Industrial Recording
Project No. G1910

klondyke lead mill

Industrial remains form a significant section of the scheduled sites within Gwynedd. These include a mixture of metalliferous mines, slate mines and stone quarries, and transport related features. An assessment of metalliferous mines undertaken in 1997-8 led to the scheduling of several additional copper, lead and gold mining processing complexes (GAT Report 291). By their very nature, these sites usually contain masonry structures that are no longer used, and therefore vulnerable to erosion and decay. A rapid assessment of the upstanding remains within the Gwydir Forest revealed a number with upstanding masonry that was in danger of collapse.

The aim of this project is to identify and record those features and areas of upstanding masonry that are liable to collapse within the near future. The project for 2006 to 2007 is to concentrate upon the scheduled lead mines of the Gwydir Forest.

Klondyke Lead Mill illustrated

The following sites have been assessed

SAM Cn 159 Klondyke Lead Mill
This is a large upstanding building, possibly the largest upstanding building associated with lead mining in Gwynedd. One small area of collapse has recently occurred on the east wall of the turbine house, though the remainder of the wall appears relatively stable. Despite the height of the walls, the remainder of the building also appears relatively stable, and it is the timber work that once supported the roofs, floors and machinery that is at greatest risk. Unfortunately the slow rotting of the timbers will have a direct impact upon the masonry, which will be dislodged by falling timbers, and in danger of collapse where wooden lintels occur. A full record of this structure, to include the masonry and timber elements, was therefore required, to be undertaken by measured survey using a reflectorless total station and photography.

SAM Cn 326 Hafna Lead Mine Mill and SAM Cn 327 Vale of Conwy Lead Mine
The remains at this site have been consolidated by Forest Enterprise, and are open to the public. There are no major areas of concern.

SAM Cn 331 Afon Llugwy Lead Mill
The site contains a mill building standing to eaves height, with foundations of contemporary structures alongside. North of the mill are two tall stone piers, one on either side of the river, and a level into the mine. A timber lintel on the east side of the mill has rotted, causing the north-east corner of the building to slip and start to collapse. This will fall in the near future if no remedial work is undertaken. It was, therefore, proposed that a detailed record of the north and east sides of this building be made.

SAM Cn 332 Coed Mawr Pool Lead Mine
The scheduled area forms one of the principal dressing floors of a much larger mine site that lay dispersed around Llyn Pencraig. Several structures lie within the scheduled area, including a substantial wheel pit, a bob pit, a circular powder store, and various lengths of upstanding walling. A part of the wheel pit, particularly the south wall, is eroding, and the other structures, mostly of dry-stone build, are also very vulnerable to collapse. No detailed plan exists of the location of all the masonry structures. It was proposed that this site be surveyed in its entirety using a total station, and then each feature be recorded by photograph and written description.

Tanya Berks
John Roberts