Sub-headings for this page:
Profits for some
An interview with the mine captain, 1863
Click to enlarge:
Cross-section of Westminster vein west from 'The Nant' to the east
at Bog Mine.
Copied from EARP, J.R.
1958. (see Further Reading)
Eryrys - Llanarmon: mining in general
Although lead was
mined in Roman times in areas such as Halkyn Mountain and Minera, the
earliest documentary evidence tells that small-scale mining was being
carried out at Eryrys during the 13th century, although no mention is
made of which veins were being worked. During the next 400 years it
seems that mining was sporadic, often only being carried out in summer
months when the workings tended to be dryer. Mining at this time was
frequently carried out by local farmers wishing to supplement their
meagre incomes. Development of the mines was hampered by a combination
of limited financial investment and the medieval technology.
A major boost for lead mining
came with the transfer of mineral ownership from the Crown to private
hands. Grosvenor estate were one of the first to acquire mineral rights
over much of Halkyn Mountain, Minera and the Llanarmon - Eryrys area in
1635. Until that time miners had operated under a set of ancient 'mining
laws' governing every aspect of lead mining. The laws were very similar
to those, still upheld in Derbyshire, where they are today administered
by a Barmoot Court. Grosvenor estate felt that the laws hindered mine
development and took legal steps to quash them. Thereafter the
Grosvenors leased out their mineral rights, often for periods of 21
years, but the family also worked their own mines. Initially the
Grosvenors mines were at Halkyn and Minera, but from about 1735, they
began working mines at Llanarmon – Eryrys, amongst them being Belgrave
Mine half a mile north of Eryrys and Nant-y-Palmau (today known as The
Nant) on Westminster Vein, half a mile south of Eryrys.
As mines became
deeper, flooding increased, and many mines closed as a result. Some
ingenious pumping contraptions were utilised, most of which struggled to
match up to the task. Mining
technology didn’t improve significantly until the introduction of
gunpowder for blasting around 1700 which resulted in improved rates of
tunnelling of up to one foot per day (still rather modest when compared
to a rate of up to 20 foot per day in more recent times). A few years
later steam-powered pumping engines were introduced. These were
inefficient and dangerous to operate at first, but were much improved
over the years and developed into the well-known Cornish pumping Engine.
These were used at most Eryrys and Llanarmon-yn-ial mines and enabled
previously flooded veins to be worked to increasing depths below
surface. Westminster vein in the 1850s had a total of six
Cornish engines in operation at the following shafts: Nant
Engine; 'White Sands'; Castell, Bog Issa, Mary Anne and Bog East.
Profits for Some
With the introduction
of modern technologies and good ore prices, lead mining production
increased year on year eventually reaching its zenith in the early
1860s. In that year Flintshire & Denbighshire together produced over
45% of Britain's ore. A geologist at Halkyn Mines calculated that in the
two centuries prior to 1939, the lead and zinc mines of Flintshire and
Denbighshire produced mineral wealth to the value of twenty million
George Hughes, agent
for Grosvenor Estate reported the raising of ore to the following values
in local mines:
Pant Du (half a mile north of Eryrys): £850,000
Belgrave (quarter of a mile north of Eryrys): £900,000
Nant and Bog Mines (Westminster vein): £2,000,000
Pant-y-Gwlanod (southern branch of Westminster vein): £300,000
Despite these figures
the poor miner was paid a meagre wage. At many mines wages were paid in
mine tokens which could only be spent at the mine shop where men bought
their own tools and candles. Known as the 'tribute system', wages were
proportional to the amount of ore raised; a ‘grim prospect’ for miners
working a vein that was 'pinching out'. Such practices and poor
conditions underground only began to improve during the 1800s following
By 1868 the Eryrys -
Llanarmon mines were again idle, worked out as deep as drainage and
pumping would allow. Although no deep adits were geographically possible
at Eryrys, one tunnel known as the Nant Adda Adit, was extended and in
1897 it struck the Westminster Vein beneath Nant Engine Shaft. As a
result the mine produced ore for a few more years before closing for the
final time in 1903.
It had been planned
to extend the 10 miles long Milwr Tunnel, to drain the mines of Eryrys
and Llanarmon-yn-ial, but this tunnel today (which begins at Bagillt on
the Dee Estuary), terminates at the hamlet of Cadole near Loggerheads.
Another plan to tunnel into the area from near Treuddyn failed to leave
the drawing board.
