You are here:  >   >   >   > 

Research resources: History of the Welsh Slate Industry

Are you interested in the history of the Slate Industry?

If you have an interest in any aspect of the slate industry in Wales, but are unsure where to start looking, the National Slate Museum can help. Here is a short list of the resources available:

Gwynedd Archive Service (Caernarfon branch),
Council Offices,
LL55 1SH
01286 679095

Holding documentation relating to Dinorwig Quarry; Dorothea Quarry; Penrhyn Quarry; Penyrorsedd Quarry; Castell Quarry, Plasgwynant, Beddgelert; documentation relating to the Great Strike at Penrhyn Quarry; a collection of documents that belonged to the poet W. J. Parry; the North Wales Slate Quarry Museum collections; and a collection of documents from the Union of North Wales Quarrymen.

University of Wales Bangor Archives
Department of Manuscripts,
The Main Library,
University of Wales Bangor,
Gwynedd. LL57 2DG
01248 38296

The Archives and Manuscripts department is located within the University of Wales Bangor Library. This department holds two collections of archive documents relating to the slate industry, namely the Penrhyn Castle collection, and the Penrhyn Castle correspondence collection – Quarry Strike.
Gwynedd Archive Service (Meirionnydd branch, Dolgellau)
Bala Road,
Gwynedd. LL40 2YF
01341 424 682

Holding documents from Llechwedd Quarry; Oakeley Quarry; as well as the Foty and Bowydd Quarries.

Pembrokeshire Record Office,
The Castle,
SA61 2EF
01437 763707

Archive material relating to the slate industy in south-west Wales (and specifically Pembrokeshire)
The Denbighshire Archive
Denbighshire Record Office,
46 Clwyd Street, Rhuthun,
Denbighshire. LL15 1HP
01824 708250

For information regarding quarries in north-east Wales


Books are one of the most valuable resources to anyone researching any aspect of the slate industry’s history. Generally, it’s possible to categorise books on the slate industry as follows:

Research Papers

Research papers written by authors for MA, MPhil and PhD degrees are a valuable and thorough source of information on specific aspects of the history of the slate industry. These essays are available at the University where the author was studying at the time. The following is a brief selection of these essays:


Museums and visitor attractions

There are a variety of museums and visitor attractions are connected to the slate industry across Wales. By visiting these you can experience, and gain a thorough understanding of, the slate industry’s industrial and social history.

National Slate Museum
National Waterfront Museum
St Fagans: Natural History Museum
Penrhyn Castle
LL57 4HN
Inigo Jones & Co Ltd
Tudor Slate Works
Y Groeslon, Caernarfon
Gwynedd, LL54 7UE
(01286) 830242
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Blaenau Ffestiniog
LL41 3NB
(01766) 830306
Llanfair Slate Caverns
(01766) 780247
Caernarfon Maritime Museum
Victoria Dock
(01248) 752083
Porthmadog Maritime Museum
Oakley Wharf No 1
The Harbour
Porthmadog, Gwynedd
LL49 9LU
(01766) 513736
Llyn Padarn Railway
Gilfach Ddu
LL55 4TY
(01286) 870549
Ffestiniog Railway
Harbour Station
LL49 9NF
(01766) 516024
Tal y Llyn Railway Company
Wharf Station
LL36 9EY
(01654) 710472
Corris Railway Society
Station Yard
SY20 9SH
Cae’r Gors, Rhosgadfan
Cae’r Gors, the home of novelist Dr Kate Roberts, is located in Rhosgadfan. The Friends of Cae’r Gors managed to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the cottage and create a small interpretation centre. The renovation work at Cae’r Gors started in January 2006.
T. Rowland Hughes’ Home
Located in the village of Llanberis, it is possible to arrange a visit to the home by contacting the clerk of Llanberis Community Council. 
Royal Commission on the Ancient &
Historical Monuments of Wales,

Plas Crug,
Ceregigion, SY23 1NJ
Tel 01970 621200