Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine Museum

The Ceredigion Mines Discovery Centre - Silver Mountain Experience


Useful Information

Location: On the north side of the A44 trunk road about 17km east of Aberystwyth
Open: APR to mid-JUL daily 10-16.
Mid-JUL to AUG daily 10-17.
SEP to OCT daily 10-16.
NOV to MAR Tue-Sun 10-16.
Closed 24-DEC, 25-DEC, 26-DEC 31-DEC.
[2020]
Fee: Surface attractions plus one tour: Adults GBP 14.95, Children (4-15) GBP 10.95, Children (0-3) free, Seniors GBP 12.95, Students GBP 12.95.
Additional tour: Adults GBP 4, Children (4-15) GBP 3, Seniors GBP 3.50, Students GBP 3.50.
Group discounts. Online discount 10%. Payment in Euros welcome.
[2020]
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineLead Mine
Light: electric
Dimension:  
Guided tours: Mine: D=45min, L=200m.
Surface: D=90min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Bick, David (1992): The Old Metal Mines of Mid-Wales, Part 2: Cardigan - The Rheidol to Goginan
Address: Silver River Mines Ltd, Llywernog Mine Museum Trust Ltd, Llywernog Mine Museum, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3AB, Tel: +44-1970-890620, Fax +44-1545-570823, E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1742 ore vein discovered.
1756 Lewis Morris leased this mine.
1790 Balcombe's Level driven.
1813 the mine closed putting 50 men out of work.
1840 the Francises took over the mine to provide work for the unemployed members of their families.
1878 mining virtually ended.
1907 revival as a zinc prospect.
1973 the old mine was saved from dereliction by the late Dr Stephen Harvey and his son Peter Lloyd-Harvey of Aberaeron who opened the mine to the public.

Geology

The upper Ordovician and lower Silurian beds provide the basis of the lead and zinc metalliferous mineral lodes traversing this area.


Description

The mining museum was lately renamed Silver Mountain Experience and offers now three different tours. A Dragon's Tale is a Knight’s quest to find a shy and secretive Dragon by the name of Grotty, intended for smaller kids and families. The Black Chasm is an underground tour with historic informations about mining but also some horror and mystery elements. The Miner's Life is an educative tour showing many parts of the mine including the ore crusher.

The mining of the silver-rich lead ore was a major rural industry in Mid-Wales for nearly 2000 years. Llywernog is a fine example of a Welsh water-powered metalliferous mine. Three lodes were exploited to a depth of 132 m below the surface between 1756 and 1907. The trail around a fascinating 2.8 hectare "Discovery Park" takes the visitor around the machinery and displays that illustrate ore-dressing processes, from ore crushing to mineral separation. Surface features include a reconstructed horse-gin, windlasses and working water wheels. The new panning shed presents an opportunity to try your hand at washing mined minerals such as galena and pyrites.

There is an easy underground access to Balcombe's Level which was driven to intersect the Main Lode in 1790. The underground tour has recently been extended beyond the "Earthquake Zone" and an area of stoping called the great chasm where the "Captain's Tale" is told.

Guided tours of the mine take half an hour, but allow a total of 2 hours or more to visit the surface exhibitions. There is free coach and car parking, free access to the Shop and Tea Room, which provides light refreshment. There is also a picnic site. The site covers an area of 2.8 hectares.


Text by Tony Oldham (2001). With kind permission.