Precious copper in the hills above Beddgelert
Since the dawn of recorded history, North Wales has been recognised and valued as an abundant source of copper. The area around Beddgelert has been exploited for this resource since at least the 18th century, and possibly as long ago as the Roman occupation.
At Sygun Mine visitors may take a tour through eerily beautiful, glowing orange caverns. These tunnels, deep below ground and rich in stalagmite and stalactite formations, were last worked commercially in 1903. It is easy to forget, surrounded by such beauty, the harsh reality of mining life, but it was dangerous, dark and dirty, not to mention back-breaking. Look out for the half-size replica of the stamp battery. This key piece of technology crushed the mined rock to extract the precious copper ore.
At Cwm Bychan (near Beddgelert) the operation was on a much smaller scale. Still visible are many pylons, which dot the hillside. These originally supported an aerial cableway used to transport ore in buckets to a processing plant near Nantmor. Though somewhat neglected, much of the cableway remains in situ, minus the cable which lies on the ground. Lying along several popular walking routes, Cwm Bychan is the perfect place to stop for a picnic and explore Gwynedd’s industrial heritage at leisure.
Sygun Copper Mine
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
Sygun Mine: 1 March until November 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
27 December - 2 January & February half-term 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Please check Sygun Mine website for entry fees
Sygun Mine A498 just north of Beddgelert. Cwm Bychan National Trust car park at Nantmor A4085
Bangor - 22 miles, Porthmadog - 8 miles
Sygun Mine - nearest stop at Tai Sygun. Cwm Bychan - Nantmor turn
There is a cycle track from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert
Footpath up Cwm Bychan leaves Nantmor car park near toilets
Walk to Cwm Bychan is uphill and requires boots and OS map. Approx 2-3 hour walk in total.
Mine tour is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.
Full Grid Reference Number - Sygun Mine: SH 604488, Car park for Cwm Bychan: SH 597461, Cwm Bychan Copper Mine Aerial Ropeway: SH 603475
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01766 890595
- Cwm Bychan and Sygun Copper Mines, Beddgelert, LL55 4NE