Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Great Orme Copper Mines

A Scheduled Monument in Llandudno, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.331 / 53°19'51"N

Longitude: -3.8479 / 3°50'52"W

OS Eastings: 277033

OS Northings: 383156

OS Grid: SH770831

Mapcode National: GBR 1YKX.QN

Mapcode Global: WH53S.VJTR

Entry Name: Great Orme Copper Mines

Scheduled Date: 26 January 1994

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3189

Cadw Legacy ID: CN216

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Copper mine

Period: Prehistoric

County: Conwy

Community: Llandudno

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


The Great Orme Copper Mines above Llandudno have an extensive complex of surface and underground workings exploiting copper ores in soft, easily worked strata. The true extent of mining operations here is unknown but it is believed to exceed 24,000 square metres, incorporating passages totalling more than five kilometres and penetrating to a depth of seventy metres.

Archaeological evidence from the fill of the galleries include well-preserved bone tools and broken hammer stones. Charcoal was also found and radio-carbon dates from it have led to suggestions of Bronze Age beginnings for mining at this location. Spoil dumps and capped shafts are visible, dating from the nineteenth century.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric industry. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The areas themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and mining techniques.

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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