Welsh gold is known to have been mined by the Romans. Welsh gold, which is
mined by hand, lies in a band stretching from Barmouth, past Dolgellau and up
Welsh Gold was mined by early man because it could be easily extracted from
the rock. Unlike South African gold, which is mixed in with the rock and yields
just a quarter of an ounce for every tonne mined, pure Welsh gold forms in seams,
like coal, which have been known to yield up to 30 ounces per ton.
Gold jewellery like torcs were worn by early Welsh princes as a badge of rank
and the tradition is echoed today with this gold being used to make the wedding
rings of a number of Royal brides
There are three gold mines in Wales today
Dolaucothi, near Pumpsaint, Dyfed, owned and run by the
National Trust, so can be visited. The mine was operated by the Romans, but
after the Romans departure, the mine lay abandoned for centuries. Revival
in the 19th century did not last long, with the mine finally closing in 1938.
Dolaucothi's fascinating story is today told on the "Miners Way"
self guide surface trail and also on guided underground tour.
Gwynfynydd Gold Mines in Dolgellau started in the 1860's
and has proved to be one of the richest gold mines in Britain. Gwynfynydd
Gold Mine has now been restored after being inactive, and is again in full
production. It has a recorded output of more than 2,000 oz of fine gold since
1884. Visitors to Gwynfynydd are offered the opportunity to visit the working
gold mine, pan for gold and experience the search for Welsh gold.
Clogau Gold Mine in Bontddu, near Barmouth, is a working
gold mine which is not open to the public.