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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
gingerarchaeology

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Joined: 07/04/2016
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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 16:34:07
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Hey all!

I've just stared a large Archaeology GIS project, mapping ancient (specifically Roman mines) across the UK.

If anyone has any sites they know, or think they know that are Roman I'd love to hear from you.

Also happy to not publish certain information, but would be keen to start to collect a database of sites and fines ect.

Jon Smartass

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Down and beyond

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 16:46:25
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Hello I read a book about cae coch sulphur mine says it could possibly be Roman but does not have hard evidence about this . If you would like more information please let me no I shall drag the book from the cobwebs and look into it further for you .

Tom

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rufenig

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 17:26:32
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There is a vast amount of information on the Tinterweb, just search for "early mines and mining"
Incidentally, there is probably as much if not more evidence of pre-Roman (Bronze age) mining.Smartass
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Peter Burgess

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 18:48:27
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How wide-ranging is this study? Would it include iron extraction in the Weald? Or stone quarrying (either "mined" or opencast). The roman ragstone quarries near Maidstone have been identified, and there are a few identified roman iron workings in Sussex (probably not subterranean). IP: 91.125.156.131
DaveM

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 20:26:55
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I'd assume Senacre woods in Maidstone is an old ragstone quarry, though probably not going back as far as Roman times. IP: 2.120.75.105
Andy Mears

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 21:08:11
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There was certainly a fair amount of Roman ironworking around Corby, Northants, with recent excavations carried out on the Priors Hall development.
If you google Roman ironworking Corby you'll find quite a bit.
Regards Andy
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bageo

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 21:11:59
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Grimes Graves and other flint mines in the Brecons are in part Roman. IP: 2.126.73.142
Peter Burgess

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 21:15:12
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DaveM wrote:

I'd assume Senacre woods in Maidstone is an old ragstone quarry, though probably not going back as far as Roman times.
There is a very informative video of this roman industry, which would tell you more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnOUT1SDfvg
IP: 91.125.156.131 Edited: 25/11/2020 21:16:47 by Peter Burgess
staffordshirechina

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 21:33:49
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The problem with "Roman" mines is that in many instances local folklore says Roman when they mean old. With regard to Derbyshire, I do not know of any mines where you can look at a particular part and say "that's Roman". I have explored genuine Roman mines in Spain and sadly, the appearance could just as easily be Derbyshire in the Middle Ages. Until miners had powder, nothing much changed.
We know that a lot of lead was mined in Derbyshire, there is documentary evidence plus preserved lead pigs. We just can't actually put a finger on it. Mainly as all the mines have been worked and re-worked so many times as to obliterate the Roman and earlier stuff.
I have never found a dead Centurion in a mine. However, my wife did find a 1st century AD clay oil lamp in a Spanish mine.
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robnorthwales

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 25/11/2020 23:32:40
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You've got roman mining in Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy areas - a locally-produced Roman lead 'pig' ingot discovered near Flint, for example. Ffos-y-Bleddiadd at Abergele is another likely site. Roman baths are found in Prestatyn, just down from very old opencut workings on the hillside

The problem is that, once pumping engines came into being, the old mines could be drained and excavated deeper - destroying the Roman workings you're hoping to find
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D.Send

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 06:27:36
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Hi,

It has been established that the Romans worked silver/lead mines at Bere Alston in Devon.

Contact :
Dr Peter Claughton | History | University of Exeter
https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/staff/claughton



Regards,

D.Send.
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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 08:11:04
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robnorthwales wrote:

You've got roman mining in Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy areas - a locally-produced Roman lead 'pig' ingot discovered near Flint, for example. Ffos-y-Bleddiadd at Abergele is another likely site. Roman baths are found in Prestatyn, just down from very old opencut workings on the hillside

The problem is that, once pumping engines came into being, the old mines could be drained and excavated deeper - destroying the Roman workings you're hoping to find


It is FFOS Y BLEIDDIAID. https://coflein.gov.uk/en/site/33928/details/ffos-y-bleiddiaid
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euros

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 08:13:39
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Dolaucothi Gold Mines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolaucothi_Gold_Mines

Nantymwyn Lead Mine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhandirmwyn
IP: 5.80.94.16 Edited: 26/11/2020 10:59:38 by euros
Peter Burgess

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 10:17:30
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There are very few proven Roman mining sites, but pretty good evidence that there was a lot of Roman mineral extraction going on. Mendip lead is a good example - all the infrastructure of roads, settlements, etc, but where was the lead actually being dug? In many cases the evidence will have been destroyed by later more intensive workings.

