Paris mountain, Anglesey

References to and images of Parys / Paris / Pary’s  Mountain / Mine / Mona Mine / Cerrig y Bleiddia / Amlwch by tourists to Wales, 1700-1900 in chronological order.

Prospecting for copper on Parys mountain in north-east Anglesey was unsuccessful and almost abandoned in 1768 when, at the last moment, a good quantity was found, but it was 10 years before production began on a large scale.

Thomas Pennant published his descriptions of the copper works at some length and was probably the source of some of the accounts, especially the history of the site, by subsequent visitors.

See copper mines and works for more on related industries in Wales.

no date, no named artist
Parys Mountain Mine, from the collection of the Marquis of Anglesea,
Dafydd Tomos, Michael Faraday in Wales : including Faraday’s journal of his tour through Wales in 1819 [1972], plate 30, opp. p. 65. For a full colour copy see Rothwell, Nancy (translator and editor), Parys Mountain and the Lentin Letters, (Amlwch : Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust, 2007), centrefold.

no date but possibly 1789 – see Greville’s letter to Mr Lloyd below.
Paris mines and enquire for my friend Mr Bridge who superintends some of the concern. If Mr Bridge is absent, you will make use of my name to Mr House? … you know Mr Hughes one of the proprietors, your name is well known at the mine.
Notes by Mr Lloyd of Havodunos, written for the guidance of Mr Greville on a tour through North Wales. There are many references to mines. NLW Hamilton and Greville 102, 1 foolscap page

1700
Anglesea yieldeth … a sort of earth of which they make Copperas and alum.
Brome, J., Rev, Travels over England, Scotland and Wales. 1700, (2nd edition, 1707, p. 240) [said to be based on Thomas Fuller’s History of the Worthies of England [and Wales], (1662)]

1775
Amlwch … is a small cove formed at it were by an excavation of a large rock… 40 perches long and from side to side, which are uncommonly steep no more than 5 perches.”
Thomas, John, History of the Island of Anglesey … (1775), p. 52; (1844), p. 32

1781 Parys Mountain
From hence I visited Trysclwyn mountain; on part of which, called Parys mountain (probably Parys from a Robert Parys, who was chamberlain of North Wales (y) in the reign of Henry IV) is the most considerable body of copper ore perhaps ever known.
The external aspect of the hill, which rises into enormous rocks of coarse white quartz, is extremely rude. The ore is lodged in a bason, or hollow, and has on one side a small lake, on whose waters, distasteful as those of Avernus, no bird is known to alight. The whole of this tract has, by the mineral operations, assumed a most savage appearance. Suffocating fumes issue from the burning heaps of copper, and extend their baneful influence for miles around. In the adjacent parts vegetation is nearly destroyed; even the mosses and lichens of the rocks have perished: and nothing seems capable of resisting the fumes but the purple Melic grass (NOTE: Melica Cærulea, Lightfoot, Fl. Scot. i. 96. Aira Cærulea, Hudson Fl. Angl. i. 33), which flourishes in abundance. I have little doubt but that this mine was worked in a very distant period. Vestiges of the antient operations appear in several parts, carried on by trenching, and heating the rocks intensely, then suddenly pouring on water, so as to cause them to crack or scale; thus aukwardly supplying the use of gunpowder (NOTE: See vol. i. p. 71 of the present work). Pieces of charcoal have also been found, which prove that wood was made use of for that purpose. As the Britons imported all works in brass, it is certain that the Romans were the undertakers of these mines; and it is very probable that they sent the ore to Caer-hên to be smelted, the place where the famous cake of copper was discovered (NOTE: Tour in Wales, vol. i. p. 83). They might likewise have had a smelting hearth in this island; for a round cake of copper was discovered at Llanfaethle, a few miles from this place. Its weight was fifty pounds, and it had on it a mark resembling an L.
In the year 1762, one Alexander Frazier came into Anglesey in search of mines. He visited Parys mountain; called on Sir Nicholas Bayley, and gave him so flattering an account of the prospect, as induced him to make a trial, and sink shafts. Ore was discovered; but before any quantity could be gotten, the mines were overpowered with water. In about two years after, Messrs. Roe and Co. of Macclesfield applied to Sir Nicholas for a lease of Penrhyn du mine in Caernarvonshire; with which they were, much against their wills, compelled to take a lease of part of this mountain, and to carry on a level and make a fair trial. The trial was accordingly made: ore was discovered; but the expences overbalanced the profits. They continued working to great loss: and at length determined to give the affair up. They gave their agent orders for that purpose; but he, as a final attempt, divided his men into ten several companies, of three or four in a partnership, and let them sink shafts in various places, about eight hundred yards eastward of a place called the Golden Venture, on a presumption that a spring which issued from near the spot, must come from a body of mineral. His conjecture was right; for in less than two days they met with, at the depth of seven feet from the surface, the solid mineral, which proved to be that vast body which has since been worked to such advantage. The day that this discovery was made was March 2d, 1768; which has ever since been observed as a festival by the miners. Soon after this discovery, another adventure was begun by the reverend Edward Hughes, owner of part of the mountain, in right of his wife Mary Lewis of Llys Dulas: so that the whole of the treasure is the property of Sir Nicholas Bayley (NOTE: At present of the earl of Uxbridge. Ed.) and himself.
The Ore
The body of copper ore is of unknown extent. The thickness has been ascertained, in some places, by the driving of a level under it, several years ago, and it was found to be in some places twenty four yards. The ore is mostly of the kind called by Cronstedt, Pyrites cupri flavo viridescens; and contains vast quantities of sulphur. It varies in degrees of goodness; some of it is rich, but the greater part poor in quality.
There are other species of copper ore found here. Of late a vein of the Pyrites cupri griseus of Cronstedt, about seven yards wide, has been discovered near the west end of the mountain: some is of an iron grey, some quite black; the first contains sixteen lb. of copper per cwt. the last, forty. An ore has been lately found, in form of loose earth, of a dark purplish color; and the best of it has produced better than eight in twenty. Some years ago, above thirty pounds of native copper was found in driving a level through a turbery; some was in form of moss, some in very thin leaves.
The ore is quarried out of the bed in vast masses; is broken into small pieces; and the most pure part is sold raw, at the rate of about 31. to 61. per ton, or sent to the smelting-houses of the respective companies to be melted into metal. Mr. Hughes has great furnaces of his own at Ravenhead, near Leverpool, and at Swansea, in South Wales. An idea of the wealth of these mines may be formed, by considering that the Macclesfield company have had at once fourteen thousand tons of ore upon bank, and Mr. Hughes’s, thirty thousand.
The more impure ore is also broken to the size of about hen’s eggs; but in order to clear it from the quantity of sulphur with which it abounds, as well as other adventitious matter, it must undergo the operation of burning. For that purpose it is placed between two parallel walls of vast length: some kilns are twenty, others forty, and fifty yards in length; some ten, others twenty feet wide, and above four feet in height. The space between is not only filled, but the ore is piled many feet higher, in a convex form, from end to end: the whole is then covered with flat stones, closely luted with clay; and above is placed a general integument of clay, and small rubbish of the work, in order to prevent any of the fumes from evaporating. Of late some kilns have been constructed with brick arches over the ore, which is found to be the best method of burning. Within these few years, attempts have been made to preserve the sulphur from escaping; and that is done by flues, made of brick, whose tops are in form of a Gothic arch, many scores of feet in length: one end of these opens into the beds of copper which are to be burnt. Those beds are set on fire by a very small quantity of coal, for all the rest is effected by its own phlogiston. The volatile part is confined, and directed to the flues; in its course the sulphureous particles strike against their roofs, and fall to the bottom in form of the finest brimstone; which is collected, and carried to adjacent houses, where it is melted into what is called in the shops stone brimstone. The beds of copper, thus piled for burning, are of vast extent. Some contain four hundred tons of ore, others two thousand. The first require four months to be completely burnt; the last, near ten. Thus burnt, it is carried to proper places to be dressed, or washed, and made merchantable. By this process the ore is reduced to a fourth part in quantity, but considerably improved in quality: and by this means the water is strongly or richly impregnated with copper, which is dissolved by the sulphuric acid; and is collected or precipitated again by iron in the above-described pits. The iron is all dissolved.
Precipitated Copper
But a far richer produce of copper is obtained from the water lodged in the bottom of the bed of ore, which is highly saturated with the precious metal. This is drawn up, either by means of whimsies or windmills, to the surface, and then distributed into numbers of rectangular pits thirty-six feet long, some pits more some less, twelve to fifteen feet broad, and twenty inches deep. To speak in the language of the adept, Venus must make an assignation with Mars, or this solution will have no effect. In plain English, a quantity of iron must be immersed in the water. The kind of iron is of no moment: old pots, hoops, anchors, or any refuse will suffice; but of late, for the convenience of management, the adventurers procure new plates, four feet long, one and a half broad, and three quarters of an inch thick. These they immerse into the pits; the particles of copper instantly are precipitated by the iron, and the iron is gradually dissolved into a yellow ochre; great part of it floats off by the water, and sinks to the bottom. The plates, or the old iron (as it happens) are frequently taken out, and the copper scraped off; and this is repeated till the whole of the iron is consumed. The copper thus procured differs little from native copper, and is prized accordingly, and sold for prices of 251. to 451. a ton. This mode of precipitation is not new; it has been practised long in the Wicklow mines in Ireland, and above a century in those of Herngrundt, in Hungary, where the precipitate is called Ziment Copper (NOTE : Brown’s Travels, 68. Keysler’s Travels, iv. 70). The waters of the Hungarian mines are much more strongly impregnated with copper than those of Parys mountain. The first effects its operation in twelve or about twenty days; the last requires two months. Horse-shoes, iron made in shape of hearts, and other forms, are put into the foreign waters, and when apparently transmuted, are given as presents to curious strangers. The ore is not got in the common manner of mining, but is cut out of the bed in the same manner as stone is out of a quarry. A hollow is now formed in the solid ore open to the day, and extends about an hundred yards in length, about forty yards in breadth, and twenty-four yards in depth. The ends are at present undermined, but supported by vast pillars and magnificent arches, all metallic; and these caverns meander far under ground. These will soon disappear, and thousands of tons of ore be gotten from both the columns and roofs. The sides of this vast hollow are mostly perpendicular, and access to the bottom is only to be had by small steps cut in the ore; and the curious visitor must trust to them and a rope, till he reaches some ladders, which will conduct him the rest of the descent. On the edges of the chasms are wooden platforms, which project far; on them are windlasses, by which the workmen are lowered to transact their business on the face of the precipice. There suspended, they work in mid air, pick a small space for a footing, cut out the ore in vast masses, and tumble it to the bottom with great noise. In such situations they form caverns, and there appear safely lodged, till the rope is lowered to convey them up again. Much of the ore is blasted with gunpowder, eight tons of which, I am informed, is annually used for the purpose.
Nature has been profuse in bestowing her mineral favours on this spot; for above the copper ore, and not more than three quarters of a yard beneath the common soil, is a bed of yellowish greasy clay, from one to four yards thick, containing lead ore, and yielding from six hundred to a thousand pounds weight of lead from one ton; and one ton of the metal yields not less than fifty seven ounces of silver. Mixed with the earth, are frequently certain parts of the colour of cinnabar: whether these are symptomatic of the sulphurous arsenical silver ores, or of quicksilver, I will not pretend to decide. Something interferes with the successful smelting of this earth in the great: insomuch that it has not yet been of that profit to the adventurers, which might reasonably be expected from the crucible assays of it; and they have at this time about eight thousand tons on bank undisposed of. This place has been worked for lead ore in very distant times. In the bottom of the pool was found an ancient smelting hearth of grit-stone, and several bits of smelted lead, of about four inches in length, two in breadth, and half an inch thick.
Amlwch
These works have added greatly to the population of the island; for about fifteen hundred persons are employed, who, with their families, are supposed to make near eight thousand persons, getting their bread from these mines. The little village of Amlwch, the port of the place, is encreasing fast, and the market grows considerable. At the season of the greatest work, Mr. Hughes’s men alone receive, for many weeks, two hundred pounds in one week, and a hundred and fifty in another, merely for subsistence. The port is no more than a great chasm, between two rocks, running far into land, and dry at low-water; into which sloops run, and lie
secure to receive their lading (NOTE: An ampler account of the present state of Parys mountain is given in the Appendix No. XVII. for which, and for other assistance in rendering this work more perfect, the Editor is indebted to his valued friend Paul Panton esq. of Plâs gwyn. Ed)
Pennant, Thomas, The Tour in North Wales, MDCCLXXIII (1778),
Pennant, Thomas. Tours in Wales, by Thomas Pennant. 3 vols , edited by John Rhys. (Caernarvon: H Humphreys, 1883), pp. 55-64

1784
Details of early operations at the mine. 1500 employed at the mine. Open cast technique with a hole 100 yds length, 40 yds wide and 24 yards deep.
1810 Pennant describes some underground caverns 50yd long, 30yds wide and 40yd high supported by one central pillar.
Pennant, Thomas, Tours in Wales, (1784), 

1785
watercolour : ‘Copper Mines on the Parys Mountain’ by John ‘Warwick’ Smith
National Museums and Galleries of Wales, NMGW A 3199; A Picturesque Tour Through Wales, 1675-1855, (1998), catalogue no. 65, pp. 83, 121

1785 Parys mountain
It is said by the learned that the Romans discovered and worked these mines. They now yield an immense income to their owners; and they afford a very curious sight to strangers. It is a sight, too, seen without difficulty, which is not the case with mines in general, for here the mine resembles an enormous gravel-pit; nor is it necessary to descend into it in order to see the various operations which are being carried on. This mine is worked at so much less expense than the Cornish mines that it almost threatens to ruin. Great pieces of rock which contain the ore, are blasted by gunpowder. These pieces are wound up in buckets from the bottom of the pit, and here are broken in to still smaller pieces, the mere stone being thrown aside and the ore sorted according to its value. In this operation of breaking ore many hundred people are constantly employed. It is exactly like breaking sugar except that it is somewhat more noisy, and that the fingers of the breakers are protected by iron cases. The best pieces are sent immediately to the smelting houses near Liverpool. Inferior pieces are burnt in kilns upon the spot. The smoke from these kilns is not only very disagreeable but also very pernicious, and the owners of the mine pay a considerable sum to other landowners in the neighbourhood for the damage which is done by the smoke. The water which is found in some parts of this mountain is so strongly impregnated with copper that, if a key or any piece of iron is held in this water for a few minutes, it comes out with a face of copper. The black smoke and the red dust which are perpetually flying about the mountains convert its inhabitants into the queerest kind of blackamores you ever saw. A female so disguised works here, dressed in man’s apparel, and she protects herself most manfully, not fearing to attack, in the way of good sound boxing, any mortal upon the ground. The smallest attempt at gallantry immediately incurs her powerful displeasure ; nor has she ever been known since she inhabited the mountain, to deviate from the strictest rules of decorum.
Twinning, Richard, Tour of north Wales, 1785; Twinning, Richard, (ed), Selections from papers of the Twining family : a sequel to ‘The recreations and studies of a country clergyman of the 18th century’, the Rev. Thomas Twining, sometime Rector of St. Mary’s, Colchester (1887), pp. 120-121

1778 Paris mountain
{description of mining, description of converting iron to copper, description of the mine} ‘For three miles round this spot, vegetation seems totally a stranger, and people who were employed in this Preern? appeared to us very unhealthy, indeed upon enquiry, we found that few attained old age.’
Anon J.M., [Matthews, John,] A surveyor of Wrexham, Chester and later of Aberystwyth, ‘Tour through N. Wales in the Year 1778’, Central Library, Cardiff, MS 1.549, pp. 41-44

4.8.1788
{Paris Copper mine}
Oliver, Peter, A tour to North Wales, 1788, British Library, Egerton Papers, 2672-3, vol. 2, pp. 661-667

