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Parys Mountain (Mynydd Parys)

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Free car park off the A5111, 23/4 miles south of Amlwch (SH 437905)

Ordnance Survey Map
OS Explorer 263 Anglesey East.

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Distance:  Up to you! See text. Date of Walk:  16 September 2018

Traffic light rating:    Green

(For explanation see My Walks page)


OK, so putting this destination down as a "walk" in the normal sense is a bit of a cheat perhaps. However, there is a trig. point at the summit so why not!

My reason for mentioning it is that it would be a great shame to visit Anglesey and not visit Parys Mountain. It is a wonder of human endeavor and vibrant colour, which results from the mineral content of the spoil heaps left behind from mining. If you can, visit late in the afternoon on a sunny day when the colours really stand out.

There are probably miles of tracks on the mountain, where you can wander freely. They are mostly wide and although there are some unprotected drops, common sense will prevent any accidents.

A potted history. Although copper ore has been mined here since the bronze age, in 1768, copper ore in abundance was found close to the surface on Parys Mountain. Copper was valuable in the 18th and early 19th centuries for cladding the wooden hulls of naval ships to deter shipworms and for manufacturing bronze cannons. This prompted large scale mining, to the extent that Anglesey became the World leader in copper production. The nearby town of Amlwch thrived and became known as the "Copper Kingdom". In that context, before visiting the mountain, it is well worth visiting the award winning Copper Kingdom Center on the quayside at Amlwch. Here you can find out about the history of the mountain and mining methods.

As well as the visible, indeed, "in your face" evidence of surface mining, there are miles of underground shafts, obviously not accessible but there is a detailed map of them in the remains of a windmill on the mountain, close to the trig. point. The windmill incidentally was used to supplement the steam engines pumping water out of the mine.

What I found most striking, apart from the colours was the knowledge that the huge "Great Opencast", a truly monumental hole, was created with little more than gunpowder, pick and shovel.

Production ceased early in the 20th century because cheaper copper was available elsewhere and it was no longer economic to mine here. However, there remain huge reserves of the metal, plus gold, silver and lead, just waiting for a market shift!

To whet your appetite, some photographs are below, in no particular order.

Lagoon near entrance

Parys Mountain colours

Parys Mountain

Parys Mountain

Trig. point and ruined windmill at Parys Mountain

Open cast pit at Parys Mountain

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.