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Latitude: 52.4362 / 52°26'10"N
Longitude: -3.9155 / 3°54'55"W
OS Eastings: 269879
OS Northings: 283753
OS Grid: SN698837
Mapcode National: GBR 8Z.MQKS
Mapcode Global: VH4FG.21W6
Entry Name: Plas Wigwam
Listing Date: 31 January 2005
Last Amended: 31 January 2005
Source ID: 83668
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated at end of metal road that leads E through Cwmsymlog, set slightly back on N side, NW of mine chimney.
Traditional County: Cardiganshire
Mid C19 house, built as the manager's house for the Cwmsymlog lead-mine.
Cwmsymlog was 'the richest of any mines in His Majesties dominions', according to Lewis Morris, who thought that mining had begun here before the dawn of Christianity. Certainly it was worked from the C16 to C20, leased from the Pryse family of Gogerddan. Spectacularly rich in the early C17 when worked by Sir Hugh Myddelton who is said to have gained £24,000 annually in silver alone from Blaen-cwmsymlog. Myddelton built housing and a chapel here. In 1636 taken over by Thomas Bushell who spent some £11,000 in the Great Level to drain the mine. In 1698 leased to Sir Humphrey Mackworth, his Company of Mine Adventurers extended Bushell's Level, working the Blaen-cwmsymlog site until the 1740s. Next William Corbett and John Paynter found a rich lode in 1749, and had some £11,000 profit 1751-71. Lewis Morris, deputy to Corbett as Steward of the Crown Manors until 1756 when dismissed in favour of Paynter, did some mining on his own account to W, near Cwm Canol in 1760. Thomas Bonsall managed the mine in the 1780s, it closed in 1793, to re-open after 1805 under Job Sheldon & Co. By 1813 three hundred men were employed. In 1825 taken over by the Cornish firm Williams & Scorrier, but closed with drop in lead prices.
About 1840 John Taylor & Sons installed a 20" (50.8 cm) Cornish beam engine, but with no great success, and the surviving mine chimney probably dates from then. Generally large water-wheels provided the power. The mine closed and was re-opened by the Taylors in 1850 as East Darren mine and a new 30' (9.15 m) pumping wheel installed. A rich seam was struck and worked profitably for some years, then with diminishing returns to 1882. Thereafter only intermittently worked until 1901.
From 1845 the mine yielded 24,460 tons (24,949 tonnes) of lead and 415,850 oz (11,768 kg) of silver.
The manager's house probably dates from the Taylor era, the 1840s, it is marked on the 1880s OS as standing just N of Pryse's shaft where the Taylor's built the Cornish engine house in the 1840s, the chimney of which survives to the E. It is a substantial late Georgian style house indicative of the status of mine managers.
Two separate outbuildings that were a stable and a maids parlour are behind the house.
House, of painted roughcast with slate deep-eaved roof and brick end stacks. Two storeys and 3 widely-spaced bays, with outshut to rear. Overhanging verges to gable ends with visible purlin ends. Large 16-pane hornless sashes to front with slate sills and centre door. Slate slabs before half-glazed panelled door with marginal glazing bars and 5-pane overlight. Three square wooden panels above overlight. Door is set in flat-roofed columned porch with two front columns of elongated Roman Doric type, each attached to roughcast side wall. Flat roof has low wrought iron rails over, with scrolled cresting.
Right end wall has 16-pane hornless sash to centre ground floor and 2-pane horned sash to right and below this.
Left end is slate hung with single-pane fixed window to ground floor left of centre.
Rear has mostly two C20 windows to first floor left, a long 8-pane sash lighting the stairs, and C20 window to right. C20 glazed door ground floor left, 2-pane horned sash, flat roofed single storey addition below stair-window, and hipped roof addition to right.
Entrance hall with principal rooms each side, stairs to rear. Panelled reveals and shutters to front windows of ground floor. Cupboard to right of fireplace in right hand drawing room, the window reveals of which are canted and panelled. Said to have been a fireplace on the left of the entrance hall.
Slate steps down into flagged kitchen.
Included as a substantial house in late Georgian style, associated with the Cwmsymlog lead-mine.
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