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    Wrexham, Cheshire & Shropshire Mining Trip December 2012

Start/End: Home, this was a driving tour
Weather: Sunny

As what nearly always happens myself and ICLOK had decided to do an impromptu trip to see some of the sites around Wrexham followed by a night visit to Snailbeach. Seeing has it was December and the daylight hours are short we set off from home early on a Saturday mornings. Going past Stoke the sun was rising and the sky was clear, it looked liked it was going to be a nice winters day. En-route to Wrexham we came to our first site (in Cheshire); the old Bickerton copper mine (SJ517542) out in the countryside and alongside the A534 main road. The remains include a filled in shaft, base of engine house and a nice little chimney with some shaft mounds in the fields around.

Continuing on our way to Wrexham we left Birckerton with the sun still rising. After a short while we arrived at our first colliery, the site of Wrexham & Acton Colliery (SJ328522) with the winding engine house intact and in use as part of the industrial estate. After taking a few photos we left and went the short distance to the next site of Llay Hall Colliery (SJ315551) with numerous colliery buildings and tall chimney in use as an industrial estate. Llay Hall is an excellent site, almost complete and well worth the visit, however please note it is an industrial estate. After spending a bit of time at Llay Hall we left and heading to see what was there at Brymbo Ironworks (SJ294535), it took us a while to figure out how to get to see it. However, before find a place to park we did notice the old tipper to the railway visible off the road around the site. We parked up the car and took the footpath heading around the south side of the site. The public footpath itself ends above the site of the ironworks and we got a good view of the works below and the old Brymbo Colliery (SJ293534) site above the ironworks. From Byrmbo is was a short distance to the site of Pen-Rhos Engine House (SJ286532), located by the side of the road, we did a quick tour around taking some photos and heading over to the next site. This was Plas Power Colliery (SJ299519) with its two winding engine houses, workshops and a few other buildings, a site nicely preserved.

After Plas Power, we took a detour out of coal mining country a short distance to lead mining country at Minera (SJ275509), the site is an extensive area of mines, shafts and remains. Unfortunately we did not have much time to visit the whole site, so we did a quick tour which included the remains at Meadow Shaft Engine House (SJ27505090), Taylors Shaft Engine House (SJ27005122) and Lloyds Shaft Engine House (SJ26825138). This site is a must re-visit to see all the other features. Heading back into coal mining country, our next stop was Bersham Ironworks (SJ308493) with preserved building and some excavations. A short distance away was out next site, the Bersham Heritage Centre (SJ311492); although it was winter and the centre was closed there are still some nice things to be seen on the outside of the centre. The next site to see was of course Bersham Colliery (SJ312481) with existing headgear, engine house and other colliery buildings still in use as an industrial estate. We still had time for one more visit in the daylight, the next site was to see the remains of Wynnstay Colliery (SJ293432) with its winding engine house in the caravan sales, fan house visible through the trees on the other side of the road, the managers house and engine shed.

The sun was setting, so we left North Wales and headed into Shropshire to do some night photography on a nice clear starry night. The first and main site of the night was Snailbeach (SJ374021) with a number of engine houses and buildings, in good need of a re-visit in the daytime. After a while wandering around Snailbeach in the dark we headed off to the next one of Tankerville Lead Mine (SO354994) with engine house and other building remains. After a short visit to take some night photos we headed back home, arriving back just before midnight. An excellent day and night, although it was a very long day.

Many thanks to ICLOK!