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Where to find Gold deposits in Great Britain.

Updated on June 12, 2013

Britain has always been an Island desired by others for it's abundance of riches. Whether it was the good quality farmland, the vast tracks of ancient woodland or the mineral wealth which lay below the surface of the green and pleasant land. We know that a succession of European peoples had attempted to secure the wealth of the British Isles over the years, this is evident in the rich multicultural society we see today. Romans, Normans, Vikings, Celt's and Saxon's have all attempted to claim the bounty of the lands. The one prize which is always held in high regard is Gold, it is a substance that is rare in the British Isles but has this always been the case? We know there are locations around the British Isles that still hold Gold, I have highlighted a few of them in previous articles such as.........

Could British Rivers and Streams still hold some precious Gold?
Could British Rivers and Streams still hold some precious Gold? | Source

Gold in other tongues


We know that Great Britain and the British Isles has many natural reserves of raw materials. Many of the resources which where once mined have ceased to be exploited on a commercial scale in recent years. This is due to a number of factors but mainly because the raw material can be mined elsewhere for a fraction of the cost.

Gold is a mineral that has always held value and if Britain had Goldmines then they would have continued to mine the Gold. Trying to find locations where Gold was mined in the past is quite a hard task, having looked into the etymology of place names I looked for places which may have had links to the mining of Gold. Having looked for the Norse, Roman, Saxon, Celtic and Norman words for Gold, I have so far found no links to any surviving British settlement. This leads me to believe there was probably no intensive permanent Gold mining sites in the English area of the British Isles. We know that Gold was mined by the Roman's in Wales and the people of Scotland had some small scale mines in the Cononish area near Tyndrum.

The most likely source of Gold material in the Iron Age for the British was probably standing deposits around the country, these deposits may have been found in limited locations throughout the British Isles. It would be available in small amounts for the Celtic British population to fashion into jewellery. Before the Roman invasion the British would have imported most of their Gold from Continental Europe.

The refined prize of Gold Bars!
The refined prize of Gold Bars!
British Isle Celtic Treasure including Silver and Gold items.
British Isle Celtic Treasure including Silver and Gold items. | Source

Looking at the British Isles on a Geological scale, it would seem the best area to find precious Gold is in the Western area's of the land. This is due to the type of rock that is prominent in the area, Gold will come up from the Earth's core and nestle in exposed and weathered ancient lava. The rule of thumb is that if there is quartz crystal exposed with a yellow tinge, then you have a reasonable chance of finding Gold. Area's in the United Kingdom which have this kind of Geological feature include Devon, Cornwall, Wales, Gloucestershire and Western Scotland.

Another location where Gold could have been acquired by our ancestors and by us today is by panning the Rivers and Streams. There should also be Gold in nearly all the River's and Streams in the British Isles and it is constantly been replenished by water eroding the rocks and river beds. The water cycle is partly responsible for the worlds sea water holding millions of tons of Gold particles beneath the waves.

As Gold is nearly Thirty times heavier than water it is often found on the bedrock of River beds. Another location worthy of investigation is the area surrounding the bottom of a waterfall, although there is an obvious danger from the force of the water. The surrounding area could hold a reasonable amount of gold bearing material though.

Gold Panning in the River's and Stream's of Great Britain could yield as much as $54 for one gram of Gold. Although like fishing there is no guarantee that you will get anything but there is more chance if your doing rather than dreaming. The dream of hitting the pay dirt is a desire which all of us would like to experience and with untapped reserves waiting to be discovered, there is a chance to emulate the Gold Rushes of America,Canada and Australia. It would be on a much smaller scale, but we are allowed to dream.


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