6.9.1788
Went to Amlwch to breakfast and afterwards to Amlwch port which is one of the most uncommon and curious I ever saw. From there we went to Paris Mountain to see the copper mines which are most extraordinary Entirely unique. The whole process especially the iron pits are very curious. The roads bad. They value the copper water at about three halfpence a pint.
Ottley, Thomas [?], Diary of tours from Pitchford to various places in England. Tour from Pitchford to Anglesey 1.9.1788 – 27.9.1788, NLW Ottley (Pitchford Hall) Estate 2, ms 376 (XIX/1), D/3

2.9.1789
there is in the Island of Anglesey a very fine copper mine about 18 miles from the Head on Paris Mountain & Co they have a coin of halfpence and penny of their own coining which pass in this country and no other brass coin will pass.
Anon, [A brief account of a trip leaving Dublin on 31.8.1789, via north Wales to Birmingham and London], 1789, Manx Museum, Isle of Man, MM262A

1789
I have not had time to explore all the mines I have a general view of them and know how to trouble my friends to effect. I was very busy yesterday at Paris Mountain and collected a caskfull. I give you credit for the trouble you took in collecting you certainly collected all the Varzulus?? And more than I could find but my principal object was the lead …I shall employ you to get some Malachites … I should have been happy to have been your guest at Hafodunos
Letter to John Lloyd of Hafod Unos, Denbigh from  C. F. Greville, Carnarvon, 1789, with brief news of a journey to North Wales with places visited, and a proposed visit to Aberystwyth, NLW MS 12419D (Wigfair 19), letter 12

1790
watercolour : ‘Junction of Mona and Parys Mountain Copper Mines’ by John ‘Warwick’ Smith
National Museums and Galleries of Wales, (NMGW A 3198) A Picturesque Tour Through Wales, 1675-1855, (1998), catalogue no. 64, pp. 83, 120

1791
The next morning we visited the amazing copper works in the PARIS MOUNTAIN, a place that deservedly attracts the wonder and admiration of every body, and frequently draws people from London, merely to see these works alone.
It appears like a vast quarry dug in the mountain. It is totally unlike the usual appearance of copper mines, and seems to resemble them only in affording ore. Instead of finding a narrow vein of copper, the traveller is here presented with one vast rock of ore. They separate it from the quarry with gunpowder, a process attended with some degree of danger to the miners, who frequently receive damage from the fragments that fly about. Whenever they set fire to their train, they shout to their companions, as a signal for them to keep off. The agent of the works placed us in a situation which he thought secure, but after the explosion a great deal of the shattered fragments came tumbling about our ears. It is conveyed either in carts, or by buckets, to the surface, and rises most beautifully rich in its appearance; although, I believe, its value is not estimated by its beauty. After the ore is dug, the first process here is to calcine it in a furnace, by which means the sulphur is expelled, and they can afterwards separate the waste from the pure ore, making thus a great saving in the carriage of it to the different smelting houses. Nor is this the only advantage which they derive from the calcination of the ore: when fire is applied to it in the furnace, it begins to burn, and will continue in that state from six to seven, eight, and nine months. During all this time, vast quantities of sulphur exhale from the ore. This is conveyed in vapour through conductors to a large oblong receiver with a concave roof, where, becoming condensed, it adheres to the sides of the receiver, or falls in a fine powder to the bottom. This is what the chemists call sublimation, and that which is obtained in this operation from the ore, they call flowers of sulphur. It is then melted in a large copper, and poured off into moulds, when it becomes stone brimstone. Such vast quantities of sulphur are contained in the ore dug here, that more brimstone is made from the works of this company, than is necessary for the consumption of England.
Being almost stifled with the sulphureous air of the Paris Mountain, we were obliged to leave it, and brought with us several specimens of this beautiful copper, which, from its colour, is called the peacock ore; but there is one circumstance I have omitted to mention, and which I think the greatest curiosity of the Paris Mountain. A natural spring of water flows from the bed of ore, so impregnated with copper, that it will discharge it upon the smallest approach of iron. It is conveyed from the pumps through wooden troughs, and we perceived a thin coat of copper incru sting even the heads of the nails that it flowed over. There is also a large quantity of water brought from the quarry, which is much more strongly impregnated with copper, and which assumes a beautiful green colour. This they convey with care to several large cisterns, formed for the purpose, which are first filled with plates of cast iron.
The instant the iron comes in contact with the water, the copper is precipitated. For the acid in the water, which before dissolved the copper, now preferring the iron, discharges the copper and dissolves the iron. Thus the iron takes the place of the copper as fast as the former dissolves and the latter precipitates. And it is this phenomenon which has led many into numberless errors with regard to the transmutation of metals. Finding that the iron vanished and copper appeared, they inferred that the iron was changed into copper, whereas it is merely a change of
place, the iron assuming the situation of the copper, and resigning its own to that metal. The truth of this may easily be perceived, by applying the Prussian alkali to the water that has discharged its copper, when a precipitation of iron will instantly take place.
A great quantity of copper is thus gained from the water in the mine, which is by much the richest and most valuable of any they have.
This amazing resource for copper was discovered by a poor woman digging peat. She found something more than common in the appearance of the earth, and communicated the intelligence to her husband. The news soon spread; it proved to be an almost inexhaustible bed of ore. We naturally enquired what reward the poor family had, that first brought such a fund of riches to the island. They all assured us, that no reward was ever given. An Englishman can hardly credit this, especially when he is told, that one noble Earl alone derives an income of thirty thousand pounds yearly from these works.
When we had finished our dinner at Gwindu, and purified ourselves from the strong effluvia which adhered to all our cloaths after our return from the copper works, we proceeded to Holyhead.
Clarke, Edward Daniel, (1769-1822), (Cambridge University Librarian 1817-1822), A Tour through the South of England, Wales and Part of Ireland, made during the Summer of 1791, (London, 1793), pp. 293-298

1792?
J.C. Ibbetson, Watercolour: Mines at Menai / Coppermine, Mynydd Parys
National Museum of Wales, A 17501

1792?
J.C. Ibbetson, Watercolour: Miners at Menai [men and women crushing ore]
National Museum of Wales A 3210, National Museums and Galleries of Wales, A Picturesque Tour Through Wales, 1675-1855, (1998), Catalogue no 67, pp. 86, 121

1792?
J.C. Ibbetson, oil painting, [Copper Mine in Anglesey], location unknown
Clay, Rotha Mary, (1948), Julius Caesar Ibbetson : p. 35, note 8 : plate 30; Mitchell, James, Julius Caesar Ibbetson, (1759-1817), (1999), p. 32 (illus)

1792?, 1794?
Print by Bluck of Parys mine after J.C. Ibbetson, aquatint,
National Library of Wales

7.8.1792 Paris and Mona mines
Men poorly paid – not more than 14d a day about 1500 persons employed. Black bread and water principal diet. The most wretched and ignorant poor wretches that can be conceived in human forms.
Anon, (once said to be JMW Turner), Tour from London, through north and mid Wales to Shrewsbury;  ‘Diary of a Tour in Wales, 1792’ Gage, John, (ed.), Collected Correspondence of J.W.M. Turner, 1775-1851 (Oxford, 1980), pp. 11-19

31.8.1792
We made a most pleasant excursion to the Parys copper mine & the port of Amlwch, which is very near the mine. As I am not used to see mines, I cannot be so sensible of the wonders of this as I otherwise should be, but from all I hear, it is the most wonderful in the world. There is no underground work which is, I believe, one of its extraordinary properties. Not so much as a blade of grass is to be seen. The port of Amlwch I was quite charmed with & quite unwilling to leave. It was well I saw the mine first or I should scarcely have quitted it in time to see anything else.
Plymley, Katherine, [Tour of north Wales, 1792], Shropshire Record Office 567/5/5/1/1-3, pp. 13-14
Pitman, E., Two Shropshire Women in Wales: The Travel Diaries of Katherine Plymley and Louisa Charlotte Kenyon, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society, 77, 2002, pp. 102-109

1793
I embarked with my Nephew and in a few hours landed at Holyhead.
Arrive at Gwindw [Gwyndy?], Mrs Knowle’s, 12½ miles from Holyhead, an Inn whose pre-eminence for comfort and accommodation to travellers, remains yet unrivalled—make an excursion from hence to visit the copper works at Paris Mountain.
Paris mine produces the greatest quantity of Copper Ore of any in the kingdom; this vast body of mineral was discovered in 1768, after many unsuccessful trials, which had nearly exhausted the patience of the adventurers ; the major part of the ore is not of the first quality, but the vein is said to be upwards of twenty yards thick, and of unknown length.
Great quantities of very fine copper are also obtained from iron, being put into the water which flows from the mine, and occasions a transmutation of the metal from iron to copper. We were informed that the ore which is found in this mine, produces more brimstone than this kingdom can consume.
Few persons of common curiosity and leisure, will travel through Anglesea, without visiting this wonderful mineral mountain.
It is the property of the Earl of Uxbridge and Rev. Mr. Edward Hughes, arid has been in part worked by Messrs. Roe’s of Macclesfield the lessees under Lord Uxbridge, and Mr. Hughes. We were informed the ore is worth five or six pounds per ton, and that the proprietors have had forty or fifty thousand tons on the banks at one time.
It would exceed the limits of my letter to give a full account of this great undertaking ! – so return to Gwindw.
(letter 1) pp. 6-8
Ride by Kinmel House, and park, well furnished with deer, and many stately trees. … It was lately purchased by Mr Hughes, one of the owners of the Copper Mine at Paris Mountain, who is now building an elegant mansion near to this pleasant site.
(letter 7), p. 62
[Holyhead] The great copper works, belonging to the Paris Mine Company, are worked by this powerful stream. The copper is brought here, and being melted into ingots, or pigs, then passes between large iron rollers, or under great hammers, which reduce it to a thickness, suitable to the different purposes of sheathing ships, making pans, &c. and also for halfpenny, and penny pieces, great quantities of which, are in circulation here, stamped with the Druid’s head, and made acceptable by the Paris Mine Company. There are corn, and other mills, worked by this stream; and the banks are likely to be covered with works/ partaking of its benefits, down to the level of the sea. (letter 9) pp. 74-75
Mavor, William Fordyce, The traveller’s companion, from Holyhead, to London, (London, 1793)

1793
In the morning we drove to Paris Mountain, and saw the whole process of making copper which is extremely curious. The ore is dug out of a large cavity made in the mountain, which, when we saw it, was half a mile long, sixty yards deep, and two hundred yards broad. Some of this is carried up in teams; but the greater part is drawn up in buckets. It is then calcined. The smoke which is caused by this calcination, is confined within rooms built for that purpose, and in a short time, without any other preparation, becomes brimstone. … I cannot accurately relate [the remaining process] but I know that it is put into pits of water, which emit so strong a fume, that it quite took away my breath at the time and left a very disagreeable sensation upon my breast the remainder of the day.
From the Paris mountain is also got lead, coal and iron and the profits … are immense. … There are about 1500 men employed in these works whose earnings per day are very considerable. The country for some distance around is rendered by the copper works totally unproductive of any kind of vegetation. No trees, no grass, none of the beauties of nature are here to be seen; All is barren waste, whose surface appears insufficient to support even a sheep, whilst thousands of people extract affluence from its bowels.
[Slaney, Plowden], A journal of a tour through the counties of Denbigh, Merioneth, Cardigan, and Caernarvon, and the island of Anglesey in 1793, NLW 9854 C, pp. 60-63

18.8.1794
{Drove through Dreary country to Amlwch and to the Paris mines}
around [the mines] for a considerable extent every trace of vegetation has been annihilated by the destructive influence of its sulphurous atmosphere.
{quoted Pennant at length on history of the mines}
the mines at Paris mountain
{Kilns burn for 6 months to burn the sulphur} the workmen wear pasteboard masks with glass eyes to protect them from the dust.
{extraction of copper from the water}
{shown round the mines by Thomas Moreton who told them that 1500 people worked at the Mona mines and 1000 at the Paris mines} ‘together with wifes and children’
{system of employment}
smelting houses
{24 hour working – effects on health}
Clutterbuck, Robert, Journal of a Tour from Cardiff, Glamorganshire through South and North Wales. In the summer of 1794. In company with Taylor Combe Esquire, Cardiff Public Library, MS 3.277 (vol. 1), pp. 43-49

1794
{Brief description of the Paris Mine and the effect the processing has on the local vegetation}
Kay, G., (from Leith), General View of the Agriculture of North Wales, (Edinburgh, 1794), Anglesey, p. 29

1795 3rd July ‘Saturday’ [He seems to have got his dates wrong, but the year is correct.]
{20 mile walk to Amlwch before breakfast through an uninteresting landscape}
After breakfast we got an intelligent miner to conduct us, and proceeded to the copper mountain.
{The ore is not in veins, so the mines are really quarries}
The general quality of the ore is but poor, and the manner of working it is this: the ore being dug out, is broken into small lumps, and carefully separated from the quartz, pyrites, and other heterogenous substances; it is then washed, reduced to coarse powder, and further purified; after this it is brought to the kilns, and roasted for near six weeks, and when this is performed, it is brought to the forge, and in four hours melted into pigs; the copper is still very coarse, but the further purification of it, by successive fusions, is performed at other places, such as Liverpool, Swansea, etc. But what is dug up in a solid form, is by no means the most valuable sort of copper. Water from springs and the rain, is found in great abundance in the mine; this dissolves all the native copperas that it meets with, and, in consequence, becomes strongly impregnated with mineral particles; this liquor is pumped up and poured into shallow cisterns of clay, into which are thrown large quantities of old iron; the acid of the copperas then seizes the iron, and the copper, which is held in solution, falls to the bottom in the appearance of a rust coloured sediment; this precipitate is raked out, washed and dried, and after passing through the usual process, forms the purest copper. Nor is this the whole of the profit, for the acid of the copperas, in its union with the iron, reduces it to calx; and from this large quantities of red and yellow ochre are manufactured on the spot. The copper is likewise the basis of large sulphur work; for in the operation of roasting, vast quantities of fine sulphur are sublimed in the necks of the kilns, which being taken out and purified, are afterwards cast into rolls, packed in barrels, and exported. The number of miners and melters is about 1300; the usual pay 17d a day; though as they are paid according to the quantity of ore which they collect, an industrious man will earn 2s or even 2s6d. The usual hours of work are from five in the morning until two in the afternoon, though it is entirely optional whether they choose to employ themselves a greater or shorter time.
It being Saturday, and market day, the town was crowded with miners and country people; and I do not recollect to have ever observed more gaiety with less disorder. {dancing and drinking but no intoxication.}
A., A., [Arthur Aikin] ‘Pedestrian Tour in North Wales; Monthly Magazine and British Register, vol. 1, (London, February 1796), p. 105

