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
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
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.