Ancient Monuments

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Llanerch-y-mor Lead Smelting Chimney

A Scheduled Monument in Mostyn, Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)

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Latitude: 53.3032 / 53°18'11"N

Longitude: -3.2394 / 3°14'22"W

OS Eastings: 317500

OS Northings: 379191

OS Grid: SJ175791

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZT7.GL

Mapcode Global: WH76K.67NJ

Entry Name: Llanerch-y-mor Lead Smelting Chimney

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2019

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4403

Cadw Legacy ID: FL214

County: Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)

Community: Mostyn

Traditional County: Flintshire


The monument comprises the lower stages of a very large brick chimney associated with the remains of flues and other subterranean structures forming part of the former Llanerch-y-mor lead smelting works. It is located on a spur overlooking the site of the works and the Dee estuary to north.

The chimney measures approximately 9.5m in diameter at its base, from which it rises to a truncated height of c. 10m, tapering inwards. Contemporary accounts suggest that it originally rose to well over 15m. The lowest 2m of the chimney are of irregularly coursed local Triassic sandstone rubble. Above this the main body of the chimney has been constructed from patterned orange brick decorated externally with a lattice pattern in black brick. The northern face of the tower has the date 1832 picked out in black brick just below the present wall head. Underneath this the words ‘North Wales Lead Company’ are painted white on the wall of the chimney, dating from the brief reopening of the site in 1890 following its closure in 1886. The lower third of the chimney is reinforced externally by an iron girdle, formed in sections riveted together, probably a reaction to several substantial vertical cracks in the brickwork. The internal arrangements are partly visible through a small hole created by the removal of bricks from one of these cracks some 2m from the base of the southern side of the chimney. The inner face rises in a series of offsets, the lowest being at the top of the stone base with several courses of brick toothing up to 2m above this, resembling the broken springing of a vault. There are a number of crude corbels of uncertain purpose projecting from the stone base and individual projecting bricks above, which may have helped to retain an internal lining. The base of the chimney is inaccessible but an entrance to the flue that connected it to the former smelting works and furnaces on the lower ground to the east has been recorded as surviving intact on its eastern side. A series of other ruined brick and stone structures buried at the base of the chimney may have functioned as elements of a condensing system for metal fumes. One of these partly survives above ground abutting the south-eastern side of the chimney.

The monument is of national importance as a rare surviving structure from the formerly extensive post-medieval lead production industry along the Dee coastal plain and the sole surviving smelting chimney. It retains a number of original features that have potential to enhance our knowledge of 19th century industrial architecture and the processes of the lead smelting industry. The chimney forms an impressive and prominent landmark overlooking the A548 coastal road and shares group value with the other surviving remnants of the works, including the former rolling mill, water wheel and its feeder pond a little to the west of the chimney.

The scheduled area includes the footprint of the chimney, its connection with the western end of its flue system to the east and an area around them within which related remains might be expected to survive. The extension of flue is not included in the schedule as it could not be inspected and its exact line cannot be confirmed. The scheduled area is circular in plan and measures 15.5m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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