Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The lead mining industry
  The big wheel at Dylife  

There were a number of smaller lead mines in the Llanidloes district. The mine at Dylife, about midway between Llanidloes and Machynlleth, produced large amounts of lead ore around 1862.

The mines in these hilly areas were able to use water-power fed along specially built channels to drive some of the pumps and other 1852 photo of water-wheelmachines. Although steam-driven machines were available, water-power was cheap, and saved on the cost of transporting coal to the more distant mines.

The mine at Dylife was famous at the time for having the largest water-wheel in Europe. The huge wheel is shown in the old photograph above, taken in 1852. You can see how big it was compared to the man standing next to the building.

Don't put your finger in
the spokes !

1852 photo of DylifeA community of around 1500 people was built up around the Dylife lead mine during the productive years of the industry.
This old photograph was also taken in 1852, and the large water wheel can be seen in the front of the picture. But as in the case of the Van Mines, Dylife was unable to survive for long after the Victorian age because of cheaper imported ore from abroad. There is now very little left of the old community around the lead mine.


Link to sources
Back to top
Back to Llanidloes menu