Click on image to enlarge
Westminster Mine between Nant Engine Shaft and Castell Shaft. Note the
three Cornish engine-houses and three stepped footway shafts, used for
The buildings near
the chimney were once a school for miners children. Note also the horse
whim shown at Castell Shaft and the miners coe sited above the central
The lower half of the
workings shown are now flooded at the 30 fathom level (180 feet), the
level at which the Nant Adda Adit now drains the mine.
The Westminster vein
was the most productive vein in the area. It has a major off-shoot known
as Pant-y-gwlanod vein which runs parallel to Westminster vein and lies
about 50 yards to the south. They form a single vein in the area to the
west of Nant Engine shaft.
A deep tunnel drains
both Westminster and Pant-y-Gwlanod veins. Known as Nant Adda Adit, it was
begun from the River Alyn half a mile to the west of the veins some time
after 1850; but work on the tunnel ceased for a while after after it had
been driven a distance of about 500 yards from the portal. Driving was
only resumed in 1896 in the course of exploratory work supervised by the
well-respected mining engineer Matthew Francis. Francis however rarely
witnessed progress and was instead supplied with weekly hand-written
progress reports by his underground manager, mine captain John Roberts.
When the tunnel struck Nant Engine Shaft in 1897, most of Westminster and
Pant-y-gwlanod veins drained down to river level. As Nant Engine Shaft was
connected to Castell Shaft (over 600 yards to the east) by deeper
flooded workings, the tunnelling team moved their equipment to Castell
Shaft. From here they drove a further 400 yards east to drain the eastern
end of Westminster vein around Bog Issa Shaft. A little more exploratory
mining was carried out, including the driving of a 270 yard cross-cut
southward from Bog Issa Shaft to intersect the Pant y Gwlanod vein. The
vein was found to be unproductive at the point of intersection and money
ran out by 1903.
The last production
figures show that between 1894 and 1900, about 915 tons of zinc ore and 37
tons of lead ore were produced.
Click image to
Plan showing the
erratic route of Nant Adda Adit, presumably in search of the westerly
continuation of the vein at the depth of river level.
entrance to the Nant Adda Adit lies on private land and permission to
visit must be sought. The tunnel however, is completely blocked by
a roof collapse a short way in and should not be entered.
The mine was also
drained in earlier years by at least two shallow adits. One is shown on
the plan above and runs south-west from Nant Engine Shaft, but the
entrance to this (at SJ196575) is now lost, although part of this adit has
been explored in recent years from within the mine. The second shallow
adit runs south-west from near Bog Issa Shaft on Bog Mine passing beneath
a shaft shown on plans as Shaft Defaid (Sheep Shaft). The entrance to this
adit is now filled in (at SJ201572) but when functioning, several steps
led down from the field giving access to the passage, water being taken
away by a cut-and-cover drain beneath the field. Most of this adit can be
explored from within Bog Mine as far as a blockage around 50 metres from
Westminster vein was worked from Nant Engine shaft in the west through
what is known locally as 'White Sands' and 'the Bog' as far east as a
shaft near Graianrhyd (Bog East), where limited work was carried out, but
these most easterly workings were not physically connected to the main
workings and therefore now lie flooded. A chimney still exists at this
location. The most extensive workings lie between Nant Engine Shaft and
Mary Anne Shaft. West of Nant Engine Shaft, across the hillside, a series
of generally shallow shafts were sunk along the line of the vein, but here
it was known as Bryn Haidd vein. Three of these shafts however are known
to be over 100 feet in depth, although no extensive workings have been
found below. Most of the shafts on the westerly end of the vein were
capped by NKC Geotech in 1978.
Nant Engine House (SJ197577) without its roof, is the only fairly
complete building on the Westminster Vein. Its chimney also remains some
yards up the hillside to the east supplied by a flue. Sadly this chimney
is being damaged by tree roots growing into the stonework at its base.
It is in danger of collapse without urgent remedial work. The remains of
a circular stone powder magazine or possibly a miners ‘coe’ (SJ199575)
exist, just south of the track not far from New Shaft. All that remains
of the engine house that served both New and Castell Shafts is the base
of its chimney (SJ203575). Further east the chimney of Bog East engine
house (SJ213567) is almost complete whilst Mary Anne Shaft engine house
(SJ209570) now only displays its ruins. A stone from the walls might
still be seen bearing the date 1853. Two boundary stones in the Mary
Anne Shaft area are inscribed "W.M.Co." (Westminster Mining Co).