It is unlikely miners of the time would have been leaving dateable items like bits of Samian ware or coins lying around in their workings. Radiocarbon dating is probably the best chance of getting a date, and the best source of that could be fire-setting (assuming Romans did this).

Staffordshire china is correct in saying that "ancient" workings have frequently been attributed to Romans, out of pure supposition.

A Surrey stone quarry was once believed to be Roman simply because a stone built vault in an entrance tunnel had what looked like roman numerals scratched into it, so we laughed at the idea. Then a proven Roman tile kiln turned up, the structure of which contained four very substantial blocks of the same local stone in it. We have no idea where the blocks might have been quarried, but no longer can we laugh at the idea that Romans were quarrying the local stone. Supposition is a dangerous game, and it can work both ways.
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pwhole

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 10:57:50
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What baffles me is that in some mines in Spain the Romans had installed vertical-lift systems of interlinked water-wheels powered by slaves the drain their mines upwards, and yet in Derbyshire it seems they were barely capable of working an opencut in open countryside. Brough had a Roman fort only two miles from vast numbers of lead-bearing veins of easy access, and yet there's nothing there of any substance. Dirtlow and Odin Rakes would have outcropped on an open hillside with big shiny veins just sitting there waiting to be extracted.

Did they just not like the cold and damp perhaps, and spent most of their camp time playing cards instead?
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Digit

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 11:02:04
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pwhole wrote:

What baffles me is that in some mines in Spain the Romans had installed vertical-lift systems of interlinked water-wheels powered by slaves the drain their mines upwards, and yet in Derbyshire it seems they were barely capable of working an opencut in open countryside. Brough had a Roman fort only two miles from vast numbers of lead-bearing veins of easy access, and yet there's nothing there of any substance. Dirtlow and Odin Rakes would have outcropped on an open hillside with big shiny veins just sitting there waiting to be extracted.

Did they just not like the cold and damp perhaps, and spent most of their camp time playing cards instead?


Poor quality slaves!

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Peter Burgess

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 11:07:39
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I am confident I have heard of an example of this waterwheel system in use somewhere in the British Isles. IP: 85.115.53.201
Llanigraham

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 11:37:23
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There are certainly pre-Roman mining remains in and around the Hafren Forest (Google Nant y Eira mine) and Dylife lead mining areas, including the Roman fort site above Dylife, plus remains of a Roman road from Y Fan and Dylife towards Caersws, where lead artifacts have been found.

I know a dig was done at Nant y Eira some years ago, but can find no details of any findings from that. However I do have the map reference of the dig area following my survey work of the built environment remains in the Hafren Forest this year for NRW.
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Peter Burgess

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 11:54:41
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I have the following extracts from "Subterranean Britain" (1979) - quite an old reference now. A paper by G.D.B. Jones "The Roman Evidence" contains the following locations, mentioned as having Roman workings:

Dolaucothi (gold) - fragmentary example of "staged waterwheel" drainage system
Charterhouse-on-Mendip - roman lead slag
Llanymynech, Shropshire (copper) - coin evidence and pottery contrary to what I posted earlier!
Draethen, Gwent (lead)

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TheBogieman

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Roman/Ancient Mines! Request for sites
Posted: 26/11/2020 12:42:07
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West Mine at Alderley Edge (copper) has a Roman shaft and a niche with a Roman god carved near where it comes out into the stope.

Our mine on Anglesey, Parys (copper) was worked by Bronze Age man and the Romans were on Anglesey. It's assumed they had a few digs but have been obliterated by the large scale workings since the 1760's.

Probably similar with Great Orme copper mine, Llandudno. Worked in the Bronze Age then any Roman working obliterated by 18th - 20th Century mining.

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