Powys Digital History Project

Llanidloes - The mining industry
The Van Mines

  Pre-Roman beginnings
Mineral mining in the Llanidloes district has a long history, pre-dating the Romans, who exploited and developed earlier workings. The route of a track from the site of early mines in the hills north-west of Llanidloes to the Roman station at Caersws was to be closely followed much later, in 1871, by a railway line from the Van Mine to Caersws railway station.

The Van Mines
near Llanidloes

County Archives

Van Mines engraving, c1864 

The Van Mine, shown above, was the most productive of the mineral mines in the area. Such mine workings in remote and mountainous terrain used readily available and cheap water-power, with specially built leats to channel water from the hills to drive water-wheels.
In 1865 exceptionally large deposits of lead ore were discovered here, and when shares in the mine were sold in 1868 their value soared from under £5 per share to over £85 within a year. This led to substantial investment in new machinery and the employment of many more workers.

The lead mining museum at Llywernog near Aberystwyth can show visitors the working conditions in a typical mid-Wales mine.

See their website at http://silverminetours.co.uk for more information.

There are 4 pages on the mining industry. Use the box links below to view the other pages.
Home page 
Llanidloes menu page  Continue...