Wemyss Lead & Zinc Mine

Closes 26 Oct 2043

Opened 26 Oct 2023


The abandoned Wemyss Mine is 15km southeast of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.

It is located at the head of the Cwmnewydion valley, a tributary of the River Magwr, which joins the River Ystwyth at Abermagwr.

The mine worked the Frongoch mineral lode alongside Frongoch and Graig Goch mines.

Wemyss became an integral part of the larger Frongoch Mine and cannot be considered in isolation from its more illustrious neighbour.

In the 1840s both mines came under the same ownership and the Wemyss drainage adit was extended to also serve the Frongoch workings, becoming the Frongoch Adit we know today.

The mines continued to be operated together with varying success throughout the latter half of the 19th century until they were acquired by the Belgian company ‘Société Anonyme Miniére’ in 1898.

The Belgians invested heavily in modernising and electrifying the mining operations, which included constructing a state-of-the-art hydro-electric power station at Pont Ceunant and a large ore dressing mill at Wemyss.

However, the venture was short-lived and by 1904 the company were in liquidation and all of the mine’s machinery and effects were sold at auction.

Today, the Wemyss site is dominated by the ruins of the dressing mill and its large spoil tips which are bordered to the south by the Cwmnewydion Stream and to the west by the smaller Mill Race Stream.

There are also the remains of the wheel pit for a 56-foot waterwheel, which was fed by a leat from Frongoch.

Wemyss is a significant source of metal pollution and is causing a chemical and ecological impact on downstream watercourses.

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