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Panteidal Copper Mine

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The evidence for early activity at Panteidal consists of an opencast working on a copper (chalcopyrite) vein crossing the steep eastern side of a wooded valley. The ancient diggings at this point would appear to have been larger than the remains of the 19th century mine adit driven to intersect this beneath the recorded (40 foot deep) bottom of the ancient ‘amphitheatrelike’ pit.

Today this feature is still a deep quarry-like working approx. 30m in diameter, partly infilled, but evidently dug out again in the 1890s when the Panteidal Copper Company sunk a shaft from the south side of the working. The situation is confused somewhat by nearby slate quarrying. An interesting account survives from a report of 1899 which refers to the discovery of stone hammers in this working and the presence nearby of ‘water races’, perhaps indicating hushing (Bick 1978). The site was surveyed and thoroughly fieldwalked by the Early Mines Research Group in June 1996, when a number of trial trenches were also dug. One of these located on the opencast edge revealed a small area of battering, possibly resulting from the use stone tools, alongside a thin layer of weathered ‘early’ mine spoil containing traces of charcoal adhering to the rock, but no hammer stones. Several stone hammers were however identified within the stone walling of a former 19th-century mine building at Panteidal Nursery, alongside copper ore from the later working.


Timberlake, S. (2014) ‘Bronze Age Copper Mines in Wales, and a Brief Comparison with the Evidence from Ireland’ Journal of the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland, 14, pp. 103-123.

RCAHMW, 2022.