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Title: Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners
Cwm YstwythOchreYstrad Einion
 
Water Wheel

The Talybont Mines

Hugh Myddleton
Hugh Myddleton


Industry has played a major part in the development of Tal-y-bont village. Copper, silver and lead were being mined in the area by the 16th century, but by the early 17th century Ceredigion's mines were in a neglected state.

Several mines were reopened by Sir Hugh Myddleton of the Society of Mines Royal by the 1620s. These included a mine at Tal-y-bont, where a smelting works was also opened to process the rich metal ores of the area.





Thomas Bushell took over the mine leases in 1636 and introduced the technique of driving adits into the hillsides to drain water out of the mine workings. He achieved his first success in 1641 on Alltycrib hill, when his men succeeded in draining old workings and discovered valuable silver and lead ores.

Talybont Mine 1870
Talybont Mine 1870

Bushell's Level can still be seen in the woods above the village. It is now blocked up, but during the Second World War was used as an air-raid shelter for children in the village school. By 1871, at the height of the mining boom in the Ceredigion ore-field, local mines were one of the main sources of employment in the village.


The industry supported a wide range of other trades, including carpenters, masons and blacksmiths. 19th century census returns show that there were also weavers, watchmakers, drapers, grocers, tailors and dressmakers supplying the local community.

Alltycrib section
Alltycrib section

Local miners worked in a number of lead and copper mines in the area. The Tal-y-bont Silver-Lead Mine stood in the middle of the village and there were many workings on Alltycrib hill.


Some men made the long trek to Esgairhir mine, nearly 10km to the east. During the week, most would live at the mine barracks, returning home on Saturday evenings to collect their pay at the Black Lion inn and spend Sundays at home.

By the early 20th century, low ore prices on the world market saw a decline in mining in the district. Only a handful of mines were working by the time of the First World War, and the mining tradition came to an end soon afterwards. Many Tal-y-bont miners went to the collieries of South Wales when the lead mines closed. Some went much further, to places such as Russia, America and Colombia.
Talybont Logo
Talybont Logo

Edward Evans shop
Edward Evans shop

Talybont Mine Share
Talybont Mine Share

Esgairhir barracks
Esgairhir barracks

Spoil tip
Spoil tip


The display panel in Talybont

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


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