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Great Daren Mine;Darren Lead Mine, Daren;Banc y Darren;Banc-y-Darren

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Map ReferenceSN68SE
Grid ReferenceSN6750082790
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
Darren Mine's opencast workings extend for one kilometre and other remnants include ore slides and a tramway. They constitute some of the best examples of such excavations in Wales. The mine exploited a rich silver-lead vein, known as the Darren Lode, and also produced copper.

It has long been suggested that the first exploitation of this Lode dates back to the Prehistoric period (Hughes SJS 1990), with historic references noting this as a `Roman' or `Ancient British' work (Pettus 1670). Recent survey and excavation of the mine adjacent to Darren Camp Hillfort (NPRN: 303592), strongly supports a prehistoric phase, and this is further enhanced by the findings of galena (lead ore) in the ramparts of the fort and of stone hammers elsewhere along the mine.

The first recorded lessee of the mine is Sir Hugh Myddleton in c1618, followed by Thomas Bushel in 1659, although evidence was noted at this time for the 'old works' at the site. After Bushel it lay neglected until 1731 when it was re-opened by George Jones under Edmund Moore. A survey of Darren Mine was carried out by Lewis Morris in 1742 as part of his survey of the Cardiganshire Mines. After another spell of closure in the latter half of the eighteenth century the mine was revived under a number of different owners to differing levels of success until its final closure in 1890.

Bick DE 1976 The Old Metal Mines of Mid-Wales Part 3: Cardiganshire-North of Goginan
Bick D & Wyn Davies P 1994 Lewis Morris and the Cardiganshire Mines (National Library of Wales
Hughes, SJS 1990 'The Darren Mines', British Mining 40 (Northern Mine Research Soc. Monograph, Sheffield)
Pettus, Sir John 1670 Fodinae Regales, reprinted by Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Association for Industrial Archaeology, 1984 `A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Mid-Wales?

Louise Barker, RCAHMW, 28th Feb 2006
Claire Parry, RCAHMW, 6 June 2011

application/pdfGeneral Digital Donations CollectionDigital copy, illustrated wth photographs, of an account of the Darren Mines, Trefeurig, by S.J.S. Hughes, 10/2005, originally published as British Mining Research Society Monograph No. 40.
application/pdfDSC - RCAHMW Digital Survey CollectionDigital text report on Darren Mine, from a detailed RCAHMW digital earthwork survey of Darren Camp hillfort together with a section of the adjacent Darren Mine. Carried out by Louise Barker, 06/2006-01/2006, as a detailed sites and buildings survey following a request by the Early Mines group prior to their excavations at the site.