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Risca Lead Mine

Risca lead mine has been worked for many years, documentation goes back to the 18th century.  The ancient entrances have been lost and have grassed over.

A few years ago the mine was bisected by quarrying activities.  Some quarrymen entered the mine and reported roaring streamways, vast lakes and caverns, but their find was quickly lost owing to continued quarrying activities.

This year the new mine entrance was rediscovered, the quarry is now a landfill project and the entrance could soon be lost again.  However, the council hopes to secure access to the mine, either by building a conduit to the present entrance under a growing pile of rubble or to access one of the ancient entrances.

To this end the BEC were invited by Colin Brown of the Engineering Dept. to explore and survey the mine.  The majority of the survey was carried out on the 21st and 29th of June 1986 by a team of enthusiastic explorers, all having heard of vast streamways etc. etc.

On the 29th June, Bob and Dany dived the flooded shafts, negotiating rotting climbing stemples and structural timbers; one shaft was dived to -27m and the second to -14m. The later having a submerged level heading off in the same direction as the main adit.  They also reported that much of the passage between the lake and flooded shafts has a thin floor supported by ancient submerged timbers.

Of interest to industrial archaeologists there is a couple of hundred feet of modern tramway (4x4" timbers, 14" apart).  Of interest to cavers the main adit bisects small pheratic tubes in limestone and that there is a fair flow of water through the system.

It is a pleasure to learn that the local county council is positive in preserving access to the mine in view of the closures we see today albeit for different reasons.

Steve Milner.


Surveyed: AM, SJM, MMcD, AJ, BC, DB, TG, AL.  29/6/86

Drawn:  SJM

GRADE 5C.  10cm = 20m.  Sheet 2


NOTE.               At Entrance      10000E, 10000N, 100 AH

                                                9956.9E, 9937.2N, 98.41 AH

                                                9965.56E, 9933.0N, 107.43 AH