13.8.1796
From Llanerchymedd to Amlwch, 6 miles. Copper mine.
This has been a most interesting and entertaining day, being spent in visiting the vast copper-works connected with the Parys mountain. We breakfasted at Amlwch, a considerable town on the coast about two miles from the mine and almost entirely peopled by the miners and their families.
We had no difficulty in distinguishing this celebrated mountain, for it is perfectly barren from the summit to the plain below, not a single shrub and hardly a blade of grass being able to live in this sulphurous atmosphere.
‘No grassy mantle hides the sable hills
No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling rills
Nor tufted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps
In russet tapestry o’re the crumbling steeps.’
[Erasmus Darwin, The Upas Tree, (1824)]
The nearer we approached the scene of business, the more penetrating was the fume of the sulphur; but we had very soon too many objects of attention to regard this inconvenience. The mountain is about a mile in length, and is the property of Lord Uxbridge and the Rev. Mr. Hughes; and the fortunate discovery of the copper took place a little more than thirty years ago, thus converting a piece of ground originally of very little value, into one of the most profitable estates in the kingdom.
The substance of the mountain being ore, the work is carried on in a very different manner from the custom of other mines: here are comparatively few shafts or levels, the greater part being quarried out so as to leave a vast excavation open to the day. There are two of these quarries or mines, which are worked by two different companies; the first goes by the name of the Mona mine, and is the sole property of Lord Uxbridge; the other, called the Parys mine, is shared between the earl and Mr. Hughes. The view down this steep and extensive hollow is singularly striking. The sides are chiefly of a deep yellow or dusty slate colour, streaked, however, here and there, by fine veins of blue or green, shooting across the tavern, mingled with seams of greyish yellow. The bottom of the pit is by no means regular, but exhibits large and deep borrows in various parts, where a richer vein has been followed in preference to the rest. Every corner of this vast excavation resounds with the noise of pick axes and hammers; the edges are lined with workmen drawing up the ore from below; and at short intervals is heard, from different quarters, the loud explosion of the gunpowder by which the rock is blasted, reverberated in pealing echoes from every side. The exterior covering of the mountain is an aluminous state; the matrix black grey chertz ; the ore, Copper, chiefly:
I The yellow sulphurated: of which the richest contains, according to miners computation, that is in the proportions of the oz. Troy,
Sulphur, 5 dwt. (2 5 per cent.)
Copper, Ditto.
Refuse, to dwt. (50 per cent.)
The worst ore yields nearly the same quantity of sulphur; but of metal, no more than 6 grains ( 1¼ per cent.) ; this inferior kind, however, is chiefly worked for the sulphur. The other species and varieties of ore that the mine produces, are:

  1. Black ore, containing copper mixed with galena, calamine, and a little silver.

III. Malachitc, or green and blue carbonate of copper.
IV. Native Copper, but in very small quantity.

  1. Sulphate of copper, crystallised and in solution
  2. 137
  3. Sulphate of lead, in considerable quantity, containing a pretty large proportion of silver

VII. Native Sulphur
Process. – The ore is got from the mine by blasting; after which it is broken into smaller pieces by the hammer (this being chiefly done by women and children), and piled into a kiln, to which it is attached by flues a long sulphur chamber. It is now covered close; a little fire is applied in different places; and the whole mass becomes gradually kindled: the sulphur sublimes to the top of the kiln, whence the flues convey it to the chamber appointed for its reception. This smouldering heat is kept up for six months during which the sulphur chamber is cleared four times, at the expiration of which period the ore is sufficiently roasted. The poorest of this, that is, such as contains from 1¼ to 2 percent of metal, is then conveyed to the smelting houses at Amlwch port; the rest is sent to the company’s furnaces at Swansea and Stanley near Liverpool. The greater part of the kilns are very long, about six feet high, and the sulphur chambers are of the same length and height, connected by three flues, and on the same level with the kilns: some new ones however have been built at Amlwch-port, by which much sulphur is preserved that would have been dissipated in the old kilns. The new ones are made like lime kilns, with a contrivance to take out at the bottom the roasted one, and thus keep up a perpetual fire: from the neck of the kiln branches off a single flue, which conveys the sulphur into a receiving chamber built on the rock, so as to be on a level with the neck of the kiln, i.e. above the ore.
The two smelting houses, of which one belongs to each company, contain thirty one reverberatory furnaces, the chimneys of which are 41 feet high, they are charged every five hours with 12 cwt. of ore, which yields ½ cwt. of rough copper, containing 50 per cent. of pure metal; the price of rough copper is about £2. l0s; per cwt. The coals are procured from Swansea and Liverpool, a great part pf which is Wigan slack. From experiment it appears, that though a ton of coals will reduce more ore than the same quantity of slack, yet, owing to the difference of price, the latter is upon the whole preferable; the prices of the two at Liverpool being, coals 8s. 6d. per ton, slack 5s per ditto. The sulphate of copper however is the richest ore that the mine yields, containing about 50 per cent. of pure metal. This is found in solution at the bottom of the mine, whence it is pumped up into cisterns like tanners pits, about two feet deep; of these pits there are many ranges, each range communicating with a shallow pool of considerable extent; into these Cisterns are put cast iron plates, and other damaged iron vessels procured from Coalbrookdale ; when the-sulphuric acid enters into combination with the iron, lettings fall the copper in the form of a red sediment very slightly oxidated.
The Cisterns are cleaned out once a quarter of a year, when the sulphate of iron in solution is let off into a shallow pool, and the copper is taken to a kiln, well dried, and is then ready for exportation. The sulphate of iron remaining in the pool partly decomposes by spontaneous evaporation, and lets fall a yellow ochre which is dried and sent to Liverpool and London.
The sulphur produced in the roasting, after being melted and refined, is cast into rolls and large cones, and sent to London. The cones are used chiefly for the manufacture of gunpowder and sulphuric acid.
Green vitriol, and alum, are also made in small quantities by a separate company, but to these works, strangers are not admitted.
The number of men employed by the two companies is 1200 miners, and about 90 smelters: the miners are paid by the piece, and earn in general from a shilling to twenty-pence per day.
The depth of the mine in the lowest part is 50 fathoms and the ore continues as plentiful as ever and of a quality rather superior to that which lay near the surface. With regard to the annual quantity of ore raised, little certain can be mentioned. The Parys mine has furnished from 5,000 to 10,000 tons per quarter, exclusive of what is procured from the sulphate of copper in solution and as the two mines employ nearly equal numbers of workmen, they probably afford about the same quantity of ore.
Adjoining to the smelting houses is a rolling mill, upon the same construction as malt-mills, for grinding the materials for fire bricks: these consist of fragments of old fire bricks, with clunch, (a kind of magnesian clay found in coal-pits) procured from near Bangor ferry.
The port of Amlwch is chiefly artificial, being cut out of the rock with much labour and expence, and is capable of containing 30 vessels of 200 tons burthen: it is greatly exposed, and dangerous of access during high northerly winds, which drive a heavy sea up the neck of the harbour. The two companies employ I brigs, from 100 to 150 tons burthen, besides sloops and other craft, all of which lie dry at low water.
The various articles, the produce of the mines, ‘which are exported, are the following:

  1. Coarse regulus of copper, from the smelting houses. – .
  2. The richer copper ore, roasted.

Ill. The dried precipitate of copper, from the vitriol pits.

  1. Refined sulphur.
  2. Ochre.

VI Alum.
VII. Green vitriol. .
The town of Amlwch, which about 30 years ago had no more than half a dozen houses in the whole parish, now supports a population of four or five thousand inhabitants; and was at present, being market day, thronged with miners, and country people.
Aikin, Arthur, (1773-1854), Journal of a Tour through North Wales and a part of Shropshire with observations of Mineralogy and other branches of natural History [1796] (London, 1797), pp. 133-141

1796 Holywell
Parys Mine Company (who own the Copper and brass battering mill) …
Pennant, Thomas, History of the Parishes of Whiteford and Holywell, (1796), p. 204

1796 Gwindy
Near this place are copper works; twenty years ago there were only five of six cotages here, and now there is a considerable place and they are building a large and handsome Church: Lord Uxbridge has half the mine to himself and half of the remainder jointly with a Mr Williams, who possesses many of the works at Amlwch; Lord Uxbridge’s half is called the Paris mine, the other the Mona Mine or companies, and exact line or boundary is preserved in the mine, a Pillar was left standing as the mark, about six feet square, and of considerable height, and which they told us was worth six or seven hundred pound, which shows the riches of the mine. When you first arrive upon the top of this hill, and look around you, you are much surprised at the immense number of persons, carts horses, and machines in motion all around, in some places vast excavations, in others, Mountains twenty or thirty yards high; and vast pits like immense tan pits extending over many acres, and in many different places, with Kilns and Chimneys constantly uniteing their sulphurous fumes, which at first excites a very disagreeable sensation in the throat and lungs, and every two or three minutes you hear a loud explosion, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, and very frequently under your feet; and for a mile around not one green leaf or blade of grass is to be seen; taking this general survey of it from the highest point of view, it is impossible to conceive anything more curious, but it is almost impossible to guess what can be going on with all this sedulous methodical labour, when you approach the work people, any of them will readily call a proper person to attend you through the works: The Ore lays in every direction; from the surface to beyond where they have yet been down, in some parts richer than others, they work the richest away first, leaving the inferior in pillars to support the roof of the rock upon which all the Ore is hoisted, but when they have gone as deep as they intend to go, the Pillars are worked away and the roof is let down, and all calcined [sic, concerned?] that will pay the expence; looking internally upon the excavations it is very like those made by the sea, on Rocky coasts, as at Flamborough Head, or the Bullers of Buchan in Scotland. The whole rock is obliged to be worked away with blasts of gunpowder, applied in the usual manner, and when separated in large masses, is broke in the pit into such sizes as will lay in baskets of about six or eight gallons, in which it is sent to the top of the hill or loaded at some intermediate floor, where it is broke into smaller pieces, and sorted as to richness etc; the best is immediately put into the calcining kiln, which is formed between two walls, built about eight yards asunder, and twenty five to forty yards long, and two yards high, a chimney is made along the middle which collects the fumes of the sulphur; this sulphur is a sparkling mineral more or less intermixed with copper Ore, Chimneys or flues are continued side-ways from this to the sulphur house or receiver, where it is collected against the walls and roof, and drops deep on the floor in the form of yellow soot, the different branches and forms it assumes upon opening these Ovens or flues are beautiful in a high degree, but the smell will not permit you to admire it for more than a minute: these houses are about 20 yards long, four feet six inches high, and three feet broad, this flour of Brimstone is then cast into various moulds, or rolls to be disposed of; cups and saucers, also chocolate cups, some of each I bought but they are so brittle they broke in the carriage: the fires five or six on a side, only require attention for six of seven hours, afterwards they continue burning from the strength of the sulphur for about six months, by which time the copper ore is properly calcined, and the best metal, or rather Ore runs together into small substances, the black matter surrounding each die of Ore is then washed away, and the Ore is sent to Swansea or elsewhere to be smelted. The worst or poorest ore is sent down to Amlwch. where it is calcines in brick kilns of a Sugar loaf form, secured by iron bars  and hoops, this as it burns and settles to the bottom is filled with fresh ore; the sulphur is collected in the same manner as at the mountains, what is here calcined is smelted once over, and then sent to Swansea to be refined, this is done to save carriage as seven eights of this is slagg or waste. In the above calcination and washing, various other minerals discover themselves, and lately a chymical shop is established here under the direction of Doctor Parr, who obtains great quantities of Alum, Arsenic, Vitriol, etc., and I really think many valuable mineral substances paints and Drugs are yet wasted, so much money has been obtained from the Copper, that all the other substances have been neglected; it is only about 14 or 15 years that the Sulphur has been attended to, and now as much is collected as would supply all England; besides this easy method of obtaining copper valued at ninety five pound a tun, there is one here yet much easier, whereby the metal is obtained at once in its most pure state; About thirty years ago there were several bogs and pools of water upon this mountain, and old women used to sell this water to kill worms, and upon its being observed that the Peat spades, when left in these bogs, sooner rusted away than in common water, someone supposed that it was of no common quality, and made experiments upon it, and it is not above twenty four years since its true value was understood, and copper obtained from it to any amount; Now this precious bog water is drained into, and pumped from the bowels of the earth and let into pans of various forms and sizes from four yards to forty yards square, and in some, old iron of any sort, but in others, cast iron plates about two feet by one foot wide, and half an inch thick, are set on their edges about one inch and a half or two inches assunder, this acid or copper water attracts the iron, which as it dissolves can no longer support the copper, it gradually drops to the bottom in pure dust or precipitate of copper, this water passes through many pans, until it has dropped all its copper, and becomes mere water, saturated with iron, part of this iron may be collected again, and used as Oaker for paint; it will probably be sometime discovered how it may easily reassume its original from in iron, this may now be done but it would not answer the expense; we could get no certain account of the number of persons employed here, but there cannot be less than three thousand at the Mountain and at the Town and Harbour. In the works they are changed every twelve hours, at noon and at midnight and have only nine shillings a week. Lord Uxbridge is supposed to clear about thirty thousand pound annually from these works, but copper is an article very variable in price. Is is a curious fact that this mine has been working not only before the use of gunpowder was known, but even before iron was used in this kingdom. We saw some places from whence Ore had been taken within the body of the mountain, they had followed the inclination of the rock, and no mark of any tool can be found. The face of the rock is very smooth but discoloured, and the opinion of an intelligent workman here was, that fire had been applied to soften it, I cannot say that we saw anything to induce us to think so except the discolourment of it, which certainly as much as might had been occasioned by fire, all around there were laid parts of oval cobbles split from the ends, as they would be, if used as hammers and most of them battered at both ends, it is a fact that I could not find one whole cobble, though I saw above a hundred split or with their ends battered; these cobbles are not found nearer than the sea shore about three miles, and were all much of a size and form, I measured some, they are about nine inches by five, and three thick, varying a little, we may suppose them to have been held in willow twigs as the black-smiths hammers are now. It is to be lamented that these old shafts or drifts if they can be called so, and all the rubbish, and these curious split cobbles will all soon be destroyed or buried, only one small corner of the rock is now left, where they can be found, possibly that mine may have been opened when the Phoenicians traded to Cornwall for Tin, they cannot be of a later date.
Sykes, Christopher, Sir (1749-1801, of Sledmere, Yorkshire, M.P. for Beverly, 1784-1790), Journal of a Tour in Wales, 1796, NLW MS 2258C (Typescript copy) p. 59; Sykes, Lady, Hull University, DDSY(3)/10/11 which is very similar to her husand’s, pp. 235-243