Finally, the remains of a building or two can still be seen near the
portal of the Nant Adda Adit (SJ187578). The vein is clearly marked
along the surface by the hillocks formed by the tailings, at one time
calculated to amount to over 40, 000 tons, and by many shaft craters.
Enthusiasts have been
examining the underground workings of this area since the 1960s. With
the co-operation of local land-owners, their long-term projects have
successfully re-opened a significant proportion of the extensive
workings between the Nant and Bog areas. They have excavated filled
shafts, installed fixed ladder routes and carried out safety work to
provide future explorers with safe routes.
Westminster vein was
first examined by explorers in the 1970s when workings from New Shaft
were explored. In 1990 work began to re-enter Bog Mine at the eastern
end of Westminster vein. In 1992 a through-trip (New Shaft to Bog Issa
Footway Shaft) was established of about a mile in length and which
passes through workings over 300 feet below surface. For details about
access to these workings, contact Grosvenor Caving Club (see ‘Links’ at
top left of this page).
The following notes
by the club at the time give an idea of the type of work involved:
sought from land-owner and entrance cap re-opened with oxy-acetylene -
blockage 20ft down excavated to short passage - at a depth of 40ft a
major blockage lay perched over a 60ft stope - A scaffolding cage was
installed down through the blockage for 20ft. and a platform suspended
from its base above the void - Fixed ladders installed below - The next
obstacle lay 100ft below the upper adit level where an unstable shaft (see
timbered winze photo below) led
to a timbered crawl beneath a back-filled stope - About 10 cu. yds. of
boulders were removed here to offer an alternative safe route into the
roof of an 80ft. stope - scaffolding walkway installed at this point
for crossing stope with steel guidewire as handrail - Extensive clearing
work followed and permanent ladders were installed throughout.
Upper adit level
on Westminster Mine reopened by excavating a blocked 25ft. shaft from
surface - timber collar fitted to base of ginging - shaft capped and
steel access lid and rigid ladder installed - 50yds. along adit, a
blockage of spar from the vein was excavated for 30ft giving access to
vein and crosscut to Nant Engine Shaft. To allow digging east along
blocked vein, rails were laid to the shaft and a tub installed.
Nant Engine shaft
(capped) was reached via old workings and descended 120ft. to the Nant
Adda Adit - this was explored west for 300yds. to a blockage of old
lorry tyres - blockage was cleared giving access to a further 700yds.
(some 500yd. from portal).
Bog Mine connected
to Westminster Mine via obscure rise from Nant Adda Adit, west of
Castell Shaft - two small blockages excavated and permanent ladders
installed throughout - hand-lines fixed over several stopes in floor of
10 fathom level.
in New Shaft at adit level - 1992, the first through-trip, New Shaft to
Bog Issa Footway Shaft.
Other projects have
been carried out by this club at Pant-y-Gwlanod vein, Belgrave vein and
Blaen-y-Nant veins. A more recent project hoped to re-enter the deepest
drainage tunnel of Belgrave vein. This drains into the River Alyn near
Llanferres but had collapsed at the entrance. Digging through the
collapse began in earnest in 1999 and eventually broke through after 7
years work in 2006!
Major equipment was
removed from the mine prior to closure, but small artifacts do remain and
Wooden ore car/tub
- in workings above Bog Adit Level west of Bog Issa Footway Shaft.
with wooden handle - near 30yd. level, 50 yards west of Bog Issa
lever - lying on deads 30ft. below entrance of Bog Issa Footway Shaft.
Powder horn - on
ledge in Bog Adit Level just east of Old Engine Shaft.
- on 30yd. level, 75 yards west of Bog Issa Shaft.
platforms - complete section of ladderway connects Bog Adit Level to
30yd. level, also another section from the 60yd. level to Nant Adda
Adit. Both only a few yards west of Bog Issa Shaft.
Wooden launder -
short section of launder with rails at Bog upper adit Level, diverts
water across the ladderway mentioned above.
Timber and clay dam
- east of Bog Issa Shaft on Bog upper adit level.
Incomplete wooden barrow close to Old Engine Shaft on upper adit
Piping - two
sections of rising main (see photo above) at Bog Issa Shaft on upper
adit level. Also 30ft. length of 15" ventilation piping in Nant Adda
Adit close to Bog Issa Shaft.
- the frame only remains across the eastern end of the Nant Adda Adit
a few yards west of Bog Issa Shaft.
Winding or guide
ropes - a tangle of steel cables and compressed air pipes block
Castell Shaft at the Nant Adda Adit.
roller - mounted in New Shaft at intersection of vein to guide hauling
Kibble hook - at
adit level near New Shaft. Used to pull kibble from shaft into level.
