Cwmystwyth history, archaeology and antiquities. Is a small mining village in Ceredigion, formerly Cardiganshire, West Wales. Situated west of Devils Bridge.
|Cwmystwyth History Pictures|
Since 1909 the Ceredigion Historical Society has published articles written about the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion, many of these articles printed within the Ceredigion Journal, are about the history of Cwmystwyth.
The society has also produced three county volumes, under the name of the Cardiganshire County History series, these knowledgeable, learned, comprehensive and scholary publications record the history of prehistoric, early and modern Cardiganshire.
This historic landscape area has been defined by the mining industry. Archaeological excavations have demonstrated that opencast copper mining was undertaken here in the Bronze Age (Timberlake 1995), and lead has been mined here since at least Roman times (Bick 1974, 19-23; Hughes 1981).
Metal was probably worked under the control of Strata Florida Abbey in the Middle Ages as this area lay within Cwmystwyth Grange. In the 18th century prospecting for lodes by scouring the surface of the ground by a sudden rush of water – hushing – was practised, and the channels and reservoirs of this process can still be seen.
Metal mining in the 18th and 19th centuries has bequeathed a bewildering array of remains, an industrial archaeologist’s paradise, including: tips, shafts, tramways, inclines, open-casts, crusher houses and other buildings. In the late 19th century the search for blende resulted in the construction of a large crusher house – the rusting remains of which have only recently been swept away – and other installations. Work finally ceased at Cwmystwyth in 1921.
Description and essential historic landscape components
This area, which is entirely defined by industrial archaeology, lies across the valley sides and the valley floor of the Ystwyth. The valley here has a deep U-shaped profile, with the floor at 300m and the sides rising to over 500m.
The sides are craggy, even cliff-like on the northern side. The many scree slopes are more likely to be a result of mining than a natural process. Mining remains are everywhere. These are varied and most are of a robust character. Remains of stone built structures in this area – domestic and industrial are scattered across the landscape. Many are in a perilous condition.
Recorded archaeology comprises remains directly associated with the metal mining industry, including finds of Roman date, or remains indirectly associated with the industry such as abandoned worker cottages.
This is a well-defined area comprising the industrial archaeology of the metal mining industry. To the north and south lies high, unenclosed moorland, and to the east and west the enclosed and settled valley floor of the Ystwyth is found.
By Dyfed Archaeological Trust – Historic Landscape Characterisation of Cwmystwyth
3. External links
- Coflein, discover the archaeology, historic buildings, monuments and history of Cwmystwyth
- Historic Place Names, learn about the field names and house names in the community of Cwmystwyth
- A Pint of History, read about the history of Ceredigion pub’s, inn’s and local taverns of Cwmystwyth
- People’s Collection Wales, share your stories, memories and photographs of Cwmystwyth
Some ideas to share your Stories below!
Have a memory and your not sure what to write? We have made it easy with some prompts and ideas, just think about this place and the importance its had in your life and ask yourself:
- What are my personal memories of living here?
- How has it developed and shops changed over the years?
- Do you have a story about the beach, community, its people and history?
- Tell us how it feels, seeing photographs and images of this place again?
- Tell us your favourite memories about this place?
The aim of the Ceredigion Historical Society is to preserve, record and promote the study of the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion. That objective has remained the same since the foundation of the Society in 1909, though its name was changed from Ceredigion Antiquarian Society to the Ceredigion Historical Society in 2002.
Ceredigion Find – The Banc Ty’nddôl Sun disc – 2400 BC
The best evidence for early Bronze Age mining is at Comet Lode Opencast, Copa Hill, Cwmystwyth, 30 years of research by Simon Timberlake and the Early Mines Research Group pin pointed early traces of Bronze Age mining, worked around 2000BC.
A discovery in October 2002, by the Early Mines Research Group while excavating a Roman and Medieval smelting floor, they came across a small gold disc known as The Banc Ty’nddôl Sun disc (2400 BC), Wales’s earliest known gold object, about the size of an old milk bottle top, one of only 12 in Britain and the first discovered in Wales.
This incredibly rare gold disc is now on display at St Fagans National Museum of History.