The Iron Age (or possibly Late Bronze Age) hillfort that once stood on Llanymynech Hill had ramparts enclosing an area of 57 hectares, making it one of the largest in Britain. In 1981, archaeological work found metal-working debris dating from the 4th century BC.
More recently, part of an Iron Age roundhouse has been discovered - beneath the 13th green on the golf course!
The area has a long history of copper and lead mining dating back to the Roman period. In fact, a hoard of 33 Roman coins dating from 30BC to 1612AD was found on top of Llanymynech Hill.
It is possible that the hillfort was where Caractacus had his last stand against the Romans in 49AD.
Llanymynech is famous for its limestone. It was used extensively as a fertiliser in the Middle Ages and as putty mortar by the Romans and Normans. The abundance of limestone at Llanymynech encouraged the building of canals, tramways and railways.
What is now known as the Montgomery Canal reached Llanymynech around 1786. The limestone would at first have been transported to the canal by horse and cart, and later by tramway - the first of which was constructed in 1806. The tramways at Llanymynech were known as self-acting balance or gravity inclines, meaning that as one full wagon descended the incline, an empty wagon was raised back up to the quarry. A drumhouse at the top housed a haulage cable on a drum and a braking mechanism which controlled the speed of the descending wagon.
The Cambrian Railway Llanfyllin Branch opened in 1863, taking much of the lime trade from the canal. By the end of the 19th century, the use of lime in the construction industry was in decline. There was also increased competition from Portland cement, which was both stronger and more water resistant. These undoubtedly contributed to the eventual closure of the limeworks in 1914.
For more Archaeological Information on this town including a map with interactive pointers please click the link: CPAT Maps