Dolaucothi Gold Mine
The Dolaucothi Gold Mines are set in the valley of the River Cothi, one of the main tributaries of the Towy that joins just below Pontargothi. They are found just outside the village of Pumsaint (Five Saints). The village is supposedly named such because of a stone just below the Gold Mine with five indentations in its surface said to have been made by the heads of five saints, Gwyn, Gwynno, Gwynnoro, Cilynin and Ceitho who used the stone as a pillow during a storm.
Panning for Gold
The first known mining was by the Romans though gold extraction probably dates back to the Bronze Age when prospecting in the River Cothi would have produced gold. The Romans constructed a fort here within thirty years of the invasion and it is mentioned by Ptolemy in 140 A.D.. The mines are now in the hands of the National Trust.
The Romans made extensive use of water at Dolaucothi to expose the gold and wash the ore. As well as the mines they used opencast mining for gold extraction. The Roman Aqueduct used to bring water to the mining complex can be seen in the wooded valley. Mining resumed in the 19th century and continued until 1938. The National Trust took over the estate in 1941.
Visits of the mines are now organized, trips underground taking about one hour. There is also an opportunity to pan for gold. There is an exhibition on gold mining and machinery from the early 20th century.
The Winding Wheel The Winding Shed
The old trucks
The site is very beautiful wooded valley and there are way-marked trails and a tearoom.
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Site and Photographs © Geoffrey Davies 2008-10 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org