You are here:  >   >   >   >   >   > 

The Barracks

In contrast to the snug Engineer's House, the barracks were huts up on the hillside near the windswept galleries of the quarries where the men who travelled from afar to work in the quarry would stay during the week. In the past, men from villages on Anglesey, the other side of the Menai Straits, would leave home before three o' clock on Monday morning and walk to the Moel y Don ferry. Once landed, they would walk from Port Dinorwic to Penscoins to catch the quarry train then climb up hundreds of metres to their barracks. And all this before doing a full day's work! Many of them would have smallholdings over on Anglesey and would bring their own food for the week — home-made bread and cheese and butter and bacon  — in their 'wallets', long sacks of white linen. Reflecting the nature of this produce, the other quarrymen called these men moch Môn — 'Anglesey pigs'.

Barracks

Each barracks had a living room and a bedroom, and space for four men. They were spartan enough — no electricity, very basic, rough furniture and a healthy population of fleas! The men would put brown paper in the window spaces to keep the wind out. And the wind could be piercing — one row of barracks near Aberdaron gallery was almost 650 metres above sea level and was christened 'Ireland View'.

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.