A Golden Age
Dolaucothi gold mines are the only known Roman gold mines in the whole of the UK. Skilled men worked the mines, diverting water from the hills above the site to wash away waste rock, leaving the heavier gold behind. They sent the gold to be made into coins at the Imperial Mint at Lyon.
A long history
The Roman invasion
Although it's possible Dolaucothi was mined prior to 70 AD, strong evidence suggests that the Romans were the first to explore our Welsh landscape to search for gold.
Back in business
After the Romans left, the mine was disused for hundreds of years. It was revived in Victorian times and was in full swing in the 1930s. The mine closed in 1938 but gold remains hidden inside the labyrinth of mines and rock formations.
Tools for the job
With gold prices freed from the constraints of the gold standard, which the United Kingdom abandoned in 1931, mining at Dolaucothi became an attractive proposition once again.
The sad story of Ned Lions
Ned was a Dolaucothi miner who worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week in the 1930s. It is said that one cold winter's day, Ned was lowered into the ore pass to excavate long adit at Dolaucothi Gold Mines.
An hour or so into the shift, Ned's candle, his only source of light began to dim and eventually went out. Ned yelled and shouted for help, but there was no reply.
Hours passed and still no one heard Ned cry for help. He was cold and hungry and so decided to climb the unsteady rock face. He knew it was dangerous, especially because he was completely blind in the darkness and his hands were numb with cold. He managed to scramble up about half-way, when his foot dislodged some loose rock and poor Ned fell to the bottom.
At the end of the shift, the drams rolled out of long adit and Ned's size nine boot was found. The miners searched the ore pass for Ned but he was never found. To this day, some say they still hear his groans for help echo through the gold mine.