The Copper Kindgom

We are moving a little farther from home this month to the Isle of Anglesey where buried beneath a mountain in Amlwch lies an extraordinary mineral wealth.

Vast seams of copper ore were discovered at Mynydd Parys in 1768 and the next half century saw intensive mining here, resulting in one of the most extraordinary industrial landscapes in Europe.

Once the largest Copper mine in the world, its abundance led to the growth of mining, ship building and a chemical industry all in this small corner of Wales.

In this Copper Kingdom of the 18th Century imagine over 1500 people working away in all weathers both above and below ground,mining and filtering out the precious copper ore for a solitary penny a day!!!!

The town of Amlwch became Anglesey s own “Copper Rush” town just as unruly as the gold rush towns in the Wild West and Parys mines were among the wonders of the world, and the worlds major exporter of copper. The port became so busy and important that an Act of Parliament had to be passed in 1793 enlarging and regulating it.

Novel uses were found for the copper such as sheathing for the hulls of wooden warships, Nelson`s flagship HMS Victory became faster and more manoeuverable, crucial to his victory at the battle of Trafalgar.

Amlwch also at this time manufactured its own copper coins. After the mine became exhausted Amlwch port developed its own shipbuilding industry, launching vessels famous for their speed and beautiful lines.

The legacy from this history are two amazing places which can now be visited The old mine- workings at Mynydd Parys are visually stunning, set in a landscape of wonderful red, yellow and purple coloured rocks Science fiction films have been made here due to the resemblance to the Moon`s surface.

There are Heritage trails on the mountain allowing you to discover for yourself the vast man-made opencast pits and ruined mine buildings
Porth Amlwch retains many original buildings to explore,like the Copper Bins,the Watch House and the Workshop Chimneys.

Copper Kingdom is well worth a visit, steeped in local history as it is.