A vein of lead ore was discovered by a farm worker while digging a drainage leat for the land owner Thomas Grove of Cwm Elan House in 1796.
Thomas Grove worked the mine making a profit of £500. Due to water problems Thomas Grove leased the mine to Sir Thomas Bonsall who added a Adit to drain the water.
A Cornish company took over the mine in 1808 following the death of Sir Thomas Bonsall.
Cwmellan Lead Mines worked the mine in 1840 and issued a Promissory Note for £1, one of these note can be seen in Llanidloes Museum.
Cwm Elan Mining Company was formed in 1871 with a capital of £30,000 and new machinery and buildings was erected.
A 10 fathom (60 foot) level was worked and in November 1872 Charles Ely was elected as Company Chairman.
In 1873 the Crushing Mill started with a Blake's Stone Crusher, Crusher Rolls, Collom's Patent Jiggers and Round Buddles which was all supplied by William Thomas of Llanidloes Railway Foundry.
The Cwm Elan Mining Company is voluntarily wound up in November 1874 and the property was offered for sale by public auction.
In 1875 the mine was bought for £1.148/10s/8d by the newly formed New Cwm Elan Mining Company.
Work ceased at the mine in September 1877, at this point the Engine Shaft had reached a depth of 40 fathoms (240 feet). The mine produced 175 tons of Lead and 160 tons of Zinc during the period of 1871 - 1877.
Looking into a possible Adit off the Engine Shaft, Engine shaft has collapsed in a few areas, great care should be taken when visiting this shaft and stay outside the fenced area. The Engine Shaft was mined to a depth of 40 fathoms (240 feet).
Engine Shaft Map Ref SN89953 65096
Site of the Balance Box near the Engine Shaft
Map Ref SN89953 65096
Cwm Elan Mine Upper Adit, short distance above the Engine Shaft.There is a deep drop to the side of the entrance which may be a collapse part of the Engine Shaft.
Map Ref SN89916 65090
Crushing Mill and Wheel Pit. The crusher Mill would of held two large rollers, one driven by the water wheel and the other loose on it's shaft. Two large weight would of pulled the two rollers together to enable the ore to be crushed to the size of a course sand. The beams that once leaning against the south wall have been moved and laid just outside the Crusher mill. A few metal remains lay around this site including the large driveshaft that still retains half of a clutch mechanism for powering the mill.
Map Ref SN90005 65097
Dressing Area, there once two Coloom's Jiggers here, driven by shafting from the Crusher Mill Wheel seen behind.The stumps of wooden posts once carried the rod to power the rotating arms still remain.
Map Ref SN90022 65096
Pumping and Winding Wheel Pit used for winding and pumping from the shaft. Some of the metal work can still be seen here.
Map ref SN89964 65138
Originally Pengwaidd House, later to be a Carpenter's Workshop on the left and Blacksmiths building on the right now with a new roof and other work done to it over the winter 2016/2017.
Map Ref SN90005 65139
One of the two Ore Slides where the Ore would of been stored prior to been reduced in size ready for the crushing mill.
Map Ref SN89973 65103
Map Ref SNSN89978 65081
Powder MagazineThe Powder Magazine, kept at a safe distance from the mine.
Map Ref SN89937 65046
One of the deep shafts was covered over with tree trunks many years ago and this is the area where it was.
Map Ref SN89890 65013
The Managers House, the building has been pointed and the bricks in the windows put back in place after falling out.
Map Ref SN90070 65229
Managers House on the left was built in 1871. The more recent Water works building on the right built during the construction of the dams was never lived in.
Map Ref SN90070 65229
Green Bridge as it's known locally, a 17th century Stone Built Bridge, Built before the Mines.
Report done on Cwm Elan Mine in 1976 by J.B.Groucott
Report done on Cwm Elan Mine in 1858