(16) Dolaucothi Gold Mines

Distance from Craig-y-Nos Castle 35 Miles

There is evidence that opencast mining at Dolaucothi may have commenced as early as the 6th century BC. This could have been the reason why the Romans invaded Wales. In any event they certainly began serious mining here in AD75 and brought in thousands of slaves to extract the gold for the Imperial Roman Mint at Lyon

The site is located amid wooded hillsides overlooking the beautiful Cothi Valley. The Roman miners who exploited the site 2000 years ago left behind a complex of pits, channels, adits and tanks. Mining resumed in the 19th century and continued through the 20th century, reaching a peak in 1938. Guided tours take visitors through the Roman and the more recent underground workings.

The main mine yard contains a collection of 1930s mining machinery and an exhibition about the history of gold and gold mining, with video and interpretation. Gold-panning gives visitors the opportunity to experience the frustrations of the search for gold.

 Other attractions include way-marked walks, cycle hire and an Information Centre in Pumsaint. There is fishing and accommodation on the estate, including a 35-pitch touring caravan site.

Stout footwear is essential for underground tours. Working trains operate on the mine floor and there is also a level tour of the mine yard which is more suitable for the less mobile.

Admission prices:
Site: 3.20, child 1.60, family 8. Groups 2.60, child 1.30. Underground tour (additional charge): 3.80, child 1.90, family 9.50. Groups 3, child 1.50. Underground tour (NT members): 3.60, child 1.80, family 9.

Visitors can buy Welsh gold, which was used for Princess Diana's wedding ring.