Amlwch was once deemed by a local 18th century cartographer and customs official to be undeserving of being included on a map of sheltering ports for ships and sailors, since it was a "mere cove between two rocks".
Rowland Puw, a local miner, changed all that, since he, like the Romans, discovered copper deposits nearby at Parys Mountain. Mr Puw’s “find” was to catapult Amlwch, for a short and explosive period during the eighteenth century into one of the world’s most important mining sites. He was rewarded for his enterprise with a bottle of whisky, and free accommodation.
The local lawyer and entrepreneur Thomas Williams, known as “Tom Fair Play” naturally fared a little better than Mr Puw.
Copper was needed everywhere. The industrial revolution was underway, coins were being minted, and Nelson wanted copper sheathing for his ships. As many as 40 copper cargos and in-bound tobacco leaf ships could be anchored at Amlwch, and such was the congestion that an act of Parliament was passed to enlarge Amlwch’s access and berth capacity. The “mere cove between two rocks” was now on every nautical map.
The source of copper was Parys Mountain, where some 1500 men and women were employed in hazardous conditions. The men mined, and the "Copper Ladies" cleaned the ore.