Betws Garmon Iron Mine
(aka “Ystrad Mine” and “Silurian Mine”)
SH 540 574
From Caernarfon, head towards Beddgelert. The mine is obvious and in the hill to your left as you drive through Betws Garmon itself. There is a public footpath here by the road which takes you straight to all the adits.
Ungated and Unknown
8 Adits all of which are reasonably short in distance
The drainage adit is blocked at the entrance and may be flooded.
One of the upper levels is flooded to waist depth (Feb 2010) and may flood higher.
Iron but with traces of copper and sulphur
This mine is also known as “Ystrad Mine” and “Silurian Mine” (I don’t know why – see the links at the bottom).
Essentially this is a vein that has (almost) been worked to surface. The vein breaches the brow of the hill and is “open cast” at that point.
The lowest adit (drainage adit) is sadly blocked although there are “sudden” holes in the ground on the 1st level adit leading to it. None of these holes are currently rigged for SRT descent and it is questionable as to whether such an exercise would be worthwhile.
Most of the adits are identical in nature in that they lead to large worked chambers with some exposure to surface in each chamber.
An interesting array of mineral formations have begun in most chambers and are still young in life and delicate but they already provide some fantastic colours and small sparkling crystals.
An interesting mine if you take the time to look at what is around you rather than charge through it all like a herd of buffalo.
There is also a small adit at the base of the main mine adits in a protruding rocky mound (you will go past this en route to the hillside of 8 adits). The farmer has seen fit to through vast amounts of rubbish into this part of the mine from the top of the mound where it breaks surface including a full red van. The entrance to this adit is utterly humming with Hydrogen Sulphide and I was repelled by the strength of the stench before I could get within 40 feet of the adit itself.
The Drainage adit and possibly some more higher up as there are confusing internal scrambles between chambers.
Release the Kraken .....