Powys Digital History Project

Llanidloes - The mining industry
The Van Mines 2

  Work for 700
The Van Mines near Llanidloes lie at the foot of Y Fan, the Van Mountain, some two to three miles to the north-west of the town. The output of the lead mine reached its peak in 1876 when the workforce was 700. In that year some 9,000 tons of lead ore were extracted.
By this date a new village had grown around the mine with terraced houses for the workers and two chapels. The railway line linking the mine to the main line at Caersws, which came into use in 1871, can be seen in the centre of the photograph below.

The Van Mines
under snow, c1910

Photograph by
kind permission of
Llanidloes Museum

Van Mines, Llanidloes c1910 

During the heyday of lead mining in the 19th century there was a large market for lead for piping, roofing, paint manufacture and many other purposes. The decline and eventual closure of the Welsh lead mines came about for many reasons, including the availability of cheaper imported ores, the toll of the Great War, the defection of miners to the south Wales coalfields, and even fraud and profiteering by some mine owners. The Van Mines closed in 1921.

There are 4 pages on the mining industry. Use the box links below to view the other pages.

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