You're on the Roman audiotrail at Dolaucothi
We want everybody to know just how special Dolaucothi in Carmarthenshire, Wales is. We're the only known Roman Gold Mine in the whole of the UK; but what does that mean? Follow this trail and listen to the audio to find out exactly what happened here 2,000 years ago. You'll be amazed.
The history of Dolaucothi reveals how the Romans were the first to mine our Welsh landscape on an industrial scale in search of gold.
Looking towards the village of Pumsaint, a white chimney marks the boundary of the Roman fort, on the north side of the River Cothi.
Look at the unusual landscape around you, which is made up from spoil heaps; waste from the mines. It has an unusual coffin-like shape which may be the result of digging with a pick wielded at shoulder height.
Notice the difference in shape from the lower Roman adit. It’s much more uniform. This could reflect slightly different geology or mining techniques, although you’ll notice similar pick marks - so it was certainly dug by hand.
Like the other open cast pits of Dolaucothi, the area in which you're now standing would have been subjected to the water treatments of hushing and ground sluicing.
Vast quantities of water were needed for the mining process. The Romans used a leat system to direct water from the Cothi and Annell Rivers, which fed a series of huge tanks.
Right in front of you is the main open cast mining pit at Dolaucothi. Before any mining took place, it’s likely that this was a narrow valley, with a stream running through it.
There are many myths and legends surrounding the old stone of Pumsaint.