- Old friends are best. John Selden
Visit National Slate Museum
Commercial Quarrying began at Dinorwig in the early 19th century. Railways worked by dozens of small steam locomotives transport the slate from Dinorwig to the sea at a harbour known as Port Dinorwic. The quarry closed in 1969 and is now a major tourist attraction.
The National Slate Museum ensures the 3000 men who once worked the quarries are remembered as do the quarry workings which have laid open the side of the Elidir mountain nearby.
Largest waterwheel on mainland Britain
The National Slate Museum holds one of the largest water wheels built by Victorian industrialists. The De Winton company of Caernarfon built the 15.4 metre diameter wheel, in 1870. Water to power the wheel was piped down from the slopes of Snowdon in cast iron pipes and its power drove the machinery to produce slates for roof all over Industrial Britain. It remained in operation until 1925, when a smaller, more efficient model substituted it. Such is progress!
The Iron and Brass Foundry
This is the highest room in the Museum, necessary to house the 9.5 metre-high furnace, the crane and jib.
Once used as an iron and brass foundry.
Today just the brass furnace can be seen at work at regular intervals.
Slate Splitting Demonstrations
Watching an experienced craftsman split and dress slate is one of a number of demonstrations at the museum.
Fron Haul Quarrymen's Houses
A row of four quarrymen's houses, one furnished as it would of been in 1861, another 1901 and another in 1969.
The fourth house offers interactive learning facilities for schools, children and their families.