Scope and Content

Records collected by Russell Bayles regarding metal mining and related subjects, 1818-2005, including: Flintshire Mining Papers 1853-1923; Denbighshire Mining Papers 1850-1955; Cornwall (and Devon) Mining Papers 1818-1917; Records of London Copper / Smelting Manufacturers 1828-1831; Photographs 1900-1989; Cuttings, Extracts and Notes 1831-2001; and Books and Publications, 1839-2005.

Administrative / Biographical History

Russell Bayles, born in Helsby, Cheshire (1910) was employed in the cable manufacturing industry in Lancashire and Cheshire for some 17 years. It was as a result of his work with colliery cables that his interest in mining machinery and industrial archaeology began. Mr Bayles' first introduction to the industrial archaeology of North Wales was on the occasion of a visit to the Dorothea Slate Quarry just before its closure in the 1930s. Whilst there his attention was drawn to a Cornish engine, no longer used, and in a rapidly deteriorating condition. Largely through his efforts, the engine was succesfully restored to its former working state. A similar rescue operation with which Russell Bayles was invloved, some years later concerned Queen Street Mill near Burnley, also on the point of closure (in 1982). This mill was eventually taken over by the local council and restored as one of the last mills in Great Britain using machinery worked by steam power.

The records in this collection reflect Russell Bayles' long-standing interest in and concern for the preservation of these last remaining examples of nineteenth and early twentieth century engineering associated with the old metal mines. Of particular interest are the series of photograph albums compiled by Mr Bayles over many years containing views of mines, engine-houses and machinery in various parts of England and Wales. Some of the photographs, although copies, are of scenes of early date and therefore of considerable value. The accompanying library of books and other printed works brings together a considerable resource for the history of metal mining and related subjects.


Arranged into the following: Flintshire Mining Papers; Denbighshire Mining Papers; Cornwall (and Devon) Mining Papers; Records of London Copper / Smelting Manufacturers; Photograps; Cuttings, Extracts and Notes; and Books and Publications.

Access Information

Data Protection Act restrictions will apply to any items less than 100 years old that contain personal information as defined by the Act.


Please order documents using the alternative reference number (where provided).

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of this catalogue is available at Flintshire Record Office. Catalogue is searchable online at:

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Steven Davies, Flintshire Record Office. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Flintshire Record Office, Russell Bayles MSS catalogue. Input by Estelle Roberts.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual Copyright Restrictions Apply

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Flintshire Record Office have been retained.


Further accruals are possible.