‘There’s gold in them thar hills…’
Always sought after but hard to find, gold mining at the Berthlwyd and Cefn Goch complex was a stop–start affair.
Gold was first found at Berthlwyd in 1845 and at Cefn Goch in 1862, though in fact both sites mined the same lode (ore). Following these discoveries several periods of mining activity took place, particularly in the wake of the Australian Gold Rush of the 1880-90s, until final closure in 1914. A total of 2661 tons of gold ore, producing 1392 ounces of gold, was mined here between 1862 and 1912. Interestingly, Welsh gold lodes yield up to 100 times more gold per ton of ore than equivalent South African veins, but are substantially smaller in scale.
Famously Welsh gold has proved particularly popular with the British royal family. The tradition was preserved when Catherine Middleton's wedding ring was fashioned from Welsh gold for her marriage to Prince William in 2011.
Visitors to this remote site today may be able to spot the roads, rail systems and remains of machinery. Waterwheel pits and an ‘edge-runner’ wheel, used to grind the ore, can also be found near the mines. A visit to the site, once the fourth richest in ore in the Dolgellau gold belt, makes for a lovely walk high above Ty’n y Groes, north of Llanelltyd. And who knows, you might strike it lucky yourselves and find your very own elusive yellow nugget…
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Family Walk
Barmouth - 10 miles
Nearest bus stop in Ganllwyd
NCN Route 82 is nearby
Follow tarmac road from Ganllwyd Village Hall. National Trust has a download PDF map for this route - please see link below.
Walking boots and OS map. Dogs must be on lead.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 719234
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
National Trust Walk at Ganllwyd
- Berthlwyd and Cefn Goch Gold Mining Landscape, Ganllwyd