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Monday, 21 May 2012

Metals, Mines and Mountains Guided Walk by CBA Community Archaeology Training Placement Sophie Gingell

Tour of Bron-floyd lead-mine led by Royal Commission investigator, Louise Barker, NPRN: 33877

 On  Saturday 12 May, the Royal Commission, in conjunction with their ‘Metal Links’ project, led a guided walk around in Ceredigion, within the community of Trefeurig. This walk focussed on the mining history of the area and led us through a variety of mining sites, encapsulating a time period spanning the Bronze Age to the 20th Century. We began our walk at Cwmsymlog, an 18th century metal mine, where the remaining stone chimney is prominent in the landscape. From here we headed into the uplands, passing a prehistoric standing stone; one of many in the area. Royal Commission investigator, Toby Driver, explained that there are a number of different interpretations of these features. Some believe that they may be indications of prehistoric burial sites or places of ritual importance, whereas others hold the opinion that they would have acted predominantly as landscape markers used to navigate through the landscape. We walked then to the Cwmerfyn mine site, from where we could easily view the impressive Darren hillfort and mine. The next stop on the tour was the well-preserved metal mine of Bron-floyd. Royal Commission investigator Louise Barker gave us a full guided tour, from which we were able to attain a deeper knowledge of those that would have worked in these mines and lived in the surrounding area, and how important these mines would have been to them. After this, we gradually made our way back to Cwmsymlog by way of Gwaith Afon; a rather small mine found in the woodland area to the east of Cwmsymlog.

The group enjoying a well-deerved lunch.
Altogether, it was an incredible day and was made even more enjoyable by the beautiful weather. Through the exploration and explanation of not only the sites we visited, but also some of the sites that could be viewed from the pathways, we got a fantastic insight into the archaeology of this landscape and its underground resources. By actually walking through the fields and pathways that previous generations have walked through, exploring the sites in which they may have worked and viewing the same panoramas that they would have gazed out upon, we were given a truly unique insight into what is not only a wonderful mining landscape, but more importantly a thoroughly human one. A big thank you to all those who attended the walk; your knowledge and enthusiasm really made the day a wonderful success.
To find out more about the ‘Metal Links’ project, visit:

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