Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Parys Mine Co

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1769 Thomas Williams was retained by the Lewis and Hughes families to fight a legal action against Sir Nicholas Bayly about the newly discovered Parys Mountain copper mine at Amlwch.

1778 At the conclusion of the litigation, Williams had emerged as the active partner in the newly formed Parys Mine Co. Warehouses, offices, roasting kilns, lime kilns and smelters were set up on the mountain or in Amlwch Port.

c. 1780 the company built a smelter at Ravenshead in South Lancashire. This was close to a supply of good quality coal needed for the smelting. It is estimated that that over 1000 tonnes of copper per year were produced. The works employed between 200 and 300 men.

At around the same time another smelting works was obtained at Upper bank in Swansea. That area had been a centre for smelting activities for Cornish ores for many years.

1781 A new company, the Birmingham Metal Co joined with Parys Mine Co to work outside the association of older copper/brass companies. Each member of the company had to purchase 200 tons of brass per annum - this helped the new company fight off the price war with the old association which followed, so the monopoly of trade was broken.

By 1785 Williams had also obtained control of the Mona mine. Warehouses, offices, roasting kilns, and smelters were set up near it on the mountain or in Amlwch Port. In addition a new pier and quay were built at the port.

By 1786 there were 31 reverbatory furnaces at the Parys mine. A sulphur extraction works based on the Champion batch process was built on the mountain. Later continuous sulphur removal processes methods were installed.

Mills for manufacturing copper wire and plate were established near Holywell in Flint. Products included cold rolled copper bolts and nails for copper sheathing.

A separate company known as the Stanley Co smelted the ore from the Mona mine at works which were set up near St Helens and at Middle Bank in Swansea. A subsidiary company, Greenfield Copper and Brass Co set up a manufacturing base in Flintshire, using the copper from the Stanley works to make brass.

By 1808 only 120 men were employed at the Parys and Mona mines.

1811 the control of both mines passed to Lord Uxbridge.

1813 The Ravenshead smelting works closed and smelting was restarted at Amlwch.

1858 Captain Dyer was manager at Parys Mines

1870 Trade declined and the company was reorganised.

1877 the Morfu du portion of the lease was sold to the Morfu Du mining company.

1879 Charles Dyer died. A new company called the Parys Copper Corporation took over the mine. Over the next 4 years production dropped

1885 The Parys Copper Corporation was wound up.

1892 Mr Fanning Evans owned the mine; 31 miners underground, 126 on the surface and 34 with ochre.

1899 Joined with the Mona mine to form Mona and Parys Mines Ltd. Activity was concentrated at the precipitation and ochre works at Dyffryn Adda.

1921 Receiver appointed.

1928 run by a private company.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Parys Underground Group [1] and Parys History [2]