It appears that this
vein may have been worked out by the early 1800s. An exploratory passage
was driven south at depth from Cathole vein in the 1860s, but this found
that Pilkington’s was unmineralised at the point of intersection.
Adapted from plan by Halkyn District United Mines 1986
Workings on Cathole vein are indicated by black lines.
Pilkington's vein lies closer to the bottom of the plan.
It's line is indicated by several shafts shown in yellow which have
been added by this writer, the locations of which are shown on a 1750s
A blocked shaft was
excavated in the 1980s. This revealed 1700s workings extending for 240
metres. They were explored to a maximum depth below surface of 25 metres
(see survey above). At one point in the workings a set of miners tools
was found comprising two picks, shovel, hammer, gad, chisel etc. One of
the picks is inscribed with the initials “FW” in old English lettering.
The adit near the boundary stone was entered from a nearby shallow
shaft at SJ202627 in the 1970s and found to contain a set of old
rails, but the passage was not fully explored at that time. The shaft
and adit portal could with a little work, again reveal at least
part of these interesting old workings.
Tools found in Pilkington's vein
Tools shown in a
catalogue of mining machinery of 1870,
reproduced by the
Trevithick Society and available for around £4 or so.
Stone pack-wall holding back deads (waste rock). The miners tools shown
above were found in this area: At the top of the pack wall, the way on
appeared to be upwards but was blocked by boulders. Digging here soon
opened up a hole above, which entered via the floor of a passage running
directly over the dig. All the tools lay together at the side of this
passage, as if left by a miner expecting to return.
Pilkington's vein comprises a series of parallel poorly mineralised
veins, hence the workings appear somwhat random in nature and direction.
The hole above tapers to a crawl which opens beyond in a further
Photo: Selwyn Edwards
The three photos above show the workings as being somewhat restricted
in nature typical of the 1700s when minimal rock was removed in order
to extract ore. They may also just reflect the narrow nature of the
Archaeological Trust refer to Pilkington’s mine as being:
"Cat Hole West
(also known as Pilkington's)"
Environment Record number 18033, national grid reference SJ20206270.
The Pilkington's Vein
ran west from Cathole and was worked through the woodland to the west of
the Cathole to Gwernaffield Road down to the River Alyn. The Old Engine
Shaft remains to the south of Cefn Mawr Hall at SJ20456305 (This
ref. lies too far north to be Old Engine Shaft. It is more likely to be
Cefn Mawr Shaft on Deborah vein). West Whim Shaft remains
overgrown at SJ2032629 (the approximate
position of Old Engine Shaft). Footway
and Bartlay's Shafts (should read Barkley’s
Shaft) remain in this area to the south of Cefn-Mawr Hall.
The area bears the earthwork scars of earlier mining activity than the
Taylor period, but the area appears to have been intensely mined in the
This description of the workings appears to
confuse Pilkington’s vein with Cathole vein. The CPAT paragraph
actually describes shafts on Cathole vein, of which Pilkington’s is a
Around 1850 Cathole vein was connected to
Pilkington's vein by an exploratory cross-cut driven south at depth.
But at the point of intersection Pilkington's vein was found to have