Ore chute -
constructed beside the ladderway and discharges into Bog Adit Level.
interview with the mine captain, 1863
Commission looked into conditions in metal mines in 1863. Their committee
interviewed the mine captain of Westminster Mine, John Floyd (or John
Lloyd as stated in the official Mineral Statistics). During the year of
the interview, Westminster Mine produced only 108 tons of lead ore; the
mine being almost worked out. The last recorded output was in 1871 when
just 5 tons were recorded.
The following extracts are taken from
How many men have you working underground? We
have 48 now; we have 50 sometimes.
What is your lowest level? Taking the lowest
level, reckoning the Engine Shaft and altogether, it is 120 fathoms from
the surface (720 feet).
How long have you charge of the mine? I have
been 20 years in the mine.
How do the men ascend and descend? By
How do you draw? By the wem engine.
With a skip? No. With kibbles.
How many shafts have you? We have two
principal shafts, but we have small ladder road (or footway) shafts as
What is the principal level which you are now
working at? It is 64 fathoms (384 feet) from the surface.
Have the men any place to change when they come to
the surface? Yes; they have a cabin prepared for them with steam
pipes in it to warm it.
Have they any warm water? Yes; there is warm
water condensing from the engine.
Do the miners reside near the mine? Yes,
within two or three miles.
What allowance of candles have they per week? 2
lbs for each man.
What is the price charged? 8d a lb. we charge
And the same for powder? Yes.
Is there any reduction for club? No; we have
no club now; we had a club until the last twelve months.
Is there any subscription for doctor? Yes.
Is the doctor appointed by the adventurers? By
the adventurers and the miners. The miners pay 6d per month each man.
Who has the choice of the doctor? He is
chosen by the men.
How is it managed? It goes by vote. We let
them vote their own doctor.
Did you make any changes for any reason? We
made a change. One doctor that we had before lived in Mold, and the doctor
that we have now lives at Ruthin. The men were dissatisfied that the
doctor living in Mold did not attend regularly annd they wished to change,
and we let them choose their own doctor.
Do you keep a month in hand of the pay? Yes.
Do you pay in notes or in small change? In
gold and silver.
Do you know of any men suffering from working in
mines? There are a few old miners who have been working underground
all their days who suffer a little, more or less.
You yourself have suffered? Yes.
Where were you working when you were affected? I
worked some years before I had the management of mines in Flintshire, and
I think I am suffering from that.
You think that it was brought on by working? Yes,
in the lead ore.
What do you think it was occasioned by? I do
not know, excepting it was from the dust from the lead ore.
Do you think it was from working in bad air? Yes,
I have been working in bad air, and whether it has had some effect or not
I do not know.
At what age do the miners generally leave off work? We
have had some miners of 60 or 70 years of age working now. They generally
leave off working at from 60 to 70.
You have had some experience in Cornish mines? Yes,
I worked a little there when I was young.
Comparing these mines with the cornish mines should
you say that they were more or less healthy? I think that these
mines are worked on just the same system as the Cornish mines.
But with regard to ventilation, how is it? I
think that the ventilation is quite as good here as there.
With regard to the health of the men workingin the
mines do you think that they complain more or less here than in Cornwall? I
think that they complain less here than they do in Cornwall.
When did you leave off working in Cornwall? I
was 18 years of age when I left Cornwall. That is about 35 years ago.
The mines are not so deep here? No, not by a
great deal.; some of the mines in Cornwall are very deep.
The men invariably ascend by the footways here? Yes,
except in the coal mines; in the coal mines the men go up and down in
buckets and skips.
Do you not think that the climbing is injurious to
them? No, because they are working in different levels; if the men
all worked in the bottom of a deep shaft I think that skips would be
Do you go much underground yourself now? Yes.
To what depth do you go? The bottom is about
120 fathoms from the surface.
In your opinion, would it be a good thing to have
some other method of ascending? It would be an advantage to come up
by skip instead of climbing.
How many men have you? 50 altogether, that is
driving and sinking and picking ore.
How many men have you picking ore? In the
dead bargains they are picking alittle ore; we are getting a little ore in
most of the places that we are working in.
Are you picking ore on the surface? A little
in waste washes and the hillocks (i.e. White Sands and Bog).
Is it in old workings that your men are principally
employed? No, we are extending our levels and sinking in new
ground; there are 50 men altogether employed in picking in the old
workings and engaged in the new ground.
