Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The lead mining industry
  One of Britain's richest mines  

Some of the sites of old mines in the Llanidloes area date back to when the Romans were in Britain, or even earlier. But it was during the Victorian age that the lead mines here became really important, and brought jobs and prosperity to the district.


The Van Mines
near Llanidloes
Engraving of the Van MinesPowys County Archives

The biggest and most successful of these was the Van Mines. This site had been worked by different mining companies in the 1850s, but in 1865 a rich seam of lead was found undergound at Van.
The mine was doing very well for some years after this new discovery, and by 1876 it was producing thousands of tons of lead and providing many jobs. At the busiest time for the industry there were over 700 men working there.
During much of the Victorian period there was a very large demand for lead for piping, roofing, paint manufacture and other uses.

More about the Van Mines...


The lead mining museum at Llywernog near Aberystwyth can show visitors the working conditions in a typical
mid-Wales mine.
See their website at
for more information
Link to sources
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