The development of mining abroad - in particular the USA and Australia, led to a rapid decline in mining in the area.
The mines have had a considerable impact upon the landscape.
The older rocks have been subjected to enormous pressure, and earth movements have caused the layers or strata of rocks to fold.
In places, the rocks have split and into these 'faults' has flowed hot mineral rich groundwater which, over millions of years has deposited seams or 'lodes' of minerals rich in lead, silver and zinc.
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As well as the numerous spoil heaps and ruined mine buildings.
There are a number of lakes created to provide a head of water for the water wheels used to power the mine machinery.
Cwmystwyth has been important throughout history for its mining, and in medieval times, the land there was owned by the Cistercian monks of Strata Florida.
The first written records of mining in Ceredigion are in the form of a mining lease from Strata Florida Abbot Richard Talley dated 1535.