Welsh gold

by Helen Hooker July. 16, 2015 3381 views

With a morning of freedom at my disposal before starting work today I used it to visit the Dolaucothi Gold Mine [nationaltrust.org.uk]. The unusual combination of shale and quartz on this spot has been attracting people here to mine gold for around 2000 years. The Romans started things off and it was then left, undiscovered until Victorian times, when mining resumed. By the 1930s the quartz containing the prized flakes of gold was being shipped off to Germany where they had the technology to extract the precious metal with arsenic. This arrangement ceased in 1938 thanks to the imminent war and mining at Dolaucothi ended for good that year. Today visitors are welcomed to the mine and I went on both of the guided tours on offer, exploring both the Victorian drift mine and the Roman tunnels. It's not a place suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia but I found it fascinating, even if it was somewhat challenging to take photos in near darkness at times!

The Victorian dynamite storage facility was very eye-catching, among all the lush, Welsh greenery!

A gratuitous monochrome shot of the mine's railway lines - it just had to be done!

Looking down on the mine from up the hill

We had to wear pit helmets with lamps on them to visit the Victorian mine as it has no lighting at all

The entrance to the Victorian mine

Nature will find a way, no matter how harsh the conditions

The only light in the mine came from the lamps on our helmets. One can only imagine how treacherous it would have been working by candlelight in Victorian times.

Lorraine, our guide for the Victorian tour, showed us what it would have been like with just candles… and then blew this one out, leaving us in total darkness for a short while!

These hand rails led us up the original Roman steps to the outside world. Of course, the Romans wouldn't have had such luxuries, just rough stone steps!

This little fellow was sitting on one of the picnic tables when I had lunch and was only to happy to be photographed

After lunch I went on the Roman mine tour - this is the view from the entrance to the tunnel

We had some modern lighting in the Roman mine but it was still pretty gloomy!

Emerging out of the top into the Welsh hills

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Gillian Parsons 5 years, 9 months ago

What an experience, but not for me I hate going underground....................great series.

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 5 years, 9 months ago

Harsh times and very hard work. We are so fortunate to live in XXI century. (Except in some countries of the world)

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
John Parsons 5 years, 9 months ago

Fascinating Helen - you have so many interesting adventures!!!

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
John Wright 5 years, 9 months ago

I particularly like the monochrome

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow! Fabulous series! You are very adventurous!

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 5 years, 9 months ago

You always manage to fit so much into your day, and we benefit!
Thank you for such an interesting scroll down.

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 5 years, 9 months ago

Great, great, set ! So complete!

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Kenny H 5 years, 9 months ago

Interesting shots, and equally interesting report.

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
Liz M 5 years, 9 months ago

Excellent set of photos.. had to add the beautiful robin one to my favs!
I like the first one...not every day we come across dynamite storage facilities is it! Enjoyed your information.

5 years, 9 months ago Edited
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