Klondyke Mine

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This is the remains of the Klondyke Processing Mill, situated in the Crafnant Valley above Trefriw, which processed ore from the Pandora Mine near Llyn Geirionydd. Built in the 1900s, it saw little usage and was abandoned after having a succession of hopeful owners in the 1920s.

Lead ore was transported down to the Mill via a tramway and aerial ropeway situated across the valley to the right of the photo, so the buckets of ore arrived at the first floor of the Mill, where the two rusty girders can be seen. Must have been an impressive sight when it was working.

The ‘Klondyke’ Fraud  – It seems that during the period 1918 to 1921, the Klondyke was the scene of a massive fraud. The story is related in some detail in Mines of the Gwydyr Forest, but briefly what happened was this. A certain Joseph Aspinall took over the mine in 1918 and claimed to have discovered a huge vein of silver. What he did was to clean the passages of dirt, purchase 20 tons of powdered lead concentrate and glue it onto the walls giving the impression that the entire passage passed through a huge vein of silver. He then bought parties up from London to view the vein and procure an investment in the venture. A mass of miners were employed who actually did no work, let alone any mining. Whenever Aspinall turned up with a viewing party, a hoot of his car horn triggered the miners to busy themselves around the premises – some guarding the adit with cudgels, others running around the place like ants on an ant hill. By the time he was rumbled, he managed to secure £166,000! He got 22 months in Prison.

Another view of the Klondyhe Mill can be seen here:

http://www.david-roberts-photography-blog.co.uk/klondyke/

Dangerous Mine

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Snowdonia is littered with old Mine Workings and this Adit, near Llyn Geirionydd, is clearly part of a lead working, judging by the discoloured water draining from it.

Snowdon

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Looking down from the summit of Snowdon into Glaslyn and llyn Llydaw lakes. The Pyg Track and Miners Tracks up Snowdon can be clearly seen.

Llyn Geirionydd

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Llyn Geirionydd lies in a valley in North Wales where the northern edge of the Gwydyr Forest meets the lower slopes of the Carneddau mountains. The lake is almost a mile long and covers an area of 45 acres (180,000 m2), but is never any deeper than 50 ft (15 m) according to Jehu’s survey. The lake can be reached by car from Trefriw or Llanrwst in the Conwy valley, the lane passing through the hamlet of Llanrhychwyn, or from the road through the Gwydir Forest. Access is not particularly easy by either route, but this has not stopped the lake being the only one designated in Snowdonia to permit power boats and water skiing.Many visitors also walk to the lake from the village of Trefriw (it is on one of the Trefriw Trail routes) or from the neighbouring lake of Llyn Crafnant, which runs parallel to it, but a mile distant, the two being separated by Mynydd Deulyn, “mountain of the two lakes”.

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Llyn Crafnant

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A peaceful and misty Llyn Crafnant this morning.

Llyn Crafnant is a lake that lies in a beautiful valley in North Wales where the northern edge of the Gwydir Forest meets the lower slopes of the Carneddau mountains and, more specifically, the ridge of Cefn Cyfarwydd. The head of the valley offers a profile of crags which are silhouetted at sunset, and many people regard the lake as one of the most beautiful spots in North Wales. Indeed, the Forest Park guide (2002) states that “the (view along Llyn Crafnant) is one of the most breathtaking views in all Snowdonia“. At 63 acres (250,000 m2) it is the best part of a mile long, although it was clearly once much longer – its southern end shows the evidence of centuries of silting. Jehu’s survey recorded a maximum depth of 71 ft (22 m).

Crafnant takes its name from “craf”, an old Welsh word for garlic, and “nant”, a stream or valley. Even today the valley of Afon Crafnant smells of wild garlic when it flowers.

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