The area around Llyn Geirionydd is famous for it's beauty. It's also an area of great fascination for mine explorers, as you can't really walk very far without encountering evidence of some interesting mine activity.
For our exploration, we parked at the Llyn Geirionydd car park, after negotiating the crazy road from Trefriw. I would recommend approaching from Betws, a slightly less hair-raising route, although caution is still required as the locals tend to drive at only slightly sub-warp speeds.
|the tramway running below the road|
|The processing area|
|The waterwheel pit|
|The Powder House|
|Some of the remains at the Eagle Mine, with Clogwyn-y-Fuwch in the background.|
|Eagle mine spoil heap, with dead tractor in evidence.|
|Looking into the workings from one of the stopes.|
There are no fish in Llyn Geiryonydd, mainly because of the highly toxic outflow from the gated Pontifex adit, which discharges just behind the toilet block at the car park. The gate isn't locked, but the waist level orange water tends to put most people off. It's quite a thought to follow the course of the adit above ground to the New Pandora and imagine that the miners hewed the tunnel out of the rock for that distance. It's nothing compared to some mines, I know, but impressive nonetheless. At one time, water was gathered from reservoirs above ground along a mile-long leat and piped down a shaft at the mine to drive a generator, 200feet underground. There's little to show nowadays except some crumbling concrete remains and depressions in the ground, seen best in the evening when the course of the leat can be traced to the Spion Kop shaft, sunk during the Boer War.
|Looking down into the stopes|
|Blende in the tips|
We eventually made our way back along the tramway. Further to the north west, at the other end of the tramway, there are the remains of a ropeway down to the Klondyke Mill- a place famous for all the wrong reasons. I'll come to that another time.
For anyone interested in the history of the Llyn Geirionydd mines, I recommend "Mines of the Gwydir Forest, part 6 by John Bennett and Robert W Vernon, ISBN 0 9514798 5 7
More photos of the Eagle Mine by Geotopoi here
|Remains of an old ladder|
|On the road back to the lake.|