Lane from Groesfaen to Mwyndy – leading to site of old Bute & Mwyndy Iron Ore works

Down this lane is the site of the former Bute & Mwyndy Iron Ore mine.

It opened in the late 1850s and attracted many workers to this area – particularly from Cornwall where tin mining was in decline.

This mine is responsible for the population growth in Miskin and Groesfaen seen around this time

Account of 1874 visit of Institute of Mechanical Engineers to Bute & Mwyndy Iron Ore mine published on Grace’s guide. This text is published under the creative commons Sharealike licence

“In returning from Landore to Cardiff, the Members visited the Mwyndy Iron Ore Mine, near Llantrissant, where they were received by the Manager, Mr William Vivian, who gave a description of the mine, and an account of the early opencast mining for iron ore and the manufacture of iron with charcoal, which were carried on in that locality several hundred years ago, until prohibited by an act of parliament forbidding the further use of the neighbouring woods for the requisite supplies of fuel; and a specimen of iron of excellent quality was shown, which had been produced at the time of those early workings, the name “Mwyn-dy” meaning “mineral house.”

Like most other deposits of hematite iron ore in the same formation, it is found to be very irregular, large masses of ore being suddenly cut off by intervening bosses of limestone. This necessitates the employment of not less than one third of the miners upon “dead work,” exploring, and making communications for ventilation and for the conveyance of the ore; the total number of men employed is about 280.

The mine is worked both opencast and by mining underground, the extent of the workings being very considerable. The vertical depth to the present deepest point is 280 ft. from surface; and the water is pumped by two engines, each of which in winter raises upwards of 1,000 gall. per min., one of them being arranged to work on the dip.

The total quantity of iron ore raised and sold has been over 620,000 tons, and the mine is at present in active work, yielding about 5,000 tons of ore per month. The quality of the ore is useful, yielding from 45 to 48 per cent. of metallic iron; it contains some silica. This and the Bute mine adjoining are the only hematite iron mines of importance in the district, and they possess the advantage of being within easy distance by rail from many of the South Wales blast furnaces. The Members were invited to refreshments at the mine by the Mwyndy Iron Ore Company; and returned in the evening by special train to Cardiff.”