How do the men pick, is it by day work? So
much a ton.
Have they any shelter? Yes, in wet weather;
they do not require it otherwise, because they are working perhaps two or
three hours in one place and three or four hours in another, where they
can get a bit of ore.
Do they pick over all the old workings? All
the old hillocks.
How many men and boys have you upon the surface
picking the old workings? Two men and five or six boys.
When the air was bad (underground) how far off was
it from any shaft; I mean before you holed? Before we holed it was
50 fathoms from a shaft, then we sank and rose to meet (adjoining
workings) and then we had plenty of air, but before that the air was flat.
Before you holed was the air bad both in sinking and
in rising? Before holed the air was rather dead.
In the deadest time, how many men could you put
there? It only requires two men in the 8 hours each piece, 6 men in
Were the candles ever dull there? The candles
always burn dull when the air is flat.
Did you use any fan at all? yes
Did that give you a good supply of air? Yes,
there was plenty of air.
Can you go up the ladders now? Yes, but I
must go up quietly. I cannot go up the ladders as I did 30 years ago. I
think that I climbed too fast when I was young.
You were continually catching cold; and you
attribute your illness to working underground, and getting hot and coming
up to the surface in a perspiration, and not taking care of yourself when
you arrived at the surface? I dare say that it is a good deal from
How long does the powder smoke generally hang about
in your levels? It is according to the air.
What is the common time? In our mine I do not
think that it lasts more than an hour in the worst time.
How long does it hang so as to prevent the men from
working? It does not hang more than 10 minutes to prevent their
Are a good many of your men affected in their
chests? A good many have been so affected about the country, but I
do not know that they are all our men.
What is the size of the levels here as compared with
those in the Cornish mines in which you have worked? I think that
the levels as driven now are much about the same size - 6ft 6" by 3ft 6"
to 4 feet wide.
Although the replies given by the mine captain paint a fairly optimistic
picture of conditions at the time, others present a different view of
nearby mining hamlets. The medical expert reporting to the commission
described fever being prevalent amongst miners at Maeshafn and other
villages of the area. At Maeshafn were about 50 miners cottages. 35 to 40
of these were described as being extremely defective. "None
are underdrained and few have privies....... They are small, thatched,
huddled close together in rows, and generally consist of only two small
and low rooms, the upper one in the slanting roof, and reached only by a
ladder, the windows too are generally small, and usually do not admit of
being opened............. From the mode in which they are built, in two
irregular rows, one behind the other, the drainage of the upper row sets
down to the lower. At the time of my visit streams of dirty water from the
pigsties and dirt heaps were oozing across the footpaths in different
places, and the ground around the cottages must be completely saturated".
In such conditions "it would be scarecely possible to select a place in
which fever would be more likely to arise spontaneously, or, if
introduced, to spread".
Above shows a road
collapse in 2004.
Photo below shows the
stope directly beneath this collapse when explored in the 1970s.
Although the deeper
workings remain flooded below the level of the Nant Adda Adit, the dry
workings represent a fine example of 19th century vein workings, typical
of the areas lead/zinc mines. Further work remains to be done at both
east and west ends of the vein, but the progress to date will hopefully
ensure that these workings remain accessible for some years when
perhaps, industrial archaeologists may have begun to value Britain's underground heritage.
For a description
of the threat posed to Nant engine house and chimney, please see near
the bottom of page 11: Mining neglect.
(1921) describes the vein:
Westminster Vein lies
about 500 yards south of the village of Eryrys, near Mold. It ranges
north-west to south-east over a distance of one mile and hades north,
with a downthrow of about 100ft to the north. The chief minerals were
calcite and galena with some fluorspar and blende. The vein was
productive throughout the whole thickness of the white limestone and was
worked as two principal ore shoots: Nant or Westminster Mine to the
west, and Bog Mine to the east. The chief shafts from west to east were
Nant Engine Shaft, 440ft deep; New Shaft, 750ft; Castell Engine Shaft,
640ft; Bog Issa Shaft, 340ft; Bog New Engine Shaft followed the vein
down to 530ft and Mary Anne Shaft, which was also inclined down
the vein, reached a depth of 620ft. Westminster Mine was drained by an
old adit running south-west from a point about 50ft down Nant Engine
Shaft. Bog Mine was drained by an old adit running south-west from a
point about 90 yards west of Bog Issa Shaft at a depth of about 120ft.
Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust
refer to the mines working this vein as being:
shown in green)
CPAT Historic Environment Record number
18225, grid reference SJ20605710.
