Visited with The Kwan
A nice wander around the upper levels of this mine, some nice bits dotted about with false floors everywhere so a keen eye on your footing is essential. A return visit needed to see some of the lower levels and thanks to The Kwan for another great afternoon in North Wales.
Parc Mine was the last working mine in the Gwydyr Forest and its extensive connections with older mines make it an important resource from the point of view of both history and industrial archaeology. The mine started life as part of Gwydyr Park Consols in 1883 and passed through various hands over the years. While both lead and zinc concentrates were sold, this generally didn’t cover working costs of the mines so that many of these enterprises ran at a loss.
Eventually the long suffering mine shareholders forced liquidation of the companies and the mine setts were sold on to restart the cycle. After the Second World War prospects improved and more modern equipment and better separation plant increased yields and the mine ran at a profit. Sadly the yields of ore at depth proved to be poor and by the late 50’s a combination of low content and poor metal prices meant the enterprise was finished. By that time the principal lode had been driven to connect with the older Llanrwst and Cyffty mines, but neither offered any substantial reserves of ore.
During the early 60’s the mine was used for experiments with new ore separation techniques and a considerable amount of material was processed. While the experiment showed the new techniques where worthwhile it also demonstrated that the overall yields from the feedstock were commercially unviable and this marked the end of mining in the Gwydyr Forest. In 1968 the mine was used as the location of an experiment to try and measure the deformation of the coastal region due to the tides. An area on level 2 was prepared and sensitive pendulums and ancillary equipment was installed. The results were not conclusive as problems associated with the deformation of the rock cavity housing the equipment marred the measurements. The equipment was removed from the mine and the portals sealed.
Thanks for looking