Gwaith Mein [GAT SMR: 20775]
Moelwyn No. 2 (presumably to distinguish it from Moelwyn No 1 slate mine)
|Geology||The country-rock consists of Ordovician sediments, felspathic ashes and felstone. There are said to be six lodes, but in 1919 work was being done on only three. These lodes course nearly east and west, and dip north at 5 in 7. [Dewey & Smith 1922: pp. 53–54]|
|Production and Employment|
|Remains||No obvious remains of manganese mining visible. (August 2005)|
Samuel Holland’s diary [NLW MS 4987] has an entry for January 7, 1823. “Went … to look at Manganese on Revd Jones’.” An entry for November 12 shows that this was the Rector of Criccieth’s land at Glanrafonddu, on the site of the later Moelwyn zinc mine, the local name of which is Gwaith Mango.
It is possible that manganese was mined at a later date. The company registration papers (1893) of Moelwyn Mining Co. Ltd shows that the company bought the mine from the manganese merchant Ellis Pritchard, who, with Samuel Sutcliffe and Alexander Barratt, held it under a Crown lease of 29 Dec 1892 [PRO BT: 31 5628/39227].
In 1908 a new siding was laid to the mine from the Ffestiniog Railway for Ellis Prichard [Boyd 1975: 177]. (Boyd indicates the site of this siding on his plan [1975: 200].) The mine siding closed shortly after the end of WWI [Boyd 1975: 203].
The mine is recorded as being worked for zinc ore from 1917.
Two small photographs of the mine exist. They show views of ruined processing buildings and a tip and were probably taken in the late 1950s or early ’60s [GAS CAO: XS/1608/39, 40] The reverse of one of the photographs carries the annotation “Disused manganese quarry on the Blaen Ffg - Portmadoc light railway – near Tanygrisiau”.
General view of mine site
Looking north from SH67684335.
Llyn Ystradau (Tanygrisiau Reservoir) and the (post-1977) line of the Ffestiniog Railway can be seen in the foreground.