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This mine is located on the eastern slopes of Plynlimon, close to the source of the River Severn, where it’s workings are amongst the most isolated in mid-Wales.

Stone tools and an antler pick were found when the open works were cleared out in 1859, and as a result this was one of those sites Oliver Davies looked at when he came looking for ancient mines in Wales in 1937.

The river here now flows through the ancient open cut, and it is tempting to think that the copper-rich lead veins were first discovered by prehistoric mineral prospectors who were examining the river bed.

In 1988 the EMRG carried out several small excavations of an ancient spoil mound some distance above the east edge of the river chasm, and as a result of this, dates of between 1900 and 1520 years cal BC were obtained from thick accumulations of charcoal.

The group returned in 2014 to re-survey

and more thoroughly test pit the length of the shallow and presumably ancient spoil mounds over a distance of c. 100 metres.

Twelve pits were dug,  the northernmost one confirming the continuation of Early Bronze Age mining (1900 -1745 cal BC) in this direction, suggesting a larger prehistoric mine than previously thought.

A minimum of 1000-2000 tons of rock may have been removed during mining at this early period.

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This website was made possible by a grant from the Cambrian Archaeology Association

Plan of Nantyreira mine (S. Timberlake, 1988.)

Drawing of hammer stone / anvil B. Craddock.)

Nantyreira mine plan with excavation sites 2014/15
(S.Timberlake+ B. Craddock after baseline survey by CPAT)
Nantyreira TPA section 2014/15 (B. Craddock)
Mail: bc293@cam.ac.uk