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Rock-crusher house and wheel-pit at Llywernog Mine

A Grade II Listed Building in Blaenrheidol, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.4118 / 52°24'42"N

Longitude: -3.8653 / 3°51'54"W

OS Eastings: 273225

OS Northings: 280946

OS Grid: SN732809

Mapcode National: GBR 91.P4ZK

Mapcode Global: VH4FG.YMGZ

Plus Code: 9C4RC46M+PV

Entry Name: Rock-crusher house and wheel-pit at Llywernog Mine

Listing Date: 22 June 1995

Last Amended: 25 November 2004

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7567

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated at W end of row comprising crusher-house, wheel-pit and mine-office at Llywernog Mine, some 200m N of A44.

County: Ceredigion

Town: Aberystwyth

Community: Blaenrheidol

Community: Blaenrheidol

Locality: Llywernog

Traditional County: Cardiganshire

Tagged with: Mine building

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Restored crusher-house of Llywernog mine with attached wheel-pit, probably mid to later C19. Llwyernog mine was discovered in the C18, said to have been worked as opencast by Lewis Morris c1744-56. Noted by Meyrick in 1810 as being about 40 years old, then worked by William Poole. Leased in mid 1820s to the Williams family of Scorrier House, Cornwall, and worked in a small way (references to other lessees in 1840 and 1852) before 1861. The Llywernog United Mining Co.. formed in 1858 (also working the Ponterwyd and Bog Mines) was bought out by Clara United Mining Co.. in 1859. Pumping problems were not solved until a 40' (12.2m) water wheel was bought in 1861 from Bodcoll Mine.
The mine's period of prosperity was short, from c 1861-1874, constantly troubled by inadequate water supply to turn the wheels to drain the workings. There were 14 men working in 1867, 24 in 1872. Captain John Davis was mine manager 1867-72, Captain John Evans 1872-?75. John Balcombe, the entrepreneur involved in the Queens Hotel Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge Hotel (both bankrupt c. 1866-7), was managing director from c. 1863. The Clara United Mine created a new company, the Llywernog Mining Co.. in 1868, and a rich ore seam was found in 1869, but drought prevented its exploitation before steam power was installed in 1870. The new office building dates from 1869-70, and housed the engine.
In 1871 the mine reached its greatest depth at 72 fathoms (132m) but there were continuing problems with finance, the company was re-formed in 1872. Returns to the mining journals gradually ceased in 1873, but it seems that in 1874-5 Balcombe tried to revive the mine, buying a 50' (15.25m) wheel to replace the 40' (12.2m) wheel. The wheel was made at Llanidloes and was one of the largest in the region. The mine was also linked to a new leat of some six and a half miles (10.5km) built to bring water from the upper Rheidol valley to Llywernog and other mines, but nothing more is recorded of Balcombe's company.
Sporadic work c1882-91 is recorded. Reopened again 1907-10 by the Scottish Cardigan Mines Ltd but nothing was produced. The giant wheel was scrapped in 1953. The site was restored from 1973 by Peter Lloyd Harvey as a museum.
A 1949 photograph shows the derelict office building, the giant waterwheel in its raised wheel-pit to left, adjoining the rubble stone square base of the rock-crusher house. On the hill behind is the roofless ore-dressing shed. The crusher house upper storey was restored after 1973 based on evidence of a C19 drawing that showed the pyramid roof and single front window. The Cornish roll crusher inside is rescued from Llawrcwmbach mine.


Rock-crusher house, rubble stone with restored upper floor and slate pyramid roof. Square-plan, built into steep bank. S front has C20 corrugated-iron and timber lean-to on ground floor and single 6-pane window under eaves above. The W side has a similar 6-pane window under eaves and a broad doorway below to right with timber lintel and iron rail tracks entering. The rear has a stone ramp down to a gabled doorway breaking eaves at first floor for bringing ore.
Attached to right is large raised wheel-pit in rubble stone projecting forward with yellow-brick blank roundel in restored end wall, and brick-headed door in E side. Above these is a slate sill course, probably marking the top of the 1861 wheel-pit for the 40' (12.2m) wheel, raised some 1.5m in 1874-5 for the 50' (15.25m) wheel. On wall-top are cast-iron brackets for waterwheel. Deep pit.


Interior partially restored has beams supporting a mid to later C19 iron roll-crusher from the Llawrcwmbach mine resited within.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a restored lead-mine crusher-house, with very large wheel-pit, of group value with the other listed buildings at this well-preserved mine, a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

External Links

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Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Mine offices at Llywernog Mine
    Situated some 200m N of A44 at Llywernog, in centre of museum complex.
  • II Ore dressing shed and ore-bin at Llywernog Mine
    Situated on slope behind the crusher-house at Llywernog.
  • II Gunpowder magazine at Llywernog Mine
    Situated on slope at NW corner of lead-mine site reached by track from main mine buildings past ruin of late C18 mine office.
  • II Afallen
    Situated on S side of A44 in short row of three houses, some 200m w of entrance to Llywernog lead mine.
  • II Milestone on A44
    Situated on S side of road, some 300m E of entrance to Llywernog mine and some 250m W of junction with lane to Ystumtuen.
  • II Dolcarne
    Situated some 400m N of A44 on right side of lane to Dinas reservoir.
  • II Penybont
    Situated about 60m W of the old bridge in Ponterwyd, on W side of lane to Dinas reservoir.
  • II Yr Hen Bont
    Situated some 100m upstream of A44 bridge over the Rheidol, opposite Ponterwyd chapel.

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