The Westminster Vein ran east to west through lands owned by the Duke of
Westminster. It was worked in the east (should
read 'west') by the Nant Mine at SJ197757740 and in the east
as far as the Llanarmon Mine at SJ21705680). Any 18th century workings
along the vein, apart from open workings on the limestone outcrops, have
been obliterated by later workings. The Bog Mines worked the vein over
several periods during the 19th century, the eastern extensions being
the New Shaft, Mary Ann Shaft and Bog East. The Shaft Capping Programme
carried out by NKC Partnership, Rossett, in 1978, included the following
shafts for Bog Mine; the Bog Issa Shaft now in the quarry buffer zone at
SJ20585721, the ladder shaft adjacent to it at SJ20505721, the Bog Old
Engine Shaft at SJ20695709, and the surrounding area of which remains
levelled off within the vicinity of the old Bog farm (SJ20855705). An
excavator remains on site adjacent to the large reservoir at SJ20805710,
but work does not appear to have been done in the area for some time
(June 1993). The Bog New Engine shaft is levelled off at SJ20805699,
with surrounding clinker evidence. A shaft lies slightly to the east of
this at SJ20755699. The area backs on to the quarry owned by Redland
Aggregates. The Bog Mary Ann Shaft at SJ20995686 and the Bog East Engine
Shaft at SJ21305680 capped by the 1978 Programme lie to the south-east
of this main site. The Grosvenor Caving Club have explored much of the
underground workings of the Westminster Vein. Access has been gained
from several shafts and artefacts have been found underground, which
might shed light on the mining technology.
CPAT Historic Environment Record number
18226, grid reference SJ21305689.
The Bog East Shaft was sunk at the eastern end of the Westminster Vein
c1860. Stoddard's Silicon Quarries own the land and still pump the water
for quarry use. The shaft, engine house foundations and chimney remain
at SJ21305680. The shaft to the north-west is capped , but now has a
portal for Quarry use. A second shaft is shown on the 1st edition OS
map, but this remains only as a large spoil mound. To the south of the
Bog East Engine House, a line of three shafts run north to south at
Mary Ann shaft
CPAT Historic Environment Record number
18227, grid reference SJ21055685.
The Mary Ann Shaft and the New Engine Shaft worked the Westminster Vein
further east from the old Bog Issa Shaft. The Mary Ann Shaft at
SJ20995686, was capped by the 1978 reclamation programme conducted by
the NKC Partnership and remains under an area of scrap, reached up the
track alongside the Bog farm gateway. The area around the shaft and
engine house has been cleared of mining waste, which covers a
substantial area on the 1st edition OS.
CPAT Historic Environment Record number
18228, grid reference SJ20305750.
The Cornish Pumping Engine at Castell Engine Shaft apparently also
served Shaft Newydd, which was a whim shaft. Little evidence remains to
identify the Castell Engine site at SJ20205720 (should
read approx. SJ20255738) or Shaft Newydd to the west of it (New
Shaft/Shaft Newydd lies at SJ200575). The site is farmed at
Castell Farm and the engine house site remains as a small area of waste
on the west side of the road as it runs north to Eryrys.
CPAT Historic Environment Record number
18229, grid reference SJ19775774.
Early mining in the area is likely to have been on the productive
Westminster Vein, on which the Nant Mine worked the western end. Ellis's
Shaft is capped with concrete at SJ19805768 and has an air vent
inserted. The rectangular stone-lined Engine Shaft was capped during the
1978 shaft capping programme conducted by NKC Partnerships, and was
reported as 2.1m x 3.4m. It lies to the west (should
read 'south') of the engine house. Shafts along the
Westminster Vein lie to the west of the Nant Engine Shaft and can be
located in woodland at SJ19255780, two adjacent shafts at SJ19305780,
two adjacent shafts at SJ19355770; single shafts at SJ19505775 and
SJ19605775. The most westerly working on the vein was apparently an old
whim shaft to the north of Bryn-y-gloch. To the west, the Castell Engine
Shaft at SJ20305750 (should
read approx. SJ20255738) remains unidentifiable in the
vicinity of Castell Farm. It served to pump out New Shaft, which appears
as a whim on the abandoned mine plan deposited CRO. The mine workings
were drained by the Nant Adda Level, the portal of which is situated at
SJ197577 (should read SJ187579). The
Grosvenor Caving Club have gained access to the underground workings and
report that artefacts remain underground that might shed light on mining