1796
Visited Amlwch rendered more interesting by the recent discovery of copper in the neighbourhood.
When we came within a few miles of Paris Mountain which contains that valuable mineral, we were struck with astonishment at the horrible aspect of the country. Behind us the finest verdure and most luxuriant crops, before us, not a leaf or blade of grass to be seen. The blasting fumes of the numerous sulphur works have extended their baneful influence for miles around. [pollution]
The Paris Mountain stands south of Amlwch, at the distance of more than a mile
{Discussion on the origin on the name Parys}
The aspect of the mountain, like the country immediately under its influence, is truly horrible. Every vegetable production is discoloured or blighted by the suffocating fumes of the sulphur.
In the year 1762 Alexander Franser came into this island to search for mines. This mountain soon attracted his attention, and fancying he had discovered a treasure communicated the result of his discoveries to Sir Nicholas Bayley, the proprietor of a part of the mountain, Shafts were accordingly sunk, and the ore actually found, but the operation was interrupted by the prodigious influx of water.
However, two years after, under the auspices of Messrs Roc and Co of Macclesfield, a level was struck and a more successful trial produced ore; but in such small quantities and at such expense that for a few years the expenditure greatly exceeded the returns.
They were on the point of giving up the undertaking for ever, when an agent luckily conjectured that the spring issuing from a particular place must from its appearance come from a body of the mineral. This conjecture was right for in a few hours they met with the mineral at the depth of only seven feet, which proved to be the surface of that vast body of copper ore, that has been since so advantageously worked.
This success soon stimulated the Rev. Mr Hughes, the proprietor of the other moiety of the hill to similar excursions. The result was, the incalculable treasure this mountain contained became the property of Sir Nicholas Bayley and himself; who after fruitless expensive suites to ascertain their respective moieties, the original discovery being made on the boundary which separated the property of each, before unnoticed, now a bone of bitter contention, soon began to reap the benefit of this invaluable possession.
On reaching the top of the mountain, the first thing that strikes the eye, is a prodigious excavation, from 40 to 100 feet deep, and 30 or 40 wide. From the year 1768, strata of ore having been found running in all directions an at various depths the continued workings have produced the present cavern. When you approach the edge, you see the workmen getting the ore at the bottom and sides, with pickaxes and in some places blasting the rocks with gunpowder while the reports of the explosion, reverberating from side to side, and the shivered parts of the rock springing off in all directions produce an astonishing effect on the imagination. The ore is drawn up in baskets to platforms projecting over the pit. In one place a horse and cart may easily descend, and in this way considerable quantities of ore are brought up.
The ore is of various colours iron, grey, purple and some quite black. It also varies in quality producing from 1.2.3.8. to 16 hundred in the ton, the average is however 2 to 3 in 20. In some instances masses of pure native copper are found, but this happens very rarely. It is quarried out of the beds in large lumps, and being broken into small pieces, is calcined, to separate it from the impure particles of earth which adhere to it. It is then carried to the smelting houses and formed into metal. The former operation is carried on principally at the hill.
Adjoining the calcining houses are long narrow buildings, called condensers, with doors at one end and apertures at the other, to receive the smoke of the burning copper, which subsiding on the floor, sides and roof, forms the pure flower of brimstone. This is shoveled up and thrown into coppers, where being well boiled and run off into pans of various shapes, and capacities becomes the common brimstone. Sometimes this operation is repeated to improve the quality.
Copper, and that of the best quality, is also made by the process of precipitation. At the bottom of the great pit vast quantities of water are found strongly impregnated with copper. This they draw up, and pouring it into flat rectangular pits of different dimensions, and mixing with it all sorts of old iron, particularly flat square plates, the particles of the copper are gradually precipitated by the iron, and the iron itself dissolves into yellow ochre, while part floats off with the water, and part sinks to the bottom. The pure copper is then scraped from the iron which is take out occasionally and then thrown in again, till the whole is consumed. Copper this produced differs little in value from native copper. It requires near 2 months to complete the operation of precipitation.
A penknife immersed into these pits appears instantly transmuted into copper. The mountain is nearly divided into equal parts: the eastern half called the Mona Mine, belonging to Lord Uxbridge, son of Sir Nicholas Bayley: the western, or the Parys Mountain is the joint property of his Lordship and the Rev. Mr Hughes.
A Cornish company have been trying for ore on the estate of Lord Bulkeley, at the foot of the mountain, but with hitherto little prospect of success.
There are considerable vitriol works erected on the south east side of the hill.
The matter, dug from the mountain to come at the ore, and then thrown down its sides, gives the spectator some idea of the volcanic lava of mount Vesuvius after a violent eruption.
Amlwch 30 years ago was an obscure village, consisting of a few wretched huts. It is now a populous extensive place near a mile and a half in length: Here are some good houses, the rest comfortable habitations for the miners and others engaged in the copper works. ?????? is building, the expense of which is defrayed principally by the proprietors of the mines. Towards the end where the town approaches the sea are several smelting houses, where the ore of inferior quality is made into copper: the rest on account of scarcity of coal is exported to Holywell, Swansea, Bristol and other places to be smelted. The operation of smelting is simple –
The calcined ore is thrown into large furnaces, and being heated by coal fires below, is let out a red flaming fluid into sand beds where it soon becomes a solid lump. This is then broken and being boiled afresh is run off as before. This operation is repeated till the copper purified from its dross, becomes fit for use. During this operation the dross or scum, is taken from the surface by means of long shovels, and being run into square lumps makes excellent copings for bridges etc.
Lower down is a small commodious port, cut out of the solid rock. Here ships of considerable burden lye securely, and receive their cargoes.
There are near 2000 men employed about the mountain, so that the population of Amlwch may amount to about 10,000 souls.
The inn here is very comfortable. The master is the under-ground agent at the mountain. Travellers will find him civil and intelligent.
J. B. jnr and W.W., [Burgess, James, Rev (1774-1839) and Williams, William, (1774-1839)] A Pedestrian Tour thro Wales in 1796, NLW MS 23253 C, pp. 70-78; Sykes, E.R., A Walking Tour in Wales in 1796, Proc. Dorset Nat. Hist. Arch. Soc., LXIV (1943), pp. 84-91.

1797 Paris Mountain, Amlwch
saw the smelting houses …smelting etc.
Manners, John Henry, (Fifth Duke of Rutland) 1778-1857, Journal of a tour through north and south Wales, the Isle of Man, [and a small part of Scotland] &c. &c. (1805), pp. 303 – 309

31.8.1797
Increase in population – the great manufactories of silk, cotton, copper and brass etc all owe their origin to {Holywell water} {movement of copper? ore from Paris mountains to Lancashire for processing with cheap fuel, then back to the Holywell brass foundry}
Davies, Walter (Gwallter Mechain), NLW MS 1755Bi, Notebook 2, Journal of a tour through n. Wales in 1797 (iv), pp. 23-29,

1797 Llangefni, Tref Iorwerth, Llanerch y Medd
Sulphur fumes from the smelting houses, Amlwch
Paris Mountain
Dr Parr’s Vitriol works in Paris Mountain
Davies, Walter, NLW MS 1762Bi, Diaries, Journal part II, Exd Feb 1809, pp. 54-76
For transcriptions of Walter Davies’ and Edward Williams’ (Iolo Morganwg’s) notebooks, diaries and letters, and an explanation of the context in which they were written see Jones, David Ceri, Report of a research project on ‘The rural economy and society of Wales between 1790-1815 with special reference to the manuscripts of Walter Davies (‘Gwallter Mechain’)’, undertaken by Dr David Ceri Jones, on behalf of Professor David W. Howell and Professor Prys Morgan, Directors of the Project, for the History and Law Committee, Board of Celtic Studies, University of Wales, 2000-2001. NLW ex 2251, pp. 263, 617-620)
Detailed account of the mines:  Davies, Walter, General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of North Wales (1810), pp. 44-55

6.8.1798
Went to Amlwch to see Paris Copper mine. Quotes Pennant re the mines
Clutterbuck, Robert, A Tour thro’ North and South Wales, with an Excursion to Dublin, from Holyhead, in the Year 1798, Cardiff Central Library, MS. 3.276, vol. 2, pp. 143-146

1798 Amlwch
Parys mountain, Quotation from Thomas Pennant, “In the year 1762, one Alexander Frazier … Soon after this discovery another adventure was begun by the Rev. Mr Edward Hughes owner of part of the mountain, in right of his wife, Mary Lewis of Llys-Dinas” {description of what they saw} [note] Mr Arthur Aiken, in his valuable little volume,” A Journal of a Tour through North-Wales, mentions malachite … but malachite is never found there} [end of note]
Parys-Mine Company in the vicinity of the town. The vessels carrying the ore to these ports freight back with coals and Wigan slack. It is to be observed, that the ore of this mountain, in general, is but poor, and that the richest of it only goes to Glamorganshire and Lancashire The poorer sort is manufactured into a regains (for exportation to Liverpool and Holywell) in convenient works on the mountain by the following process:—It is first broken into small pieces by women and children, who, armed with iron gloves, reduce it to the requisite size with hammers. … After spending some hours on and in the mountain, we retraced our road to Plas-Gwyn, where an elegant hospitality, much domestic comfort, social converse, and a most agreeable party, rendered it a matter of great regret to us that we could not prolong our stay beyond this morning.
Warner, Richard, Rev., (1763-1857) A Second Walk through Wales in August and September, 1798, (Bath, 1799) pp. 283-295. (2nd edition 1799 / 1800, 4th edition, 1813)

1798 Amlwch
Anglesey copper mines
Bingley, William, (1774-1823), A tour round North Wales, performed during the summer of 1798 … (London, 1800), vol. 1, pp. 276- 292 [this is similar to the 1804 edition below]

1798-1801 Amlwch
Near the Lake, is a market-town, about a mile from the Parys mountain. … that inexhaustible mine of copper, a mine of wealth to all its proprietors. Amlwch seems entirely dependent, for its prosperity, on the copper mines, for most of its inhabitants have some concern in them, either as miners of agents.
The church dedicated to Elaeth, a saint of the British calendar, is a neat modern structure. Of the town itself, I observed nothing remarkable except that it was in general a most black and dismal place, owing to the scoria of the metal, of which all the roads are formed. On the exterior of the town the country is a scene of barrenness and desolation. The sulphureous fumes from the mine have entirely destroyed the vegetation for a considerable space around, and little else than earth and rock are to be seen even within a short distance of Amlwch. On the Parys mountain there is not even a single moss or lichen to be found.
ANGLESEY COPPER MINES.
The town of Amlwch is, as I have said, about a mile from the summit of the Paris mountain; and on the morning after my arrival, I walked up to this celebrated place, Having ascended to the top, I found myself standing on the verge of a vast and tremendous chasm. I stepped on one of the stages suspended over the edge of the steep, and the prospect was dreadful. The number of caverns at different heights along the sides; the broken and irregular masses of rock which everywhere presented themselves; the multitudes of men at work in different parts, and apparently in the most perilous situations; the motions of the whimsies, and the raising and lowering of the buckets, to draw out the ore and the rubbish ; the noise of picking the ore from the rock, and of hammering the wadding, when it was about to be blasted; with at intervals, the roar of the blasts in distant parts of the mine, altogether excited the most sublime ideas, intermixed, however, with sensations of terror. I left this situation, and followed the road that leads into the mine and the moment I entered, my astonishment was again excited. The shagged arches, and overhanging rocks, which seemed to threaten annihilation to any one daring enough to approach them, fixed me almost motionless to the spot. The roofs of the work, having in many places fallen in, have left some of the rudest scenes that imagination can paint; these, with the sulphureous fumes, from the kilns in which the ore is roasted, rendered it to me a perfect counterpart to Virgil’s entrance into Tartarus
Hac iter Elysium nobis ; at laeva malorom
Exercet poenas, et ad impia Tartarus mittit.

‘Tis here in different paths the way divides,
The right to Pluto’s golden palace guides
The left to that unhappy region tends,
Which to the depth of Tartarus descends;
The seat of night profound, and punish’d fiends.

[note:] I am informed that the appearance of this part of the mine has lately been much changed, from some of the insulated rocks &c. having been cleared away. [end of note]

To look up from hence, and observe the people on the stages, a hundred and fifty feet above one’s head ; to see the immense number of ropes and buckets, most of them in motion; and to reflect, that a single stone casually thrown from above, or falling from a bucket, might in a moment destroy a fellow creature, a man must have a strong mind, not to feel impressed with many unpleasant sensations. A few days before I was last here, a bucket caught against the point of a rock, emptied its contents on the head of a poor fellow, and killed him on the spot. The sides of this dreadful hollow are mostly perpendicular. Along the edges, and in general flung by ropes over the precipices, are the stages with windlasses, or whimsies as they are here termed, from which the buckets are lowered; and from which those men descend, who work upon the sides. Here, suspended in mid-air, the fellows pick, with their iron instrument, a small place for a footing, cut out the ore in vast masses, and tumble it with a thundering crash to the bottom. In these seemingly precarious situations they make caverns, in which they work for a certain time, till the rope is again lowered to take them up. Much of the ore is blasted by gunpowder, eight tons of which, we are told, was some time ago annually used for this purpose [note: Pennant]. The manner of preparing for the blasting was entirely new to me, and may be so to some of my readers. A hole is bored in the rock of about the diameter of a very wide gun barrel, and of depth in proportion to the quantity of matter to be thrown up. At the bottom is lodged the gun-powder, and the man then taking a thin iron rod, tapering to a point, and about two feet in length, he places it perpendicularly in the middle of the hole, and fills it up on all sides with stones, clay, &c. ramming these hard down by means of an iron projecting at the bottom, with a nick in it, that it may pass freely round the rod. When this is prepared the rod is taken out, and a straw filled with gunpowder is substituted. A match is then put to it that will burn so long, before it communicates the fire to the powder, as to allow all the workmen within reach, to escape into different retreats from the danger attendant on the explosion. Several blasts are generally ready at the same time, and notice is given to the workmen to run into shelter, by a cry in Welsh of fire. Whilst I was in the mine, the cry was several times given, and I, with the rest, crept into shelter. In one instance six or seven blasts went off in different parts successively, one of which was within thirty yards of my station, and the splinters of the rock dashed furiously past me. I am scarcely a judge of the noise they made, for I took the liberty of stopping my ears, which the men seemed to think a pleasant joke, for they laughed very heartily at what they conjectured a mark of my timidity. When the whole is exploded, information is given to the workmen, and they return to their work. The process of blasting is frequently attended with danger, from the carelessness with which the men retire to their hiding-places: And it sometimes happens that, in ramming down the wadding, the iron strikes against the stone, and fires the gunpowder, which is often fatal to the man employed. During the short time I remained here, I observed upwards of forty men in different places, occupied in preparing for blasting; and I felt somewhat uncomfortable under the idea that in such a number, someone might be careless enough to have his gunpowder take fire before he was aware of it,

There are in the Paris mountain two mines: of these, the one on the east side is the Mona mine, the entire property of the earl of Uxbridge. The Paris mine is the joint property of the earl of Uxbridge and the Rev. Edward Hughes of Kinmael, near St. Asaph. Thomas Williams, Esq. of Llanidan, the member for Marlow, has a lease of half the earl’s share in these mines ; and they work conjointly [note: Since this was ready for the press, I have received information of the death of Mr. Williams], Mr Hughes works his share of the Paris mine alone.

It is generally believed that the Romans got copper ore from this mountain; for vestiges are yet left of what have been taken for their operations ; and some very ancient stone utensils have, at different times, been found here.—From the time of the Romans, till the year 1764, these mines seem to have been entirely neglected. Copper had, about two years before this period, been found here, and Messrs. Roe and Co. of Macclesfield, had, with a mine in Caernarvonshire, a lease of part of the Paris mountain from sir Nicholas Bailey, the father of the earl of Uxbridge, which expired about nine years ago, They spent considerable sums of money in making levels to drain off the water, without any great success, and were about to give up any further attempts, when their agent requested that a final experiment might be tried in another part of the mountain. This succeeded, for in less than two days, ore of almost pure copper was discovered not two yards from the surface, which proved to be that vast bed which has since been worked to such advantage. The day of this discovery was the second of March, 1768, and it has ever since been, observed as a festival by she miners.—The Rev Edward Hughes, who was the owner of the remainder of the mountain, was roused by this success to attempt a similar adventure, – which has also succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations of the time.

The bed of ore is in some places more than sixty -feet in thickness ; and the proprietors are said to ship annually about 20,000-tons. The number of hands employed is upwards of a thousand. The ore has lately been supposed to be fast decreasing but the discovery of a new vein in the Mona mine, will keep that property still in a flourishing state for many years.

The ore, as I have already remarked, is got from the mine partly by picking and partly by blasting. It is then broken with hammers into small pieces by women and children, armed with iron gloves. After this operation it is piled in kilns of great length, and about six feet high, where it is set on sire in different places to undergo the process of roasting : for as the ore in its natural state contains a great quantity of sulphur, it is necessary that this should be separated (which can only be done by means of fire,) before it is fluxed into copper. The sulphur goes off in the form of vapour, and is conveyed by means of a flue, connected with the kiln, to the sulphur chamber, a place built to receive it, where it sublimes, and becomes the flower of sulphur of the shops, It is afterwards taken from hence, melted in large copper pans, and cast in moulds for sale.

After the ore has been thus roasted, which is rather a tedious operation, occupying from three to ten months, according to the quantity in the furnaces, (which is generally from three hundred to a thousand tons) it is taken to the slacking pits, places constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide, and two deep, to be washed, and made merchantable. The poorest of this, that is, such as contains from 1½ to 2% per cent, of metal, is then conveyed to the smelting houses at Amlwch port: the rest is sent to the company’s furnaces at Swansea, and Ravenhead. By the processes of roasting and washing, though the ore is much reduced in quantity, it is considerably improved in quality: And the water is so richly impregnated with copper, which is dissolved by the acid quality of the sulphur, that, by means of old iron immersed in it, according to the German method, it produces such quantities of fine copper, that the proprietors have obtained in one year, upwards of a hundred tons of the copper precipitated from the water. Their average export of precipitate is sixty tons per annum.

