Great Orme Copper Mines

1128 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2021

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

This is definitely the highlight of a trip to the copper mines. The self guided underground tour takes you along about 200 meters of the underground tunnels. That might not seem very far, but it did once underground!

The tunnels are narrow and definitely not for the claustrophobic or the overweight. With my rucksack I was struggling to get through in places. The surface was also quite rough and uneven in places and the hard hat was appreciated.

The tunnels were on several levels with shafts or steep ramps between them. Some of the side tunnels were very low and narrow and must have been mined by children.

In one place is a massive underground cavern with tunnels off it. It is thought three major veins converged here, leaving behind the cavern when they were worked out

The remains of green copper ore can still be seen in the walls and one tunnel had larger nodules of malachite.

The lumps of rock were crushed underground before taking the copper ore to the surface for smelting. The unwanted rock was rammed into disused workings. Hammerstones used to break off the ore can still be seen, especially in tunnels that have not been cleared of mine working debris.

The tunnels are now well lit with neon lights (which give a colour cast to many of the photographs,) The Bronze Age miners would just have had small oil lamps to work by.


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