Squat, practical and imposing, the Clive Engine House is testament to when engineers were spark eyed rock stars, and their works huge and brazenly gargantuan. Built in 1862 in the Cornish style on land that belonged to the Right Honourable Robert Henry Clive, to house an enormous Cornish pumping engine, it kept the Talargoch Lead Mine free of water at depth, enabling ever more lead to be raised. It required enormous amounts of water to power the boilers, and to ensure a steady supply, a wooden aqueduct was built, along with a tunnel, bringing water from the River Ffyddion east of Dyserth. The coal came from the Point of Ayr Colliery which survived the mining of lead here by over 100 years. When the mine closed in 1884, the engine was sold and removed to Westminster Colliery in the Moss Valley at Wrexham where it faithfully kept the mines free of flood until 1925 and the closure of the mine. It was then sold for scrap.
Beside the Clive Engine House is the original 1842-45 Clive Shaft, sunk for the original hydraulic pumping engine, which was built at John Taylor’s iron foundry in Rhydymwyn. It was housed underground and was supplied its water from the River Ffyddion with a series of leets and irons pipes, a small reservoir being constructed above Lletty Mwyn. There were certainly workings here before that. In 2012, funding was secured to restore the Engine House after 120 years of slow decay, and a splendid job has been done, gating and fencing the entrance to prevent all but the most dedicated of knuckle dragging, ne’er-do-wells, with their cheap cider and disposable lighters.