The proprietors also turn the water drawn from the beds of copper, which is highly impregnated, through rectangular pits similar to those used in the above process. These are each about thirty feet long, twelve broad, and two deep. Any kind of iron, either old or new, is used, but in general, for the fake of convenience, they procure small plates of cast iron. The iron becomes dissolved by the acid, and is suspended in the water, whilst the copper is precipitated. Care is taken to turn the iron every day, in order to make off the incrustation of copper formed upon it, and this is continued till the iron is perfectly dissolved. The workmen then drain off the water, and rake together the ore in the form of mud, which, when it is become, by drying, of the consistency of a softish paste, they bake in ovens constructed for the purpose. After this process it is exported with the other ore, to Ravenhead or Swansea, One ton of iron thus immersed produces near two tons of copper mud, each of which when melted will yield sixteen hundred weight of copper; and this fells at a considerably higher price than the copper which is fluxed from the ore. An attempt was made not long ago by Mons. Valley, of Holywell, to precipitate the copper by means of lime; and another by some gentlemen from London, to do the fame by tin, but both the experiments were unsuccessful.

This method of obtaining copper by means of iron, has long been adopted in Germany, but has only been known in this country a few years ; and its first discovery was owing entirely to accident. From the copper mines at Arklow, in the county of Wicklow in Ireland, a great quantity of water constantly issues, which is strongly saturated with the vitriol of copper. One of the workmen by chance left his iron shovel in this water, and when he found it, which was not till some weeks afterwards, it was so encrusted, that he fancied it had been changed into copper. The proprietors of the mines took the hint. They immediately had proper pits and receptacles formed for containing the copper water, and have obtained, by means of bars of iron immersed in them, such quantities of copper mud, that these streams are now become of as much importance as the mines themselves.

Several of the shafts which have been formed for taking off the water, are driven very deep. One that I saw was upwards of a hundred and sixty feet in depth, below the open bottom of the mine. One of the miners, whilst I was looking at it, brought a lighted candle, and fixed it on the rim of one of the buckets in which they draw up the water. It was curious enough to watch it in its dark and confined descent, till it became a mere speck of light when, suddenly immersing in the water, it was lost.

The men employed about these mines seemed much more healthful than, from being constantly in the midst of the noxious exhalations from the kilns, it would be natural to expect.—Their complexions are in general somewhat sallow, but much less so than I expected to have found them. Their average wages are about eighteen-pence a day. Some of them get the ore for a certain sum per ton. These are called bargain-takers, and if the work is easily wrought, and the ore of good quality, they will frequently earn four or five shillings whilst the rest earn only their eighteen-pence. The mine companies seem to take great care in providing for all the persons that have any concern whatever in the works. Besides supporting the poor by their own voluntary donations, which now amount to betwixt seven and eight hundred pound a year, they prevent a great number of the infants of the aged and infirm from applying for relief, by giving them light and easy employment. This alone is an average expense of more than three hundred pounds a year ; and their surgeons and apothecaries bills are generally more than double this sum.

The mines have increased the value of lands in the parish of Amlwch from about fourteen hundred to five thousand pounds per annum, and upwards the number of houses from two hundred to upwards of a thousand and the population from nine hundred to about five thousand.
Vitriol And Alum Work.
At a little distance from the mine is a building Appropriated to the making of vitriol and alum. The proprietor is Dr. Joshua Parr, who resides in Carmarthenshire. The argillaceous earth from which the alum is extracted, is found on the spot, in a stratum about six feet beneath the surface of the ground. About one ton a week was the average quantity manufactured here, and this sold for somewhat more than twenty pounds. A small quantity of white vitriol continues to be made ; but the attempts to prepare green and blue vitriol have been attended with no success. Indeed the whole concern has answered so exceedingly ill, that, when I was here, I was informed, it would probably be altogether given up in the course of a very short time.
Smelting Houses And Port.
These are about a mile from Amlwch. The former contain thirty furnaces: each capable of holding ten hundred weight of roasted ore, which produce not quite one hundred weight of metal. As it is the refuse ore only that is smelted here, it is necessary when it arrives at Swansea, to have it smelted again four or five times before the metal is sufficiently pure.
The port is very small but excellently adapted to the business of exportation. It is a chasm between two rocks, running far into the land, and has in a great measure been formed by art: Its width is not more than to allow two vessels to ride abreast ; it is however sufficiently long and deep to receive thirty vessels of two hundred tons burthen each. This port was first made at the expence of the copper companies, for the convenience of their shipping, and is not therefore frequented by any others than vessels concerned with them.
Bingley, William, North Wales including its Scenery, Antiquities, Customs and Sketches of its Natural History, delineated from two excursions through all the interesting parts of that country during the summers of 1798 and 1801, new edition, vol. 1, (1804), pp. 309-320; (1814 edition, pp. 207-215, which varies slightly from the above.) This section on the mine was reprinted in The Annual Register: Or a View of the History, Politics …, Volume 46, (1804), pp. 810-815

1800
detailed description of the Parys mines
Lentin, Augustin Gottfried Ludwig, (1764-1823), Letters on the island of Anglesey, in particular its copper mine and associated foundries and factories, (Leipzig, 1800) (copy in NMGW)
Rothwell, Nancy (translator and editor), Parys Mountain and the Lentin Letters, (Amlwch : Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust, 2007) (Includes Nancy Rothwell’s translation of the letters,1998 and some illustrations including one from the collection of Marquis of Anglesey)

1800
Print : Paris Mines in the year 1800 E. delt.; I. Havell sculpt., London : E. Williams, 1814.

1800 (pre)
{Paris mountain}
Broster, John, Circular tour from Chester through North Wales embellished with plates. (London,  1802), p. 121-126 [a tiny volume, 12 x 17 x 1 cm based on the editor’s and other’s accounts of tours of Wales].

1800? Amlwch and Parys Mountain
Amlwch or the Winding Loch, is a dirty-looking straggling town, founded on rocks. It owes its support chiefly to the copper works in its vicinity…. : the port, which is but small, is, notwithstanding, excellently adapted for the trade which is carried out ; it is narrow, capable of only containing two vessels abreast, of about 200 tons burthen each, and of these it will furnish room for about thirty ; the entrance is by a chasm between two rocks.
The Parys mountain, like the works at Merthyr, shews what the industry of man is capable of accomplishing in removing rocks, mountains, and dragging forth the bowels of the earth. To those who possess good nerves, the view of this scene of wealth and industry will afford gratification unalloyed ; but to those not so blessed, the horrific situations in which the principal actors of the scene are placed, poised in air, exposed to the blasting of the rocks, and the falling of materials, which themselves are sending aloft, or from those which may be misdirected, as ascending from the workings of others, by striking against projecting crags, seem to threaten death in so many varied shapes, that the wonder and admiration excited by the place are lost in pity and anxiety for the hardy miners.
From the top of the mountain, the dreadful yawning chasm, with the numerous stages erected over the edge of the precipice, appal rather than gratify the observer. To see the mine to advantage you must descend to the bottom, and be provided with a guide, to enable you to shun the danger, that would be considerable, from the blasts and falling materials ; the workmen generally not being able to see those that their operations may endanger.
The Mona mine is the entire property of the Marquis of Anglesea. The Parys mine is shared.
The mountain has been worked with varied success far about sixty-five years : it is now believed to be under the average; but whether that arises from the low price of the article, or the mine being exhausted, I am unable to say : for a considerable period, it produced 20,000 tons annually. One bed of ore was upwards of sixty feet in thickness. In blasting the rock, to procure the ore, from six to eight tons of gunpowder are yearly consumed.
The Cambrian Tourist or the Post-Chaise Companion through Wales ; being a short but comprehensive description of every object most worthy of attention in the Welsh Territories. With a chart, showing at one view the most eligible route, the best inns distances and objects.
Cambrian Tourist or, Post-Chaise companion through Wales , (London, Chester and Wrexham, 1814) [and earlier]; (1828 edition), pp. 201-202

1801
Amlwch, stands on the sea-coast, and a place where much business is done. It is of a small extent, yet has considerable trade with the men employed in the Parys Mountain copper-mines, and only one mile distant: the principal inhabitants are miners, or families who have concerns in that work. The church is a neat modern structure, dedicated to Elaeth, a saint of the British calendar.
Not far from hence is the port, to which the ore is brought from Parys mines, and transported to Liverpool or Swansea: it is a place extremely well adapted to the convenience and business of exportation. This port is chiefly artificial, being a chasm cut out between two rocks with great labour and expence, which runs far into the land, but rendered sufficiently large to receive 30 vessels of 200 tons burthen each. It is yet, notwithstanding every expence, greatly exposed, and dangerous of access during high northerly winds, which drives a heavy sea up the rock of this harbour.
The two companies, or proprietors of the copper mines, employ generally fifteen brigs, from 100 to 150 tons burthen, besides sloops, in exporting the produce of these mines, being principally as follows:

  1. Coarse copper from the smelting houses.
  2. A richer copper ore.
  3. Dried precipitate of copper, from the vitriol pits.
  4. Refined sulphur.
  5. Ochre.
  6. Alum.
  7. Green vitriol.

The town of Amlwch, which thirty-five years ago had only about half a dozen houses in the whole parish, now supports a population of near 5,000 inhabitants which supply a great market, generally thronged with miners, and the adjacent, country people.
About 8 miles from Amlwch, at Camlyn Bay, are some excellent marble quarries.
Parys Mountain, or Mynydd Parys, also Pres Parhous and Trysglwym; besides various other conjectures relative to the right etymology of this mountain, which has unexceptionably the most considerable copper-mines in the world, and generally believed to have been known to the Romans, from the vestiges of their operations, and some ancient stone utensils which have frequently been found on the spot.
From the time of the Romans till 1764 these mines seem to have been entirely neglected ; till about this period, some copper was accidentally found here, which induced Messrs. Roe and Co. of Macclesfield, to take a lease of a part of Parys Mountain, from Sir Nicholas Bailey, father of Lord Uxbridge, which expired about nine years ago. Considerable sums of money had been spent by the company, in making levels to drain off the water, without any hopes of success; indeed they had nearly given up all farther attempts, but their agent was determined to make a final experiment in another part of the mountain. This succeeded, for in less than two days, ore of almost pure copper was found, and within two yards of the surface, which proved to be that vast lied since worked to such great advantage. The day of this discovery was the 2nd of March, 1763, and has ever since been observed as a festival by the miners. The Rev. Edward Hughes, who was owner of another part, in consequence of this success, began a like adventure, which has succeeded beyond his most sanguine expectations. The bed of ore in this mountain is of unknown extent, being in some places twenty-four yards in thickness, from which the proprietors are said to raise annually from six to 7,000 tons of mercantile ore, worth about three to six pounds a ton, which may enable the reader to form an idea of the wealth of these mines, when it is known that the Macclesfield Company have frequently on the bank at one time 14,000 tons, Mr. Hughes 30,000; which on an average of four pounds a ton, is worth to the proprietors, £176,000. The ore is got from the mines partly by picking and partly by blasting; after this it is broken by hammers into small pieces, by women and children, armed with iron gloves. It is then piled in kilns of great length, and about six feet high, and set on fire in different places to undergo the process of roasting; for as the ore in its natural state contains a great quantity of sulphur, it is necessary that this should be separated from it by roasting, before it can be fluxed into copper. The sulphur sublimes to the top of the kiln, from whence it is conveyed by a flue connected with it to the sulphur chamber, a place built to receive it, where it condenses, and becomes the flower of sulphur sold in the shops. It is afterwards taken from hence, melted in large copper pans, and cast in moulds for sale.
After the ore has been thus roasted, which is rather a tedious operation, taking from three to ten months, according to the quantity in the furnaces, but generally from 300 to 1000 tons; it is taken to the slacking pits, places constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide, and two feet deep, to be worked and made merchantable. Besides this, the proprietors have an artificial method of producing copper by means of iron, a method, first discovered and practised in Germany, but discovered to us merely by accident. To enumerate the minerals
this vast mountain contains, [note:] *From Parys Mountain springs a mineral water, which Turns the syrup of violets red, without any signs of chalybeate content. [end of note] and the various preparations for sale, would be too tedious for the generality of travellers; therefore, I will only, in a brief manner, insert the following as the principal and most vendible:

  1. The yellow sulphurated copper ore.
  2. Native copper, in small quantities.
  3. Sulphate of copper, both crystallized and in solution.
  4. Sulphate of lead, containing a small portion of silver.
  5. Black ore, containing copper with galena, calamine, and some silver.
  6. Native sulphur.

The number of hands employed in these mines are upwards of 1000, who either work by the day at the rate of one shilling and two-pence, or else receive so much a ton for getting the ore. Exclusively of their pay, it is worthy of notice, that the mine companies support a great number of poor people by their voluntary donations, amounting to about £800 yearly, besides employing a great number of children, of the aged and infirm, in light and easy work, which is an additional expence of £300 a year, also paying surgeons and apothecaries bills of nearly £700 making an annual deduction of about £1,800 per annum, from the aggregate amount of their princely revenues.
It is no less remarkable that the Parys Mines have since 1768 increased in an astonishing degree the value of lands in this parish, from about £1,400 to £5,000 a year and upwards; the number of houses from two hundred to upwards of one thousand, and the increase of population, in the short period of only thirty-two years, from nine hundred to eight thousand.
Evans, Thomas, Cambrian itinerary : or, Welsh tourist : containing an historical and topographical description of the antiquities and beauties of Wales … (London, 1801), pp. 364-368

1801
29.6.1801 (Monday)
{visited the smelting houses of Lord Uxbridge and Rev Mr Hughes [near Paris Mountain]}
I then descended to the part from whence the ore is exported [Amlwch harbour]. Formed partly by Nature, and enlarged by Art. Great labour and expense must have attended this work as the solid rock has been cut through for a considerable length and breadth, sufficient to admit two vessels abreast
{Paris Mines history}
As all description would fall short of the singularly romantic and picturesque forms of this mountain, I shall not even attempt it. The grotesque shapes of the rocks, caverns arches etc. – the dreadful perpendicular height of the mountains. The rich, beautiful and varied tints occasioned by the metal, added to the various instruments employed in working these mines, the constant explosions of blasting the rocks etc. etc. render this one of the most sublime and interesting scenes I ever beheld.
Colt Hoare, Richard, [copy of] ‘Journal of a Tour in South Wales anno 1793’, NLW 16489, pp. 122-125

1802
A description of the geology of north Wales including a detailed account of the Parys mine.
The mineralogy of Derbyshire with a description of the most interesting mines in the north of England; in Scotland and in Wales …(London, 1802), pp. 167-173

6.6.1802
They find the countryside ‘rather better cultivated & prettier than any we had seen on Anglesey, but as we approach the [Paris] mine this quite disappeared & it soon became a scene of entire desolation, for the sulphuric smoke from the kilns entirely destroys vegetation wherever its baleful influence reaches. This ill effect is now much lessened by a method discovered within these few years of confining the smoke which becomes valuable from turning it into flour & brimstone. Amlwch is a wretched place inhabited solely by miners & the inn though called Ty Mawr or the Great House is a mighty poor place but as we got a tolerable bed we were not disposed to complain.’
7.6.1802 (Monday)
Next day they get a guide to show them the mines ‘it is a curious & interesting sight but one that I cannot at all describe & must therefore refer you to some of the clear & scientific accounts … it was [Whit Monday] holiday and there was not one man at work, which is the most entertaining part of the whole to see….
Eade, Mary Anne, Tour through North Wales, 1802, National Library of Wales, MS22190B, ff. 48v-50

3.8.1802
Gradually the light fades away, and we enter without reluctance the comfortable town of Amlwch, peopled, by the vicinity of the mine, with several thousand inhabitants.
4.8.1802
We devote the whole of this morning to the survey of the Parys Mine, whose huge excavations come to open day. In some parts the cavity is as much as eighty yards deep, and surrounded with rocks of every probable shade of grey and yellow, and starting into a thousand grotesque forms. We survey the whole process of procuring and refining the ore, which, however, curious scarcely compensates me for the pains occasioned by the, suffocating effects of the sulphur which is procured and roasted in large quantities. In the evening we visit the narrow creek improved by art into a port and observe a sloop entering the harbour with crowded sails. The shore is very rocky; the water is extremely deep even close to land, and of the most beautiful green I ever beheld.
Anon (female), Diary of a Lady’s Tour in Wales Eighty Years Ago, Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser, 19 September 1884, 26 September 1884, 3 October 1884, 10 October 1884, 17 October 1884. [There is no clue in the newspaper articles as to the author of this tour. She appears to have accompanied men who were interested in mineralogy (they had specimen bags); spent several days at Dolgellau ‘whose neighbourhood proves more interesting to the mineralogists than to myself’ and spent some time on Paris Mountain.]

