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Gwyrch Castle Mine

Gwyrch Castle is an extensive listed ruin which lies on the northeast flank of a wooded limestone escarpment which runs parallel to the A55 near Llandulas. While the castle and grounds are interesting, the hill behind, named Cefn-yr-Ogof, is crossed by two lead veins and these were actively mined in the 18th century.

The hill also contains two areas of natural caves: the Tan-yr-Ogof caves lie to the north-east of the castle and Dulas cave (or Ogof Dulas) lies almost due west. Dulas Cave has been modified by mining and probably gave access to the main workings in the past.

There is a short description of the workings in a Geological Survey Memoir 'Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain. Volume XIX Lead and Zinc ores in the carboniferous rocks of North Wales' pages 32-33. This describes two mineral veins starting in the Dulas valley and extending all the way to Gwyrch Castle, a distance of about 1 mile. Great Orme Exploration Society investigated the area in the 1980's and discovered that the main passage was blocked by in-wash. However the whole area is of interest and it would probably repay closer examination.

There may be a problem with access to the Gwyrch Castle area as the estate have been looking charging for access. The area has also been out of bounds at times for filming a TV series. CAL gains its right of access from NRW and it is not clear yet if this will be the case in the future. Please be discreet!

Gwyrch Castle Access

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