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Latitude: 52.4273 / 52°25'38"N
Longitude: -3.9505 / 3°57'1"W
OS Eastings: 267473
OS Northings: 282825
OS Grid: SN674828
Mapcode National: GBR 8Y.N1ZN
Mapcode Global: VH4FF.G8W2
Entry Name: Daren Lead Mine Workings & Adit
Scheduled Date: 12 December 1985
Source ID: 2574
Cadw Legacy ID: CD144
Schedule Class: Industrial
Category: Lead mine
Period: Post Medieval/Modern
Traditional County: Cardiganshire
The prominent linear workings of Darren Mine cover an area some 1km in length and exploited the Darren Lode, a rich silver-lead vein which also produced copper. They constitute some of the best examples of open-cut excavations in Wales. A line of pits along the south-western portion of the scheduled area marks the position of Bushel’s Adit, dug for drainage in the 17th century; further underground workings, mainly beneath the north-eastern arm of the area, followed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has long been suggested that the first exploitation of the Darren Lode dates back to the prehistoric period, with historic references noting this as a ‘Roman’ or ‘Ancient British’ work. Survey and excavation in 2005 of the mine adjacent to the hillfort of Daren Camp (SAM CD028) strongly supports a later prehistoric phase, and this is further enhanced by the findings of galena (lead ore) in the hillfort rampart, and of stone hammers at other points along the mine workings.
The first recorded lessee of the mine is Sir Hugh Myddleton in c.1618, followed by Thomas Bushel in 1659, although evidence was noted at this time for the 'old works' at the site. After Bushel it lay neglected until 1731 when it was re-opened by George Jones under Edmund Moore. A survey of Darren Mine was carried out by Lewis Morris in 1742 as part of his survey of the Cardiganshire Mines. After another spell of closure in the later half of the 18th century the mine was revived under a number of different owners with differing levels of success until its final closure in 1890. The problem of draining the ‘west end’ (the southern part of the north-eastern arm) was finally solved in the 1870s by the provision of an impressive set of pumping flat-rods running for more than 1km over the hill from the north-west. Little now remains of these, but further unscheduled surface remains related to the site include remnants of a tramway and ore hoppers on the northern side of the hill.
The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of mining practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits.
The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.