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Flintshire Lead Mining

An information resource by Cris Ebbs

Please note: 

All pages have been transferred and are now hosted by Cambrain Mines Trust on their website, where a small link can be found near the centre of their Homepage.

The pages you are viewing have not therefore been updated for some time, and will cease to be in September 2021 when Google pull the plug.


Reinforced section of the Milwr Tunnel between Olwyn Goch Shaft and Pen-y-Bryn Shaft       
Photo copyright:  Edward Coghlan

Click on photo to enlarge.....
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Quick notes or tips on using the site

These few random pages have been put together simply to make available some of the information that's been lying around the house for too long, together with one or two pieces of more recent work on the lead mines of the Halkyn Mountain -  River Alyn Area of Flintshire and parts of Denbighshire.


Feel free to use any of the information within (except the map reproduced with the consent of the BGS on the North Henblas page) if only for non-commercial use, but if doing so, kindly credit the author, photographer or source. 

All uncredited photos are by the author. 


Archaeologists tend to favour the use of mine company names when making reference to mining areas. This can however confuse those interested in the underground workings, as many companies worked varying veins throughout their histories. The names of lead veins tend to change far less throughout the history of lead mining and provide a more reliable understanding of the complex system of veins and workings of the area. Vein names are therefore used wherever possible on this site, with the notable exception of Halkyn District United Mines.

For further information or constructive criticism please e-mail Cris Ebbs at:  cavecomment@hotmail.co.uk 

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Download PDF files from Page 03. Halkyn Mines: Info downloads"


A bibliography can be found under "Further reading"


NB   Photos cannot be enlarged unless stated



Other downloads

Articles on North Henblas Mine and Mining at Halkyn Mountain (similar to pages 02 and 10 on this site) are available as PDF downloads here: https://independent.academia.edu/CrisEbbs  although you will need to register with your e-mail address.......

Need to find out who owns the mineral rights under your property?

In Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham, just a few mineral owners own most of the rights. These include Grosvenor Estate, Mostyn Estate, The Lords of Mold, Wynnstay Estate. Although they own mineral rights over large swathes of the area, remaining mineral rights can be held by individual householders, as indicated on their property deeds.
To research mineral rights for any location, there is a very good website that explains how to go about it: http://www.mineralhub.com/2010/04/how-can-i-locate-who-owns-the-mineral-rights-under-my-land/  

Publications: (see Further Reading page for fuller bibliography).....   
Rediscovering the Lead and Zinc Production of North-East Wales by WILLIAMS, C.J. & WILLIAMS, R. ALAN (2012)
Welsh Mines Society Journal, Welsh Mines and Mining, No 2 (2012).
A nineteen page paper on the history and production of the area. An authoritive assessment analysing the royalty accounts of Grosvenor estate from 1635. The authors conclude that the total production of the lead mines of Flintshire & Denbighshire amount to 1.66 million tons of ore concentrates; a figure only exceeded in the UK by lead mines of the northern Pennines.
The paper forms part of a larger publication which can be ordered at the Welsh Mines Society website at:   http://www.welshmines.org/wms/publ/02_flier.pdf

Hidden Bullion: Silver Production in North-East Wales  by WILLIAMS, R. ALAN (2012)

Welsh Mines Society Journal, Welsh Mines and Mining, No 2 (2012).

An eleven page accompanying paper to the one above. This also analyses the royalty accounts of Grosvenor estate from 1635 and concludes that the importance of "silver production in north-east Wales should be given more emphasis when considering the history of the orefield, especially prior to the nineteenth century".
The paper also forms part of a larger publication which can be ordered at the Welsh Mines Society website at:   http://www.welshmines.org/wms/publ/02_flier.pdf
Lead Mines of the Alyn Valley (Flintshire Historical Society). WILLIAMS, C.J. (1980).  Although published in 1980, this classic work has now been made available online: http://welshjournals.llgc.org.uk/browse/viewpage/llgc-id:1218518/llgc-id:1218642/llgc-id:1218707/get650

Powell's Lode Cavern beneath Rhosesmor on Halkyn Mountain. Prior to the lowering of water tables by mining, water passed through this cavern on its way to St. Winifride's Well at Holywell over two miles to the north-west. Both the well and part of the cave system were drained in 1917 when the driving of the Milwr Tunnel broke into a limb of the cave system near the hamlet of Windmill. Behind the cameraman lies the 'bottomless' lake........

Photo: Copyright Edward Coghlan

September 2015: 
Powell's Lode Lake was dived by Chris Jewell with assistance from UCET members. The bottom at 42 metres below surface showed no obvious way on. A solitary mine cart was seen resting on a floor of rocks and sediment. Presumably any continuation of the chamber may now be filled with waste rock tipped by miners for a number of years in the 1930s.
(With thanks to Les Williams for this information).