Introduction to the Lead Mines of the Gwydyr Forest

Introduction to the Lead Mines of the Gwydyr Forest

Local area

The Gwydyr Forest is situated to the North West of Betws-y-Coed high up on a plateau. It is a densely forested area which hides the remains of much mining very effectively. The land is now cared for by the Forestry Commission who are opening up the area for forest walks. In the process they are sealing for good many of the mine entrances. It is sometimes possible to conduct oneself past these grates and grilles given sufficient morphing skills, and many exciting adventures lay beyond!.


The mineral lodes in the Gwydyr forest are found in rocks that are around 450 million years old. About 300 million years ago, minerals flowed upwards through the cracks and faults to form the mineral lodes. The most common minerals are:

Also Calcite and Quartz are present, and these form most of the mine waste.

The main mineral lode is called the Principal Lode, and Parc mine follows this lode in a South Westerly direction. Cyffty mine and Llanrwst mine also mined this lode. The other mines of the area worked the smaller lodes.

There is an excellent series of books, which examine each mine in great detail. The series is called the Mines of the Gwydyr Forest, and they are available from Gwydyr Mines Publications, 17, Field Lane, Appleton, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 5JR. Or from Buxton Caving Supplies.

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Last modified on: 25th August 2017 by email the webmaster

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