Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Rock-crusher house and wheel-pit at Llywernog Mine  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Situated at W end of row comprising crusher-house, wheel-pit and mine-office at Llywernog Mine, some 200m N of A44.  


Broad Class

Restored crusher-house of Llywernog mine with attached wheel-pit, probably mid to later C19. Llwyernog mine was discovered in the C18, said to have been worked as opencast by Lewis Morris c1744-56. Noted by Meyrick in 1810 as being about 40 years old, then worked by William Poole. Leased in mid 1820s to the Williams family of Scorrier House, Cornwall, and worked in a small way (references to other lessees in 1840 and 1852) before 1861. The Llywernog United Mining Co.. formed in 1858 (also working the Ponterwyd and Bog Mines) was bought out by Clara United Mining Co.. in 1859. Pumping problems were not solved until a 40' (12.2m) water wheel was bought in 1861 from Bodcoll Mine. The mine's period of prosperity was short, from c 1861-1874, constantly troubled by inadequate water supply to turn the wheels to drain the workings. There were 14 men working in 1867, 24 in 1872. Captain John Davis was mine manager 1867-72, Captain John Evans 1872-?75. John Balcombe, the entrepreneur involved in the Queens Hotel Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge Hotel (both bankrupt c. 1866-7), was managing director from c. 1863. The Clara United Mine created a new company, the Llywernog Mining Co.. in 1868, and a rich ore seam was found in 1869, but drought prevented its exploitation before steam power was installed in 1870. The new office building dates from 1869-70, and housed the engine. In 1871 the mine reached its greatest depth at 72 fathoms (132m) but there were continuing problems with finance, the company was re-formed in 1872. Returns to the mining journals gradually ceased in 1873, but it seems that in 1874-5 Balcombe tried to revive the mine, buying a 50' (15.25m) wheel to replace the 40' (12.2m) wheel. The wheel was made at Llanidloes and was one of the largest in the region. The mine was also linked to a new leat of some six and a half miles (10.5km) built to bring water from the upper Rheidol valley to Llywernog and other mines, but nothing more is recorded of Balcombe's company. Sporadic work c1882-91 is recorded. Reopened again 1907-10 by the Scottish Cardigan Mines Ltd but nothing was produced. The giant wheel was scrapped in 1953. The site was restored from 1973 by Peter Lloyd Harvey as a museum. A 1949 photograph shows the derelict office building, the giant waterwheel in its raised wheel-pit to left, adjoining the rubble stone square base of the rock-crusher house. On the hill behind is the roofless ore-dressing shed. The crusher house upper storey was restored after 1973 based on evidence of a C19 drawing that showed the pyramid roof and single front window. The Cornish roll crusher inside is rescued from Llawrcwmbach mine.  

Rock-crusher house, rubble stone with restored upper floor and slate pyramid roof. Square-plan, built into steep bank. S front has C20 corrugated-iron and timber lean-to on ground floor and single 6-pane window under eaves above. The W side has a similar 6-pane window under eaves and a broad doorway below to right with timber lintel and iron rail tracks entering. The rear has a stone ramp down to a gabled doorway breaking eaves at first floor for bringing ore. Attached to right is large raised wheel-pit in rubble stone projecting forward with yellow-brick blank roundel in restored end wall, and brick-headed door in E side. Above these is a slate sill course, probably marking the top of the 1861 wheel-pit for the 40' (12.2m) wheel, raised some 1.5m in 1874-5 for the 50' (15.25m) wheel. On wall-top are cast-iron brackets for waterwheel. Deep pit.  

Interior partially restored has beams supporting a mid to later C19 iron roll-crusher from the Llawrcwmbach mine resited within.  

Reason for designation
Included as a restored lead-mine crusher-house, with very large wheel-pit, of group value with the other listed buildings at this well-preserved mine, a Scheduled Ancient Monument.  

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