9.12.1802
{description of Parys Mines}
Skinner, John, Rev, British Museum Add. MS 33636, ff. 102a-105a ; NLW MS 21031 D (copy), Ten Days’ Tour Through the Isle of Anglesea, December, 1802, by the Rev. John Skinner, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Supplement, (July 1908), pp. 61-64

1804
Paris Mines in 1804, watercolour by Edward Pugh : National Library of Wales
print: Thomas Cartright after Edward Pugh,
Pugh, Edward, Cambria Depicta, (1813); Barrell, John, Edward Pugh of Ruthin, 1763-1813 ‘A Native Artist’ (UWP, 2013), pp. 180-181

1804
watercolour by Edward Pugh: The Bell Rock, 1804
(copy in Rothwell, Nancy, translator and editor, (1998), Parys Mountain and the Lentin Letters, (2007))

17.5.1805
Paris mine. This is a most wonderful place: instead of shafts and levels being driven into the ground … here, the mountain being almost composed of ore, is quarried out into immense depths the mines lie open to the sky. At present, however, the ore becomes less abundant and shafts are sunk, where any vein appears particularly rich.
The Mountain is divided between two companies, the Paris Mine and Mona Mine companies.
{description of the colour of the rocks).
The whole, particularly from the top looked very grand, but it was the ruins of fallen grandeur. It bears visible marks of decline, the workmen are thinly scattered up and down and the sound of their pick axes is scarcely heard. Mr Robinson, the overseer told us the number of workmen was much reduced that now they only get about 200 tons of ore in a week which large as it may appear is much less than was formerly procured.
This is also less rich than it formerly was and does not yield more than 1 a [or?] 2 grains of copper out of 20.
When the ore is got it is broken into small pieces and put into large kilns, one of which held 1300 tons. There being a large quantity of sulphur in the ore this is heated and the whole mass calcined without any expense of coals, to prepare it for smelting. This process requires 5 or 6 months. In its calcined state it is sent to the smelting houses at Amlwch which are very large, where it is brought into the state of rough copper. In the smelting houses belonging both to the Paris and Mona Mine Cos. there were several furnaces not at work, owing to the declining state of the mines.
A very profitable part of the concern appears to be procuring copper from the water which runs out of the mine and is strongly impregnated with the metal. The mountain is surrounded with pits to catch this water: old iron is thrown into them and in a short time the iron becomes incrusted with a large quantity of metal of which 17 grains out of 20 are pure copper. The quantity of copper procured in this manner is said to be very considerable and certainly the quantity held in solution in the water is large; for we held a pen knife in it, not a minute, and its colour was changed to that of copper.
The external appearance of the mountain is very singular. The earth seems to be turned inside out; the whole is quite black; not a blade of grass to be seen; scarcely a bird or an animal of any sort is to be met with.
“No bird presumes to steep his airy flight
Such deadly stenches from the depth arise
And steaming sulphur that infects the skies”
Dryden’s Virgil
Yates, R.V., (Richard Vaughan Yates and Joseph Brook Yates), Memoranda of a Tour in North and South Wales and parts of England and Ireland, 12th May to 22nd June, 1805, NLW, 687B (UCW 47), pp. 40-46 [Jones, E.D., Some Glimpses of Cardiganshire, Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society, VI, 1943-49, p. 24; Kerkham, C., National Library of Wales Journal, XX, 3, (1978), 265-272]

1805
The discovery made some years since of the copper mine on Paris or Praas (brass) Mountain in this island has been a source of great wealth to the earl of Uxbridge and Mr Hughes, the proprietors. It is worked like a stone quarry in the open air, and has produced prodigious quantities of ore, abounding with sulphur. The impure part of the ore is first calcined and deprived of its sulphur on the spot, and the purer part is exported raw to the smelting-houses at Swansea and other places. The richness and variety of its colours have given it the name of the peacock ore.
Carr, John, The Stranger in Ireland or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that Country, in the Year 1805 (London 1806), p. 21 [Reprinted in 1970 with introduction by Louis M Cullen]

1805?

This is almost identical to Evans, Thomas, Cambrian itinerary … (1801), [above], but includes the extract from Erasmus Darwin’s poem.
About five miles beyond Llanerchymedd we arrive at Amlwch, situated on the sea-coast, and a place where much business is done. It is of a small extent, yet has considerable trade with the men employed in the Parys Mountain copper-mines, which are one mile distant: the principal inhabitants are miners, or families who have concerns in that work. The church is a neat modern structure, dedicated to Elaeth, a saint of the British calendar.
Not far from hence is the port, to which the ore is brought from Parys mines, and transported to Liverpool or Swansea: it is a place extremely well adapted to the convenience and business of exportation. This port is chiefly artificial, being a chasm cut out between two rocks with great labour and expence, which runs far into the land, but rendered sufficiently large to receive 30 vessels of 200 tons burthen each. It is yet, notwithstanding every expence, greatly exposed, and dangerous of access during high northerly winds, which drives a heavy sea up the rock of this harbour.
The two companies, or proprietors of the copper mines, employ generally fifteen brigs, from 100 to 150 tons burthen, besides sloops, in exporting the produce of these mines, being principally as follows:

  1. Coarse copper from the smelting houses. 2, A richer copper ore. 3. Dried precipitate of copper, from the vitriol pits. 4. Refined sulphur. 5. Ochre. 6. Alum. 7. Green vitriol.

The town of Amlwch, which thirty-five years ago had only about half a dozen houses in the whole parish, now consists of 1,035; inhabited by 4,977 persons, viz. 2,385 males, and 2,592 females, of whom 1,581 were returned as being employed in trade and manufacture. Its market, which is considerable, is generally thronged with miners, and the adjacent, country people.
About two miles distant from Amlwch is Parys Mountain, or Mynydd Parys, also Pres Parhous and Trysglwym; besides various other conjectures relative to the right etymology of this mountain, which has unexceptionably the most considerable copper-mines in the world, and generally believed to have been known to the Romans, from the vestiges of their operations, and some ancient stone utensils which have frequently been found on the spot.
This celebrated mountain is easily distinguished from the rest, for it is perfectly barren from the summit to the plain below, not a single shrub, and hardly a blade of grass, being able to live in its sulphureous atmosphere:
“No grassy mantle hides the sable hills,
No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling rills;
Nor tufted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps
In russet tapestry, o’er the crumbling steeps.”
Darwin
[Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), The Botanic Garden: A Poem, Part 2, The Loves of the Plants, (1791), lines 227-230. A longer extract of this poem was quoted by Thomas Pennant when describing a poisonous tree on Java which destroyed all vegetation for 12-14 miles around. Thomas Pennant, Outlines of the Globe, vol 4, View of the Malayan Isles, New Holland and the Spicy Islands, (London, 1800), pp. 40-42 and note].
From the time of the Romans till 1764 these mines seem to have been entirely neglected ; till about this period, some copper was accidentally found here, which induced Messrs. Roe and Co. of Macclesfield, to take a lease of a part of Parys Mountain, from Sir Nicholas Bailey, father of Lord Uxbridge, which expired about nine years ago. Considerable sums of money had been spent by the company, in making levels to drain off the water, without any hopes of success; indeed they had nearly given up all farther attempts, but their agent was determined to make a final experiment in another part of the mountain. This succeeded, for in less than two days, ore of almost pure copper was found, and within two yards of the surface, which proved to be that vast lied since worked to such great advantage. The day of this discovery was the 2nd of March, 1763, and has ever since been observed as a festival by the miners. The Rev. Edward Hughes, who was owner of another part, in consequence of this success, began a like adventure, which has succeeded beyond his most sanguine expectations. The bed of ore in this mountain is of unknown extent, being in some places twenty-four yards in thickness, from which the proprietors are said to raise annually from six to 7,000 tons of mercantile ore, worth about three to six pounds a ton, which may enable the reader to form an idea of the wealth of these mines, when it is known that the Macclesfield Company have frequently on the bank at one time 14,000 tons, Mr. Hughes 30,000; which on an average of four pounds a ton, is worth to the proprietors, 176,000l. The ore is got from the mines partly by picking and partly by blasting; after this it is broken by hammers into small pieces, by women and children, armed with iron gloves. It is then piled in kilns of great length, and about six feet high, and set on fire in different places to undergo the process of roasting; for as the ore in its natural state contains a great quantity of sulphur, it is necessary that this should be separated from it by roasting, before it can be fluxed into copper. The sulphur sublimes to the top of the kiln, from whence it is conveyed by a flue connected with it to the sulphur chamber, a place built to receive it, where it condenses, and becomes the flower of sulphur sold in the shops. It is afterwards taken from hence, melted in large copper pans, and cast in moulds for sale.
After the ore has been thus roasted, which is rather a tedious operation, taking from three to ten months, according to the quantity in the furnaces, but generally from 300 to 1000 tons; it is taken to the slacking pits, places constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide, and two feet deep, to be worked and made merchantable. Besides this, the proprietors have an artificial method of producing copper by means of iron, a method, first discovered and practised in Germany, but discovered to us merely by accident. To enumerate the minerals this vast mountain contains, [note:] *From Parys Mountain springs a mineral water, which Turns the syrup of violets red, without any signs of chalybeate content. [end of note] and the various preparations for sale, would be too tedious for the generality of travellers; therefore, I will only, in a brief manner, insert the following as the principal and most vendible:

  1. The yellow sulphurated copper ore. 2. Native copper, in small quantities. 3. Sulphate of copper, both crystallized and in solution. 4. Sulphate of lead, containing a small portion of silver. 5. Black ore, containing copper with galena, calamine, and some silver. 6. Native sulphur.

The number of hands employed in these mines are upwards of 1000, who either work by the day at the rate of one shilling and two-pence, or else receive so much a ton for getting the ore. Exclusively of their pay, it is worthy of notice, that the mine companies support a great number of poor people by their voluntary donations, amounting to about 800l. yearly, besides employing a great number of children, of the aged and infirm, in light and easy work, which is an additional expence of 300l. a year, also paying surgeons and apothecaries bills of nearly 700l. making an annual deduction of about 1,800l. per annum, from the aggregate amount of their princely revenues.
It is no less remarkable that the Parys Mines have since 1768 increased in an astonishing degree the value of lands in this parish, from about 1,400l. to 5,000 a year and upwards; the number of houses from two hundred to upwards of one thousand, and the increase of population, in the short period of only thirty-two years, from nine hundred to eight thousand.
Cooke, George Alexander, Topographical and statistical description of the principality of Wales. part 1. North Wales, (London : Printed for … C. Cooke, by Brimmer and Co, [1805? or 1807]), pp. 49-53 based on Evans, Thomas, Cambrian Itinerary, (1801), pp. 364-368

22.7.1806
Paris mountain – a most curious, interesting, awful & infernal place, the crater of the ? with the sulphurous stench and thundering noise from the blasting of the rocks gives one a faint idea what Mount Vesuvius must be.
Bant, Millicent, Essex Record office D/DFr F2, ff. 12-13?

1807
The Paris mine ‘have brought into the hands of the proprietors many millions of pounds’ … but it has done ‘more harm than good.’
{the land was waste but since the sulphurous smoke has ceased, it has been cultivated, producing excellent crops}
‘if the ore becomes quite exhausted, the neighbourhood will return to its pristine state, farming will become the sole employ of the inhabitants, poverty, disease, drunkenness and all kinds of excess which are the usual attendants of trade will vanish and be no more.
It would not be understood that trade and commerce should cease from amongst men ; where it is moderately carried on it is a blessing and comfort and ought not to be neglected, as there is no living without it, except a savage one; but when made an idol and every exertion of body and mind practiced to extend and promote it; it becomes a curse as it is too evidently known from its present state in Britain where it is worshipped as a god, soul and body sacrificed at its shrine, that we have every reason to fear, it will at last be the downfall of the country.’
‘The sulphurous smoke blasted the verdure of the farms next to the mountain. To remedy the loss … the company were obliged to make good the rents, but now since the smoke has ceased, it hastens to return to its former fertile state.’
Williams, William, ‘Historical Memoirs of the ancient and present State of Mona or the Isle of Anglesey by a land surveyor [Mr Williams] 1807’, NLW MS 822C, ff. 68-71

26.8.1808
I went to Paris and Mona Mines. They surpass infinitely all description. The rude shapes of the rock and the stupendous chasm between them, with the varied tints caused by the water dissolving the ore and running down the rock for a scene grand in the extreme. The ore is hoisted up by windlass from the bottom in buckets. It is really curious to see the men stuck up and down the rocks and looking so insignificant among their own works. The ore is then got out of the mine and broken by women who have an iron glove on one hand to save it from the blow of the hammer. When thus prepared it is put in [illegible] and set fire to. The ore containing a great proportion of sulphur easily burns.
The kilns being covered at the top the smoke is received into flues and fixed into brimstone. This operation is called calcining. The ore is then smelted and purged of impurities till it comes to what they call 15lb? i.e. 3 parts in 4 of copper. It is then shipped from Amlwch to the Lancaster coast where it undergoes its last refinement. The ore they are at present getting is not rich and in consequence of a failure hundreds of hands are discharged.
Harrison, William, Journal, Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service, GHS/250, p. 18-20 [photographed]

1809 Paris Mountain
Observations on the state of Parys Mountain in the year 1809 (Tours in Wales by Thomas Pennant, edited by John Rhys, 1883, appendix XVII, pp. 395-400, and plan of the kilns pp. 401)

1809 Amlwch
Parys [Paris] Mountain, that inexhaustible mine of copper … {ownership, statics on tons of ore produced, the process of mining, (partly from Pennant), explosives, accidents}
These incessant explosions have given to the mountain an appearance the most grotesque and terrific. – The shagged arches and overhanging rocks seem to threaten annihilation to all who dare approach them, and the roofs of the works having at many places fallen in, present as rude a picture as imagination can well paint. Amidst this striking scenery, the miners may be observed engaged in their singular but perilous occupations; – and the sulphurous smell with which the atmosphere is freighted, would almost allow us to fancy ourselves in the “vestibule of Tartarus”.
“Hac inter Elysium nobis: at loeva malorum
Exercet poenas, et ad impia Tartarus mittit” (Virgil Aen)
While contemplating so unusual a sight, – loud blastings are heard  ever and anon, “rattling through the dark profound”. The report of the explosions – varies, – increased – and multiplied, amongst the passages and caverns of the abyss, complete the effect; and united with the scene below, excite the idea of a final consummation of all things, – of nature sinking into a universal wreck. –
{Description of the process of dressing the minerals}
Bruce, William Joseph, A Peregrination through part of the Counties of Somerset, Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire with a portion of South Wales and a tour round north Wales as performed in the Autumn of the Year 1810, to which is subjoined a brief History of the Principality of Wales … and a tour [of part of England] during the summer of 1809 (1810), NLW, mss. 19405 C, pp. 204-206

1.9.1810
Paris mountain. … Formerly there was no such thing as vegetation for a considerable distance from the mountain but since they have confined the smoke, the corn and grass begin to grow there again as usual. {detailed description of processing the ore}
2.9.1810
Amlwch … Roads hardened with slag … The church built by the Paris Company … Re chapels in Amlwch
3.9.1810
Accompanied Dr McKulloch to the copperas and Alum works at the Paris Mountain and thence on to Beaumaris … Dined with Dr Griffiths.
10.9.1810
to Great Orme’s head by ferry
Llandudno church … Copper works belonging to Mr Mills and Mr Lloyd
The workmen here earn better wages than at Paris mountain 2 shillings per day above ground, the same for 6 hours in the mine – boys and girls will earn 10d or 11d per day. In Anglesey the wages are less by one fourth.
Amlwch, Copper mines [Mr Broughton’s Tour, suggested itinerary?]
Hue, Corbet (1769 – 1837), Journal of Corbet Hue, Fellow and Bursar of Jesus College, Oxford, ‘Journal of a Tour through N W[ales], 17th July, 1810’, NLW MSS 23218B, pp. 77-80, 92-93, p. 189

