Miner’s Way trail at Dolaucothi
Retrace the steps of gold miners through the ages, from the mine entrances used by the Romans to the remains of the crushing mill used in the 1930s. See some great views and unusual plants along the way.
Dolaucothi Gold Mines car park, grid ref: SN662403
Below you on the right you'll see the entrance to a Roman mine shaft, or adit.
The Roman adits
They have a distinctive coffin shape, wider at the top than the bottom, because the ore was carried out on the miners' backs. In later times, tramways meant that the miners could push the ore out in trucks.
Cross the road through the gate opposite and follow the track through the woods. This will take you through some of the oldest mine workings at Dolaucothi, used by the Romans to extract gold to send back to the Imperial Mint.
Take the steps to the right of the winding shed leading out of the mineyard.
The mineyard is a huge hole dug into the hillside by the Romans in their search for gold nearly 2,000 years ago. They left behind a complex of pits, channels, tunnels and tanks. Mining resumed here in the late 19th century but no fortunes were made. In 1938 the mine closed for the last time.
Go through the gate into the hay meadow.
You’re now passing through ancient pasture that's not been ploughed for generations. During spring and summer this landscape is carpeted with wildflowers such as hay rattle, eye-bright and orchids.
When you come out onto the track, go over the stile into the field ahead, where you will see the remains of a 'crushing shed'.
Go over a second stile back onto the track. Follow the road down until you reach the junction. Turn right at the junction.
Follow the trail. It leads you through the remains of the miners’ bunk houses or barracks, built in the 1930s.
Go right and follow the path till it joins the old drovers’ road.
The drovers' road
For centuries Welsh farmers sent livestock to market in England along these networks of drovers’ ways. Geese had their feet tarred for the journey whilst cattle were shod - one plate for each part of their cloven hooves. Turn left along the road.
If you look down to your left you’ll see into the mine yard at Dolaucothi. Follow the waymark down the steps and explore the 1930s machinery.
Dolaucothi Gold Mines, grid ref: SN662403
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