Forestry estate complete with its own historic gold mine on sale for £3.75million

A forestry estate complete with its own historic gold mine has gone on the market for £3.7million.

Wine expert Hugh Johnson’s family has owned Cae Gwian Forestry Estate at Bontddu, Wales, for three decades, but now he has instructed agents Tustins to put it up for sale.

The 500 acres of land is rated one of the best medium-sized forests in Wales, also featuring a disused 19th-century gold and copper mine, Wales Online reports.

The mine office building has been rebuilt by Mr Johnson, 83, who has personally overseen the estate’s development.

Located on the Afon Mawddach estuary in Snowdonia National Park, it has won Royal Welsh awards for its commercial management.

Mr Johnson told North Wales Live : “In the centre are the remains of a 19th century goldmine (though it produced more copper than gold).

“Its water supply, the Afon Dwynant, flows through the heart of the property, while the leat that turned the water wheel of the mine supplies water to four old stone cottages scattered through the trees.

“We rebuilt the old mine office building with its splendid fireplace as our shelter and picnic place.

“We also made two large ponds; the higher one our tranquil swimming place in the hills. Cae Gwian has not only proved a good investment; it has been our family resort for a generation.”

The mine was opened during the gold rush of the mid-19th century. Shafts were dug, railways installed and a water-powered crushing-mill was built. It closed in 1900.

Mr Johnson, a Cambridge University graduate has been writing about wine since 1960, said: “Cae Gwian is an unusual forest of exceptional beauty and charm, stretching over two hill ranges, one overlooking the estuary of the River Mawdach, the higher one overlooking the first, a green valley grazed by sheep between, and beyond the rocky massif of Cader Idris to the south and the Irish Sea to the west.

“Stone roads give access to the various compartments of the forest and provide magnificent viewpoints; footpaths (two of them public) follow the stream and lead to other viewpoints.”

Tilhill Forestry recently produced a management plan for the whole estate – and the new owner will be able to review this plan and either adopt it or create a new one, subject to approval by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Mike Tustin, director of Tustins, said: “This is a unique opportunity to own a magnificent slice of rural Wales.

“The special combination of a Snowdonia National Park location and all the ingredients of an outstanding commercial forest should be attractive to those whose desire to own a fast-growing forestry asset.”