Goginan Lead Mine
 

History of the mine

As well as being a lead mine Goginan is notable as a major producer of silver along with Darren and Cwmsymlog. This is in contrast to some other mines in the area where the word “silver” was included in the names of some of the 19th Century operators as an enticement to prospective shareholders.
It is impossible to date the earliest working, Roman working is a possibility but in the absence of any evidence of this we have to accept the Society of Mines Royal who took over mines in the area in 1583.
After the Mines Royal Act, it passed in to the hands of the Mine Adventurers, and then with the passing of time was eventually caught up in the mining frenzy of the 19th Century when John Taylor took over in 1836.
The mine is situated on steeply rising ground with a virtually continuous stream of water cascading down and running almost parallel with the mineral veins. The situation must have been viewed with glee by Taylor as at one time there were at least 12 waterwheels working on the site.
The real stroke of genius of Taylor was the sinking of a twin track incline which enabled the mine to be worked with intensity which was to return huge profits during this period.
This incline enabled ore trucks to be filled from the stope hoppers and raised to grass to discharge into the crusher hopper without any intermediate handling.
The success of this period of working was short-lived, but the mine struggled on through a succession of owners until it finally closed for good in 1926.
The ground levels off at the top of the site and this where the mines 2 pumping shafts are situate, Francis’s and Taylors. Today Taylors is blocked and Francis’s is only open for about 70 feet to a blockage.
Accessible underground workings are scant. The deep adit which was extended by cut and cover emerges close to the Melindwr road bridge, it is blocked by a telegraph pole some distance in, and backed up water in the workings suggests further blockages.
Taylors incline is open down to the water level but there are no accessible workings off, they all being below water. There are some interesting remains of the pulley mountings in the incline which in its initial period must have operated using chains.
The main accessible workings are the upper adit, the 26 fathom level, this passes through an underground quarry of impressive dimensions to a blockage at Francis’s Shaft. In January 2008 some members of Welsh Mines Society commenced a project to dig though this blockage, this was achieved in 2009 but only to discover the way ahead blocked by a solid ‘crush’ of fallen boulders, and extremely unsafe area. The dig is currently progressing to attempt a way round this by circumventing a boulder the size of a van. Both the incline (to prevent dumping) and the 26 fathom (because of the ongoing project) are currently gated and locked.
The site in general is a disappointment for the visiting mining historian as virtually nothing remains of the sites former glory, save the 1989 restored portal of the incline.

The land is currently in private ownership and managed as a public amenity:

Old Goginan Mine

 

Above 1871 section of the mine

The Mine Today

Above Taylors Incline, below a view down it.


 

Part of the 26 fathom level where building materials were quarried.

Unlocking the mines secrets

On 25/07/2015 diver Paul Marvin and friends dived below the water at the bottom of Taylor's Incline.


         
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