Historic Landscape Walks, June 2006
Two walks in the Elan Valley Historic Landscape led by Bill Britnell of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust took place in June and August 2006.The walks form part of the annual programme organised by the Elan Valley Trust and the Cambrian Mountains Society. Details of other walks in the Elan Valley can be found in the
events pages of the Elan Valley Trust website.
Left: The party who joined the guided walk on the 17 June 2006
A hardy band of twenty walkers joined the first walk in hot sunny weather on Saturday 17 June which took in a number of prehistoric sites on the hills south of the Elan Valley visitor centre.These included including a number of Bronze Age burial mounds, a recently discovered stone circle and standing stone, and a possible prehistoric hut and a group of clearance cairns which hint at the possibility of settlement and agriculture in the uplands during the prehistoric period.
Right: Disturbed capstone of the burial cist visible in the top of one of the Bronze Age burial mounds visited during the Historic Landscape walk
The second walk, in unseasonably wet weather on Saturday 19 August, was to the Cwm Elan Lead Mine, west of the Garreg-ddu Reservoir. It was joined by an even hardier band of about 10 walkers!
Lead mining first began here in 1796 following the accidental discovery of galena (lead ore) whist workmen were digging drainage ditches. Most of the visible remains, however, belong to the 1870s when new investments were made by the mining company. Mining finally came to an end when the Elan Valley was purchased in the 1890s for the Birmingham Corporation reservoir scheme, in order to preserve the purity of the city's water supply.
Left: The upper part of the mine with one of the waterwheel pits to the left. The mine depended upon water power, the water being carried for over 16 kilometres across the moorland from Llyn Cerrigllwydion Isaf, one of the large natural lakes on the summit of the Elenydd mountain
© Liz Fleming-Williams