Snailbeach History


Roman Era
Several pigs of lead bearing Hadrian’s name found in the Snailbeach area.
1180 to 1185
Records of lead being sent to Gloucester Cathedral.
First written evidence of lead mining at Snailbeach.
1784 to 1862
Coal mining at Pontesford to provide coal for smelting and fuel for steam engines at Snailbeach.
Lead smelter built at Pontesford.
First steam engine at Snailbeach working Georges shaft.
Drainage level at 112 yards excavated to drain the mine.
1840 to 1850
Industrial revolution speeding up with increased demand for lead. Mine at its greatest production.
1830 to 1880

Most of the present building constructed during this period.
1852 to 1895
Snailbeach smelter built and in operation during this period.
Main line railway reached Minsterley.
1877 to 1995
Snailbeach District Railway, narrow gauge ran from Pontesbury to Snailbeach and also served nearby quarries
At Georges shaft, wire rope lowering miners down the mine broke and seven men killed.
Due to falling price of lead and increased cost of mining, pumping stopped and the mine flooded up to the 112 yard level.
1911 to 1955
Low level mining of Barytes continued in the upper levels.
1955 - 1994
All mining ceased and buildings were unused and fell in disrepair.
1993 to 1995
Site made safe by land reclamation work and building repair by Shropshire County Council.
Mine opened as Tourist Enterprise with a Visitor Centre in the Miners Dry and Shropshire Mines Trust managing the site.

A more detailed history can be found in our Education Pack or in our book “Snailbeach Lead Mine” See Publications