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Title: Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners
Waterwheel at LlywernogOchreYstrad Einion
 
Water Wheel

The Furnace Mines

Hugh Myddleton
Hugh Myddleton


This area was once at the heart of the mid-Wales trade in metal ores. Furnace is named after the 18th century ironworks which can still be seen in the village. However, local industrial heritage goes back to at least the 17th century, when it was associated with the lead, silver and copper mining industry. In the early 17th century, the Ynyshir lead smelting works stood on the site of the ironworks. It may have been built by Sir Hugh Myddleton, the man responsible for reviving the metal mining industry in Ceredigion during the 1620s.




Thomas Bushell
Thomas Bushell

Lead ore was brought here on packhorses from mines further to the south for processing, including the extraction of silver. Local woods provided charcoal and wood as fuel for the smeltery. The metal ingots were then exported by ship to other parts of the British Isles mostly through the Dyfi estuary. The reputation of Ceredigion silver was so high that Charles I gave permission to Thomas Bushell of the Society of Mines Royal to establish a Royal Mint at nearby Aberystwyth Castle. During the Civil War of the 1640s, the castle was captured by Cromwell's Parliamentarian forces. For a brief period in 1648 the Royal Mint was moved to the Ynyshir smelting works in a desperate attempt to keep minting coins to pay for the king's army.




Esgairhir shaft
Esgairhir shaft

During the early 18th century, the “Company of Mine Adventurers” planned a new coal-fired smelting works at nearby Garreg, on the Dyfi estuary. William Waller, Chief Agent of the Company and Sir Humphrey Mackworth, a leading industrialist from Neath, South Wales, hoped to exploit the wealth of the newly discovered Esgairhir mine. However, Esgairhir did not produce the expected results. The Garreg works was never completed and tens of thousands of pounds of shareholders money was lost.








Silver smelting<br />furnace, 16th c
Silver smelting
furnace, 16th c

Ystrad Einion ruins
Ystrad Einion ruins

The "Eagle"
The "Eagle"

A 17th century<br /> silver threepence
A 17th century
silver threepence

Ystrad Einon <br />Water Wheel
Ystrad Einon
Water Wheel

Wheelpit
Wheelpit


The display panel in Furnace

The display panel in Furnace - you can read the text on the panel above


Read more about the project background and its work in: Talybont, Bontgoch, Taliesin, Tre'r Ddôl or listen to the audio files.