1811
Parys mountain. ‘a guide who was intelligent and civil showed us various parts of this wonderful and terrific mine. …it amazes me think how men can live in such dark and gloomy caverns and be in such apparent health as they appeared to be in. We saw the process of blasting a rock, which is wonderful, the whole is a most terrific circumstance and we were amply repaid for the dreary and rugged ride we had. After passing some hours in the examination of this curious mountain, we….
Anon, (A lady), Diary of a driving tour of North Wales in the months of July and August 1811Cardiff Central Library, Ms1.405,29th July, 1811

24.8.1812 Abergele
St George (Mr Hughe’s house, proprietor of Paris Mines, Anglesey)
Hawker, Joseph, ‘Tour of Josh Hawker and Elizabeth his wife through north Wales, 1812’, NLW add MS64B, pp. p. 59-60

1813 (pre)
Paris mines
Pugh, Edward (1761-1813) Cambria Depicta: A Tour Through North Wales illustrated with Picturesque Views, By a Nature Artist, (London 1816), p. 45-47 [Edward Pugh was a Welshman, native of Ruthin]

16.10.1813
Paris mountains – {some work still going on, but not so much as previously}
Parke, T.J., and Parke, B., Journal of Tour of North Wales,1813, Northumberland Record Office ZRI/31/2/7 [Ridley (of Blagdon) papers], p. 60

1815
next day to Amlwch, smelting houses, vitriol works, Pary’s and Mona mines. ‘The excavations are magnificent, the rocks forming the most picturesque appearances, … The appearance of the surrounding country is particularly disgusting, not a blade of any sort of vegetation flourishes on the mountain, and the streams are so tinged with mineral as to present a very unhealthy aspect.
Cooke, Phillip Davies, ‘Tour through north Wales commencing from Downing, Flintshire, July 26, 1815’, National Library of Wales, mss. 17132A, pp. 358-357

1818
The gentlemen were absent two days exploring the Parys mine, an immense quarry of copper stone which a great income annually to the owners of it, Lord Anglesey & Col. Hughes.
Alderson, Harriet, (Accompanied Lady Fitzherbert of Tissington, Staffs?), Journal of a tour from Aston to Beaumaris in September 1818, Gwynedd Record Office, XM/2600; Williams, Peter Howell, Harriet Alderson: Sketch of a Tour From Aston to Beaumaris, 1818, Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, 1993, pp. 39-53 [this contains a number of quotations from the diary which do not correspond with the diary itself]

1819 (about)
Pary’s Mountain that inexhaustible mine of copper, a mine of wealth to all concerned in it. The principals are the Marquis of Anglesea and the Rev. Mr Hughes. This vast natural acervation of mineral measure a mile in length, and half a mile over. Its appearance is waste, wild and barren in the extreme; not a vestige of green is seen on its parched and sacrificed surface, all vegetation being precluded by the sulphurous fumes which arise from the roasting heaps and smelting houses, and extending their destructive effects for miles around.
Stringer, Dr, Welsh Excursions Through the Greater Part of South and North Wales, On the Plan of Irish Extracts and Scottish Descriptions, The European Magazine and London Review, Vol 79, (1821), pp. 134-138

28.7.1819
Boat along the Menai straits to Amlwch
we were rapidly approaching the copper works for which this place and indeed the whole island, is famous. The country before us appeared brown and barren and the roads were mended with slag.
{Shown around the works by Captain Irewick … }
Anglesey copper works
‘free from strong smell of sulphurous acid’
29.7.1819 (Thursday)
{Had intended to get a boat to Liverpool, but wind was easterly so they walked.
need to reuse water and collect pure water for the steam engine
Mr Leaman, Cornish manager of the works
Description of ore breakers – cloth over mouths, iron tubes on fingers.
They dressed themselves in miner’s clothes, were given a candle and went deep into the mine – full description.
To Parys Mountain
Old ore heaps searched for missed ore by children.}
Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
Dafydd Tomos, Michael Faraday in Wales : including Faraday’s journal of his tour through Wales in 1819 [1972] [with extensive notes and brief accounts of later visits to Wales]. pp. 77-89; Original manuscripts in the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, London, Common Place Book 2 for 19 July 1819, UK0108 SC MSS 002/1/2

13.10.1819
Parys and Mona Copper mines … we inspected the whole of the mines and saw the ore in its different states. The beautiful ore called Peacock Copper is formed by water running over iron, in its way down the mine, which becoming impregnated with iron, turns the copper all kinds of colours. We collected specimens of all the various minerals that are found here, Lead, White Lead, Zinc, Sulphur, etc. Numbers of Boys assembled round us with handful to sell. The copper ore is got from the rock, partly by picking, partly by blasting, it is then broken with hammers, into small pieces, by women and children, with iron gloves on their left hands, and their mouths and noses covered over, to prevent them from inhaling the injurious effluvia, that comes from copper – After this operation it is piled in kilns of great length, and about six feet high, where it is set on fire, in different places, to undergo the process of roasting, for as the ore in its natural state, contains a very great quantity of sulphur it is necessary that this should be separated (which can only be done by means of fire) before it is fluxed into copper, The sulphur goes off in the form of vapour, and is conveyed by means of a flue, connected with the kilns, to the Sulphur chambers, places where it sublimes, and becomes the flower of the sulphur, of the shops.
It is afterwards taken from hence, melted in large copper pans, and cast into moulds for sale. After the ore has been thus roasted, it is taken to the slacking pits, (places constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide, and two deep), to be washed and merchantable. By the process of roasting, and washing, though the ore is reduced in quantity, it is considerably improved in quality. And the water is so richly impregnated with copper, which is dissolved by the acid quality of the sulphur, that by means of old iron immersed in it, (according to the German method), it produces quantities of fine copper, precipitated from the water. The proprietors also turn the water drawn from the beds of copper, (which is highly impregnated) through rectangular pits, similar to those used in the above process. These are each about thirty feet long twelve broad, and two deep. Any kind of iron, either old or new is used. The iron becomes dissolved by the acid, and is suspended by the water, whilst the copper is precipitated. Care is taken to turn the iron every day, in order to shake off the incrustation of copper, formed upon it, and this is continued till the iron is perfectly dissolved. The workmen then drain off the water, and rake together the ore, in the form of mud, which when it is become by drying the consistency of softish paste, they bake it in ovens, constructed for the purpose. After this process, it is exported with the other ore to Ravenhead or Swansea. The manner of preparing for the blasting  of the ore, is by a hole being bored in the rock, about the diameter of a very wide gun barrel and the depth in proportion to the quantity of matter that is to be thrown up. At the bottom is lodged the gunpowder, and the man then taking a thin iron rod, tapering to a point, and about two feet in length, he places it perpendicularly in the middle of the hole and fills it up on all sides, with stones, clay etc. ramming this hard down, by means of an iron, projecting at the bottom, with a nick in it, that it may pass perfectly round the rod. When this is prepared, the rod is taken out, and a straw, filled with gun powder is substituted, a match is then put to it, that will burn so long, before it communicated the fire to the powder, as to allow all the workmen within reach, to escape into different retreats, from the danger attendant on the explosion. Several blasts are generally ready at the same time, and notice is given to the workmen to run into shelter, by a cry of fire in Welsh. We quitted this fine work of nature and art with sensations of pleasure and admiration.
‘Tours through Part of North Wales in 1817 and 1819 by Captain and Mrs Henry Hanmer’, NLW, ms. 23996C, pp. 69-73

1821
Took sometime to find someone who could show them the mines and speak English. spent 2 hours around the quarries. ‘The excavations are certainly very great, but to one in search of the picturesque like Dr Lythan? they present nothing worthy of comparison with Mr Pennant’s slate quarries. A peep through a hole onto a tremendous subterranean cavern inspires some awe; near to the said hole is a shaft which leads to the cavern’: {the guide told them} it was ?????and safe to go down.” {by rope ladder}
{Candles provided to an} ‘abyss beneath, ready to swallow him.’
{More about the fear of climbing down. They did not proceed down the cavern. … Copper ore is heated in kilns for 8-9 months, sulphur is extracted to make sticks or candles of brimstone. More on the chemistry of extraction. Mines belong to the Marquis of Anglesey and Col Hughes. 400 men employed and about the same number in other contiguous mines.}
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office 308/41/2, vol. 2, pp. 5, 9-16 [The compiler is anonymous, but was possibly one of the Yonge /Younge family of Puslinch]

[19.8.1824]
Breakfasted early and left at 7 for Parys [Paris] Mountain. The day very hot. The grandeur and magnificence of this place beggars description, and it must be seen to be felt and understood. Tremendous rocks and caverns full of ore which they were blasting in different places and which with the voices of the men in the interior of the mountain re-echoed beautifully. The whole place seemed alive, men in groups at work all over the place, some 150 feet above above [sic] our heads on the edge of frightful chasms, others suspended in the air in Buckets, strung by ropes over the precipices – some at work midway up the mountain and throwing the stones down with a tremendous crash to the bottom. Accidents frequently occur. They all looked healthy and cheerful. We staid 2 hours, and were often in precarious situations I talked to them constantly in Welsh. One man told me that he had a sister in Scotland taking me for a scotchwoman from my Plaid. They burn nothing but common candles in the mines …  The women break the ore into small pieces with iron gloves. There were 80 at this work. There were a great many old kettles and pieces of old iron soaking in pools they told me they were left in the copper water three months when they became copper and were melted down with the rest. There were a great many fine looking boys with good countenances and healthy complexions who followed us about with minerals – we all took some and they had a sum of money divided between them. The ground about the mine looks all covered with spangles. The copper smelt a little despicable. Vegetation is entirely destroyed by the effluvia of the copper to considerable distance. I purposely allowed the party to ascend the mountain without me as I was anxious to get all the information I could. My Welsh was very useful to me and occasionally to all the party. I felt very giddy in ascending the mountain and in one dangerous spot I thought I should have fallen. I was frightened being alone, but Mr ????? very kindly came to me before I was quite up. The smell of the sulphur from the smelting house on the top was very painful and it made us all feel as if we had sore throats. Water is very scarce in the neighbourhood.
We walked to Amlwch when the carriages were gone before us. Our dinner at Amlwch consisted of mutton chops, fine fried ham and eggs, and delicious cheese and bread and butter. Excellent Bristol Porter. We all helped to cook and carry the dinner in. The people the civillest in the world. A very nice girl waited on us and she gave us some cups and saucers made of sulphur which were so brittle that we broke most of them.
Pencil sketch of the quarry with a projecting platform on one side and a winch on the other.
A Journal of a tour through North Wales, by members of the Hawarden Castle family and written by ‘M. Williams’ (a woman), ‘copied from my notes and finished 3.11.1824’. Illustrated with numerous colour- washed pencil sketches. Aug. 16-21 1824; NLW Glynne of Hawarden 56 [no page numbers].

9.8.1828
I have had a bad night, a high fever, bad weather, and rough roads. The latter misery I incurred by choosing to visit the celebrated ‘Paris mines’ in the Isle of Anglesey. This island is the complete reverse of Wales; almost entirely flat – no trees, not even a thicket or hedge – only field after field. The copper-mines on the coast are, however, interesting. My arrival having been announced by Colonel H , I was received with firing of cannon, which resounded wildly from the caves beneath. I collected several beautiful specimens of the splendid and many-coloured ore: the lumps are broken small, thrown into heaps, and set on fire like alum ore, and these heaps left to burn for nine months: the smoke is in part caught, and forms sulphur. It is curious to the uninitiated, that during this nine months’ burning, which expels all the sulphur by the force of the chemical affinity created by the fire, the pure copper, which had before been distributed over the whole mass, is concentrated, and forms a little compact lump in the middle, like a kernel in a nutshell. After the burning, the copper, like alum again, is washed; and the water used for the purpose is caught in little pools: the deposit in these, contains from twenty-five to forty per cent, of copper; and the remaining water is still so strongly impregnated, that an iron key held in it, in a few seconds assumes a brilliant copper colour.
The ore is then repeatedly smelted, and at last refined; after which it is formed into square blocks, of a hundred pounds weight, for sale; or pressed by mills into sheets for sheathing vessels. A singular circumstance is observable at the founding, which is a pretty sight. The whole mass flows into a sand-bed or matrix, divided into eight or ten compartments, like an eating-trough for several animals: the divisions do not quite reach the height of the exterior edge; so that the liquid copper, which flows in at one end, as soon as the plug is drawn out must fill the first compartment before it reaches the second, and so on. Now the strange thing is, that all the pure copper which was contained in the furnace remains in this first compartment, – the others are filled with slag, which is only used for making roads. The reason is this; – the copper ore contains a portion of iron, which is magnetically affected: this holds the copper together, and forces it to flow out first. Now as they know pretty accurately, by experience, what proportion of pure copper any given mass of ore will contain, the size of these compartments is regulated so as – exactly to contain it. The manager, a clever man, who spoke half Welsh half English, told me that he had first invented this manner of founding, which spared much trouble, and that he had taken out a patent for it. The advantages which arise from it are obvious; since without these divisions or compartments, the copper, even if it flowed out first, must afterwards have spread itself over the whole mass. The Russians, who in matters of trade and manufacture suffer nothing to pass neglected, soon sent a traveller hither to make himself master of the process. It was not in the slightest degree concealed from him; – indeed it is but justice to say that the manner? of all commercial and manufacturing establishments in England generally very liberal.
Prince Puckler-Muskau, Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years 1828 & 1829: (London 1832), also (Philadelphia 1833), pp. 331-322

30.9.1830
To Amlwch … Got a glimpse of the great copper mines before dark
{List of geological strata}
1.10.1830 Friday
‘searched for serpentine near Amlwch … nobody in Amlwch who sells specimens’
Paris Mountain
Forbes, J.D., & Forbes, Charles, ‘Notes on a tour to the English Lakes and Wales with Charles, 1830’, University of St Andrews Library, Deposit M, Box no 1.9, pp. 41-43

4.9.1830
Gave [religious] tracts away … took a new carriage for the Paris mountains.
We met with a Welsh man who tried to tell us as much as he could but poor man he could hardly speak English and therefore we could not make much out. He showed us the places where the old iron is put which loosing its proper character as iron the copper adheres to it. We also saw the veins of copper in the river? in its raw state. From there we proceeded to Alma? [Amlwch?] two miles further … to Mr Trevie? to whom Miss Clarke gave us a letter of recommendation … he showed us the different process of smelting 16? times the copper is passed through the different furnaces. We returned to Morca? to dinner and returned home to tea.
Rushout, Anne, Hon (1768-1849), diary, University of London (Senate House Library) MS682/3, volume for 1830, p. 51

1832
24.8.1832
Visited the Paris Mountain now nearly extinct nearly all the best copper being gone – the main profit now very small is from the water which strongly impregnated with copper is collected in large
shallow ponds with quantities of old iron of any description thrown in to collect the copper. … about 600 men are still employed there …
{Brief history of the site, Roman workings found}
{To Amlwch – smelting houses} about 80 men were at work …
Diary of Edward John Littleton (1791–1863), Staffordshire Record Office MS D/260/M/F/5/26/8, pp. 121-140, pp. 135-138

