Drainage pipe from the Old Great Orme Copper Mines, Llandudno

Scope and Content

In 1848, Llandudno was a small, remote self-sufficient community of 1,000 people who earned their living from mining and farming. They had a new church, three Non-Conformist chapels and eight taverns which, with their cottages, were concentrated on or around the steep hill called Old Road with the beginnings of an overflow into Church Walks.

Up the Old Road at that time was an almost man-made desert with deep shafts and mounds of rocky soil, with an engine house built in 1835. Belmont, at the junction of North Parade and Church Walks conceals an old railway tunnel out of the Copper Mines.

Boundaries had become important with the discovery of copper in the bowels of the Great Orme and it was in conjunction with the mines that a dozen cottages were built on the West Shore's sand dunes in 1783. A terrace of them running at right angles to the sea, stood across the southern gable of the Gogarth Abbey Hotel until 1936.

One of the old cottages still survives at the end of Abbey Place, with an interesting walled channel through which a constant river flows out of the mountain. The river emerges through the stone lined exit of an 874 yards long adit or drainage tunnel, from the New Mine. It was completed in 1842, after eight years and eight months of continuous excavation by a team team of twelve miners who worked in shifts, night and day. Rails were laid through the tunnel to bring the ore out of the mine for crushing and separation and loading into small vessels beached on receding tides.

Original Index No. D0812.