Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castell Lead Mine

A Scheduled Monument in Blaenrheidol, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.4155 / 52°24'55"N

Longitude: -3.805 / 3°48'18"W

OS Eastings: 277332

OS Northings: 281253

OS Grid: SN773812

Mapcode National: GBR 94.NV3H

Mapcode Global: VH5BZ.0K94

Entry Name: Castell Lead Mine

Scheduled Date: 29 August 1993

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2576

Cadw Legacy ID: CD153

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Lead mine

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Ceredigion

Community: Blaenrheidol

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of a 19th century lead mine including its water-management and transport systems, extraction and dressing processes with their power systems. The monument was opened for Blende by Thomas Bonsall in 1785. It was working probably intermittently thereafter. By 1856 it had acquired a 30 x 4ft waterwheel for crushing ore. The present crusher house was built in 1898 by Captain J Owen for the New Castell Mines Ltd, who operated the site from 1898 to 1908. The wheelpit alongside the crusher house (43 x 5ft) is fine and well preserved. The crusher house is of coursed rubble with iron lintels. The site of the earlier wheel lies behind it and above is an engine pit, with the foundation of its balance pit and open shaft. The mine is also known as West Esgairlle.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of mining technology from a single period. Lead mines may be part of a larger cluster of industrial monuments and their importance can be further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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