1839
AMLWCH
Near the Lake, is a market-town, containing 6285 inhabitants, about a mile from the Parys mountain. The church dedicated to Elaeth, a saint of the British calendar, is a neat modern structure. The town itself is a black and dismal place, owing to the scoria of the metal, of which all the roads are formed. On the exterior of the town the country is a scene of barrenness and desolation. The sulphureous fumes from the mine have entirely destroyed the vegetation for a considerable space around, and little else than earth and rock are to be seen even within a short distance of Amlwch. On the Parys mountain there is not even a single moss or lichen to be found.
PARYS COPPER MINES.
These far-famed mines are now but the wreck of what they formerly were; the veins of ore being so nearly exhausted, that not more than 300 persons are employed in working them. These mines some few years back afforded a vast income to the proprietors, but now they are a source of very little profit, the receipts scarcely more than covering the disbursements. Workmen are now trying to discover other veins, but of this the superintendent seemed to entertain very slight hopes.
The ore is obtained partly by picking and partly by blasting. It is then broken by hammers into small pieces by women and children armed with iron gloves. After this operation it is piled in kilns of great length and about six feet high, where it is set on fire in different places to undergo the process of roasting; for as the ore in its natural state contains a great quantity of sulphur, it is necessary that this should be separated (which can only be done by means of fire) before it is fluxed into copper. The sulphur passes off in the form of vapour, and is conveyed by a flue, connected with the kiln, to the sulphur chamber, a place built to receive it, where it sublimes and becomes flower of sulphur. It is afterwards taken from hence, melted in large copper pans, and cast in moulds for sale.
After the ore has been thus roasted, which is rather a tedious operation, occupying from three to ten months, according to the quantity in the furnaces, it is taken to the slacking pits, places constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide and two deep, to be washed and made merchantable.
By the processes of roasting and washing, though the ore is much reduced in quantity, it is considerably improved in quality; and the water is so richly impregnated with copper, which is dissolved by the acid quality of the sulphur, that by means of old iron immersed in it, according to the German method, it produces a great quantity of fine copper.
The proprietors also turn the water drawn from the beds of copper, which is highly impregnated, through rectangular pits similar to those used in the above process. These are each about thirty feet long, twelve broad and two deep. Any kind of iron, either old or new, is used, but in general, for the sake of convenience, they procure small plates of cast iron. The iron becomes dissolved by the acid, and is suspended in the water, whilst the copper is precipitated. Care is taken to turn the iron every day, in order to shake off the incrustation of copper formed upon it, and this is continued till the iron is perfectly dissolved. The workmen then drain off the water, and rake together the ore in the form of mud, which when it is become, by drying, of the consistency of a softish paste, they bake in ovens constructed for the purpose. After undergoing this process, it is conveyed with the other ore to the smelting-houses. One ton of iron thus immersed produces nearly two tons of copper mud, each of which, when melted, will yield sixteen hundred weight of copper; and this sells at a considerably higher price than the copper which is fluxed from the ore.
Bingley, W., Rev, (1774-1823) (3rd edition) [but with new title]
Excursions in North Wales including Aberystwith and the Devil’s Bridge, intended as a guide to Tourists by the late Rev W Bingley. Third edition with corrections and additions made during Excursions in the year 1838 by his son W.R. Bingley B.A. of Trinity College, Oxford, with a … map by J. and C. Walker, (London, 1839), pp. 71-73

23.7.1841
Parys [Paris] mountain is only 2 miles from Amlwch and has been completely turned inside out in seeking the copper. There are two mines, one on each side but open like a quarry. The principal one belongs to, and is worked by the Marquis: while the other belongs to the Marquis in part, and in part to Lord Dinorben, who, or whose father, hence extracting his fortune and exhausting his share. It is curious to view the caves excavated at the foot of a dark and dismal shaft, where the quarry men suspended on a slender stage, works out with his axe or with a more effectual explosion, the masses of ore incorporated with an indurated limestone and chert. The fragments are raised to the surface  in buckets worked by a compensating pully, put into motion by a horse. These pieces are again broken by women wearing iron finger cases. In some parts the sulphur predominates, and is extracted by a clumsy and tedious process. The impregnated rock is laid in a heap of 200 or 300 tons each, on the top of a long narrow range of furnaces, with a thin substratum of coal. It is then left to smoke and smoulder away for a whole year until the sulphur is sublimed. Besides the copper ore, which yields 7 or 8 p. ton, there is also a large quantity collected from iron placed in tanks containing copper water: this yields 3 ?per ton. Again sulphur is procured, and vitriol and sulphate of soda is manufactured, so that the concern is extremely lucrative. In the Mona mine 300 men are employed and in the other 215, who seldom earn more than 1/6 per day. But this is nearly three times as much as the wages of the agricultural labourers, who are consequently all women.’
Anon, ‘Welsh Journal, 1841’ NLW MS 748B, pp. 48, 51-54

1851
Copper.—The extraction and manufacture of this valuable metal constitute one of the most important and lucrative branches of Welsh industry. It first rose into consequence about the middle of the last century, and numerous works are now scattered over the principality, calling into use a large amount of capital, and giving employment to many thousands of hands. Parys mountain, in Anglesey, is said to consist wholly of copper, in some one or other of its forms. The whole of the district around it is also exceedingly rich. The Mona and Parys mines, which were begun to be worked about 1762 with comparatively little success, now yield immense wealth to their proprietors; and in consequence of the recent prosperity of the works, the neighbouring town of Amlwch, which formerly was nothing but an insignificant fishing station with some half a dozen houses, has rapidly grown into a large and flourishing place. At one time the mines gave employment to fifteen hundred workmen, and the stock of ore at a given time has been as great as thirty thousand tons at the Mona, and fifteen thousand tons at the Parys mine. But for the last few years, these celebrated mines have been on the decline; the great mass of ore is much diminished, and the present limited operations are guided by partial and uncertain indications in the slate or matrix.
A curious circumstance occurred in the history of these mines. The excavations, which occasionally penetrated to a depth of fifty fathoms, gradually became the reservoirs of large bodies of water. This water was found to hold, in solution, a portion of sulphate of copper, which was separated by draining off the water in tanks, and filling them with cast-iron plates, upon which the copper became gradually deposited in large quantities. The precipitation of copper on so vast a scale gave rise to a vulgar impression, which long prevailed in popular belief, that the iron was converted into copper by the action of this wonderful water.
It is supposed that the Parys mountain was anciently the scene of enterprize in mining and smelting. Long before the present mines were discovered, a collection of waters upon the summit of the mountain was known by the name of the Mine Pools. Additional confirmation was afforded to this interesting surmise by the discovery, also anterior to the opening of the modern mines, of a hearth for smelting lead, some pieces of lead and charcoal, and a piece of copper weighing about fifty pounds.
Marbles of a green colour are found in Anglesey. Ochre (a painter’s term for a native mixture of alumina, silica, and oxide of iron), malachite, native vitriol, asbestus, &c, are also included among the mineral productions of North Wales. pp. 23-24
Amlwch.
In 1776 Amlwch, which is situated on the coast, was a village or hamlet, comprising only six houses; but as the works of the Parys Mountain increased, this place also augmented to the size of a market town. The return made to government in 1801 stated the number of houses to be 1025, and the population as 4977. In 1841 the population was 6217. In the space of 160 years the number of births in this parish increased gradually from 13 to 199 per annum. In connection with Beaumaris, Holyhead, and Llangefni, it returns one member to parliament. A harbour, cut out of slate rock, capable of admitting thirty vessels of two hundred tons burden, has been constructed. A small steamer sails weekly from Liverpool to this place and Holyhead. The coast scenery in this district is very fine. The church is dedicated to St. Eleath, a royal bard and saint, one of whose compositions is in the Myvyrian or Welsh archaeology. There is only one chapel of ease annexed to the curacy. There were formerly two others, but they have been in ruins many years. Of one of these the foundation of the church and part of the churchyard wall are still to be seen.
The Parys Mountain is two miles south of Amlwch. Marvellous stories have been told of the Californian properties of this table-land. Much money has doubtless been dug out of it, and no small sum has been lost in ventures and experiments upon it. Its mineral treasures were discovered by one of those singular instances of patient perseverance which seem recorded for the purpose of encouraging ” the pursuit of wealth under difficulties.” In 1765 a Scotchman, named Eraser, visited the spot in search of ores, and gave encouragement to the adventurers. Though he discovered copper ore by sinking shafts in the mountain, he was discouraged from proceeding by the influx of water. Sir N. Bayley, grandfather of the Marquis of Anglesey, who had leased the lead-mines at Penrhyn-du, in Caernarvonshire, to the Macclesfield Company, bound them to make a spirited effort to work the Parys mine. This they did, but with so little success, that, after some time the company sent positive orders to their agent to discontinue his operations and discharge the miners. The agent, however, fortunately disobeyed the injunction; and, as a last attempt, collected all his mining force to one spot, where he sank a shaft, and within seven feet of the surface discovered a body of ore, which was worked with great success for many years. This lucky event happened on the 2d March 1768, and St. Chad has ever since been deeply venerated by the miners in Anglesey. In 1775 the Rey. Edward Hughes, father of the present Lord Dinorben, who was joint proprietor with Sir N. Bayley of another part of the Parys Mountain, now called Parys Mine, made a discovery equally great. This mine soon afterwards became the joint property of the Earl of Uxbridge and the Rev. Edward Hughes, and has descended to the Marquis of Anglesey and Lord Dinorben. The mines flourished greatly until 1800; but the Mona mines became unprofitable after that period, and were let to a new company in 1814, when they again, by farther sinking and good management, became most productive. The Parys mines also fell off greatly. The entire mines are now, however, worked to very considerable advantage. They took their name from a Robert Parys, Chamberlain of North Wales in the reign of Henry IV. There is a Robert Paris, the younger, named as a commissioner in an inquisition in the eighth year of Henry IV., to fine the insurgents in the cause of Owen Glyndwr. The excavations of these mines are immense, as may be inferred from the fact of there having been at one time a stock of 44,000 tons of ore lying on the surface ; and, at the most flourishing period, it is computed that 80,000 tons of ore were extracted annually from those celebrated mines, which at that time commanded the markets of the world. The open excavations worthy of notice are the ” Hill Side” and the ” Open Cast.” “The mineral is principally a sulphate of copper. The bed of ore in this mountain was in some places 24 yards thick; and in the Mona mine it has been 100 yards broad; occasionally in this lode above the copper ore, and not more than 1 yard beneath the common soil, is a bed of yellow saponaceous clay, 1 to 4 yards thick, containing lead ore, and yielding from 60 to 100 lbs. weight of lead, and 57 oz. of silver, from a ton.” At one period the profits were £300,000 per annum, and the quantity of copper produced equalled, it is said, the whole produce of Cornwall. In 1830, 16,000 tons of ore were raised. At the bottom of the “Open Cast” are several shafts, the deepest of which, the Engine Shaft, is 120 yards. There are other deeper shafts in the Mona mine, namely, the Pearl Shaft, which is upwards of 200 yards in depth, with an engine of forty horse power. A topographist, describing the Mona mines, twenty years ago, says,—” Standing on the top of the mountain, by the edge of the excavation, the spectator beholds an awful range of huge caverns, profound hollows, stupendous arches, gloomy passages, and enormous masses of rocks, having a most horrific appearance. Amid this striking scenery the miners may be observed engaged in their curious but perilous occupation. Some sticking to the sides of the rock, or seated on the narrow ledge of precipices which gape beneath them, to the depth of one or two hundred feet, tearing the ore from the mountains, and breaking it into small masses; others boring the rock in order to blast it; while a third party are literally hanging over the abyss below them, drawing up and lowering down the ore buckets, supported only by a frame of woodwork, which quivers, like an aspen leaf, with the operation carrying on upon it. Ever and anon loud explosions are heard, rattling through the dark profound, occasioned by the discharge of the gunpowder used for the separation of the ore from the mountain. The ore obtained by this means is broken into lumps, weighing from one to two pounds, and that of superior quality is shipped in this state for Liverpool and Swansea in South Wales, to be smelted at the works near the latter town, or at those at Ravenhead, near Prescot, in Lancashire. The poorer sort is broken into smaller pieces by women and children, armed with iron gloves and hammers. It is then piled into a kiln (similar to those in which lime is burned), of great length, and about six feet high, containing from two or three hundred to as many thousand tons of ore, and having been covered over tightly and carefully, is set on fire. During this ignition, which continues for three, four, five, or six months, (according to the quantity roasted), the sulphate, combined with the ore, sublimes to the top of the kiln, and is conveyed by a flue connected with it to a receptacle called the sulphur chamber, from whence it is afterwards taken, purified, melted, cast into rolls, and sent to London. Having undergone the process of roasting, the ore is taken to the ‘slacking pit,’ constructed of stone, about six yards long, five wide, and eighteen inches or two feet deep. Here it continues two or three days, exposed to the action of a stream that runs through the place. From hence it is carried to ‘ the puddle,’ a stagnant pool similar to that made use of in purifying lead ore, and afterwards thrown into a sieve of one mesh to the square inch. Such as remains in the machine is reduced to coarse powder, and carried again to ‘the puddle.’ What passes through the sieve is thrown into another of five meshes to the inch. Much of it is by this time too small to be retained by the sieve, and consequently escapes through it. This is once more taken to ‘ the puddle,’ and being drawn twice through the water, it is in a proper state to be smelted.
The water of the slacking-pits and puddles becoming, by these processes, strongly impregnated with mineral particles, is conducted by proper channels into reservoirs formed in the neighbourhood. In these, plates of cast-iron, two or three feet long, between one and two broad, and three-quarters of an inch in thickness, are immersed vertically, and a wonderful chemical process, amounting apparently to a transmutation of metals, in a short time takes place. The acid of the copperas seizes upon, or enters into combination with, the iron, and the copper which held it in solution drops to the bottom, in the form or appearance of a rust-coloured sediment. A man or boy, with an instrument like a garden hoe, scrapes the copper from the plates or pieces of iron, every day, until the whole of the iron is consumed. The precipitate is then raked out, and, being dried in a kiln, becomes equal in value to native copper. This singular process also produces another profit: the acid of the copperas, in its union with the iron, reducing the latter to a calx, from which is made a considerable quantity of yellow and red ochre, exported to the London and Liverpool markets.”
The precipitation of copper by means of iron, from its solution in waters acidulated with sulphuric acid, or rather from that acid diluted with water, has long been known, and was formerly considered as the actual transmutation of the iron into copper. Hutchinson speaks of this transmutation having been attempted as early as 1571, in Dorsetshire; but, though the process was simple, it does not appear that for some years any experiment satisfactorily succeeded in the Parys mines. Parry, in his comprehensive little work, has the following paragraph showing the chemical process now adopted at the mines:—” The celebrated mineral waters of these mines are found to hold in solution a great portion of sulphate of copper, which is separated in the following manner:—Extensive dams are created, to contain the water, in which are ranges of square pits filled up with iron and tin clippings, imported from all parts. The water is then made to flow from the dams, where several old miners are kept employed in agitating the remnants of iron. A slow and continued action takes place, by which the iron is gradually dissolved, leaving nearly an equal quantity of oxide of copper precipitated in its stead. The water is then run off, after having been reduced to a standard of seven or eight grains, into long shallow pools, when it is strongly impregnated with sulphate of iron. In these pools a precipitation of iron takes place, which, being collected and dried, is sold as yellow ochre, and generally used as the Venetian red.”
About six miles from the Parys mines there are some very beautiful varieties of red and green serpentine, in beds of great thickness, not exceeded in beauty and durability by the most costly marbles of Italy and the Pyrenees. pp. 146-150
Cathrall, William, Wanderings in North Wales : a road and railway guide-book, comprising curious and interesting historical information … (1851),

1867
Parys Mountain, in Anglesea, has been for ages celebrated for its copper ore. The produce of that mountain last year was 7857 tons of ore. Small quantities of copper are also raised in the counties of Carnarvon, Merioneth, Montgomery, Cardigan, and Brecknock. The total produce of the copper mines of Wales in the year 1864 was 9533 tons, estimated to contain 613 tons of pure copper, of the value of £61,300.
Rees, Thomas, Miscellaneous papers on subjects relating to Wales (London, 1867), p. 6

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