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Some United Kingdom British Gold Rush History

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All details and information provided on this page is provided impartially, upon a basis of "in our opinion only"; and whereas we make no warranties (whether expressed or implied) in relation to its accuracy.

Gold Prospecting vs. Gold Mining

In General Terms:

Gold Prospecting is searching for gold deposits which may involve the use of gold panning to confirm that gold is present in test spots.

Gold Mining is both the extraction and removal of gold from it's location, with or without the use of gold panning.

Responsible Gold Panning & Prospecting In The UK

Be responsible in making sure you are fully aware of any land access, permitted, restricted or prohibited laws or guidelines in place and fully understand what equipment you are permitted to use. Responsible Gold Panning & Prospecting In The UK


It's believed that the extraction of gold started in or around the Bronze Age, with the washing of gold-bearing gravel in the River Cothi.

The earliest known British gold production started near the town of Pumsaint in Carmarthenshire, from the Dolaucothi gold deposit known as the Ogofau Gold Mine, a series of both surface and underground mines.

These mines are in fact the only recognised Roman gold mines in Britain, and activity continued until at least the third century AD.

In the 1840s at lead and copper mines in the Dolgellau region of Gwynedd in north-west Wales, tiny specks of gold in the lead ore were noticed.

Several mines were established in Dolgellau with the largest being the Clogau Gold Mine.

Between 1862 and 1911, this period of time became known as the 'gold rush' period within the Welsh mining industry, with as many as 10,000 prospectors coming to the area.

After the mine closed and reopened in 1989, small-scale extractions starting in 1992 and ceased in 1998 after becoming financially unviable to continue to mine.

There have been a number of other Welsh gold mines, for example a gold mine in Gwynfynydd.

A lot of Welsh gold has been incorporated in jewellery worn by the British Royal family, dating from 1911.


Near to Suisgill and the Kildonan burns at Baile an Or, in the Scottish Highlands a single gold nugget was found in 1818.

Fifty years later a local newspaper announced gold had been found at Kildonan. Permission by the Duke of Sutherland was given to Robert Nelson Gilchrist to pan a river in the Helsmdale River, as well as to prospect the nearby burns and river tributaries.

News of such was mentioned in a London newspaper, and within a few months 600 men had arrived at the Highland Glen to pan the burns.

This Gold Rush at the Northern Ensign became very popular with regular journalists on the ground reporting on the various stories from the diggings.

This gold rush finished by the end of 1869.

Northern Ireland

Has seen a modern gold rush, however not by hundreds of individuals prospecting, but some mining carried out at the Curraghinalt gold deposit, Omagh gold deposit (originally called Lack and then Cavanacaw), and a 30-mile gold trend has been uncovered at Clontibret in County Monaghan.


Some gold has been sourced from the tin streams in Devon and Cornwall, and fine crystalline gold hardly visible in the calcite veins within the Devon Limestone, was uncovered in the rocks off Hope's Nose, and levels of gold have been found in the South Crofty tin and copper mine in Cornwall of commercial value.

Nowadays, there is not a great deal of commercial gold mining in the United Kingdom, however there remains many recreational hobbyists, who gold pan around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland today.

So why not try it yourself!

All you need is a minimal amount of Gold Mining Equipment. Gold Panning And Mining Equipment UK Supplies On Sale Here.