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The Meadow Shaft Engine House

Owen Jones first bought land at Minera in the 17th century. He died in 1659 and bequeathed his property, then just poor farmland, to the city companies of Chester to look after the poor. The companies' officials did well out of the bequest. The poor, however, did not.

The Minera Lead Mines visitor centre, the Meadow Shaft Engine House and the dressing floors are all on the City Lands. The engine house is also known as the City Engine House. The local pub is the City Arms.

The mine became a success story in the 18th century. Between 1761 and 1781, the city companies as owners of the mineral rights received nearly £13,000 in royalties.

The mine flourished again after 1849. The Minera Mining Company invested in a new pumping engine in 1857. A year later they installed a new winding engine to raise the lead ore and to work the mechanical ore crusher. Soon after the company built new ore bins, dressing floors for sorting the lead from the waste and the ore house for drying, weighing and sampling the lead ready for sale. All this equipment enabled miners to mine ore from the deepest veins in Minera, up to 400 metres below the surface.

In 1884 a new dressing floor was opened at Roy's Shaft with all the latest machinery. The Meadow Shaft site became a dumping ground. Gradually the dressing floors were buried. Only the actual Meadow Shaft remained in use and it closed in 1914.

Changing the wheel c1908
© Denbighshire Record Office

The Meadow Shaft engine house c1900. The pumping engine inside the Meadow Shaft engine house: Cornish make, 40inch cylinder, 9ft stroke, 8ft in the pit, going three strokes a minute. 15 ton balance box. Raised water 162 yards up the shaft in a four bucket life. The engine stopped work in 1909.
© Denbighshire Record Office