Esgair Hir Buildings Survey

Esgair Hir 6

Esgair Hir Buildings Survey

In 2009 we began a survey of the remaining buildings at Esgair Hir Mine. This mine has an important place in the history of Cardiganshire’s mining history.
Following a rich discovery of ore at Esgair Hir c1690, Sir Carberry Pryse successfully petitioned for the overturning of the Mines Royal Act, to release the mines from the ownership of the Crown. On 8th February 1693 an Act of Parliament was passed, which removed Crown Ownership of the mines containing precious metals; gold and silver. This allowed local landowners to develop or lease mines on their land. Full details can be found here.
Sir Carberry was so elated at the overturning of the Crown Monopoly, he rode from Parliament to Esgair Hir in 48 hours, no mean feat in those days. At times because of it’s anticipated wealth the mine was named the “Welsh Potosi” Mine, after the incredibly rich silver mines at Potosi, in Bolivia.
The mines other claim to fame is to be found in George Borrows “Wild Wales”, on his famous walk across Wales Borrow arrived at the mine, when he asked what the mine was called he was told:- “The Potosi Mining Company, the richest in all Wales”.
The story can be read in the book which is available as a free ebook online here. The account of Borrow’s visit to Esgair Hir can be found at the end of Chapter 80 and the beginning of Chapter 81.
The buildings at Esgair Hir are in a very ruinous condition, we wanted to record what remained before the deteriorate further. At some point we would like to be able to errect an Interpretation Board at the mine to tell its story to visitors.
View more pictures of Esgair Hir in our Photo Archive page from the mine.