Roy

I uploaded some photos onto the site a while back - they are under Llanberis Copper Mine. I must admit there was no sign of a drive system for the pump. The pump shaft is offset from the drainage adit but not by much. What is clear is that any drive sytsem did not come down the way we descended since the route was too tortous although there was some evidence that ore had been tipped down since a sub-level was protected by large sloping timbers where is re-joined the stope.

One further warning to others who way expore this mine. If you get to a point where you think you need to descend a 20' vertical wall of fallen material - DON'T DO IT. The route is to ascend back up the stope a little and traverse on a ledge before descending further where the stope gets narrow.
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sbt

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 29/06/2009 01:25:52
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royfellows wrote:


This sounds rather like another bit of 'Snowdonia Green Key' anti car strategy.


Or it could be that the railway is so close to the road at that point that any car that doesn't obstruct the road would be in danger of fouling the loading gauge of the railway. Also the Railway Inspectorate won't allow railways without fences to open.

The orange net on the left is as close as its safe to get to the line, the new wall is where the wire was and the white line by the orange barriers is the centre of the road.

[web link]

View back the other way at an earlier date:

[web link]

From the railway, without the wall or a fence:

[web link]

To be fair its probably a 'bit of both'

Photos are from the WHR construction website

[web link]

Meanwhile the WWI maps of the railway show the mine:

[web link]

Rick
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 29/06/2009 11:08:54 by (moderator)
merddinemrys

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 29/06/2009 10:45:34
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Thanks guys, I will have to take a look at Bryn y Felin. Will take the train to avoid the parking issue.

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Life is a place, where we dig in a hole, to earn enough money, to buy enough bread, to get enough strength, to dig in a hole.
IP: 81.141.137.203
royfellows

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 29/06/2009 11:05:59
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merddinemrys wrote:

Will take the train to avoid the parking issue.


and the 'Green Key' strategists eyes filled with tears of joy

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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
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Ben Fisher

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Copper Mines on Snowdon
Posted: 29/06/2009 22:11:52
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sbt wrote:

Or it could be that the railway is so close to the road at that point that any car that doesn't obstruct the road would be in danger of fouling the loading gauge of the railway. Also the Railway Inspectorate won't allow railways without fences to open.

The orange net on the left is as close as its safe to get to the line, the new wall is where the wire was and the white line by the orange barriers is the centre of the road.

[web link]


Correct URL for that picture is: [web link]

We're heading a bit far off topic here, but one reason that bit of wall was done so late was apparently that the Council hoped to save a bit of money by using a fence at the point where the temporary road was laid across the railway while the road bridge was being replaced last year. But then people kept just cutting the fence wire. The remainder of the new roadside walls was to replace the dodgy 1920s fencing that came with the dodgy 1920s road bridge. IMHO it looks horribly ersatz but at least they dropped the idea of lines of protective Armco between walls and road...

Re Bryn y Felin mine, does anyone know if the field between the mine and the railway and road was once tips, or something? It's always looked to me as if it's been landscaped, and it's interesting that on the WW1 map it looks much the same as it does now, but with an old shaft marked.
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