National Slate Museum
Heritage centre at Llanberis, bringing back to life the inheritance of the North Wales slate industry.
"The most Welsh of Welsh industries"
The National Slate Museum at Llanberis invested a £1.6 million lottery grant into bringing back to life the inheritance of the north Wales slate industry, which roofed the industrial revolution.
The Museum building is sited in the Victorian workshops built in the shadow of Elidir mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig quarry.
Not so much a museum as a pocket of history, it is as though the quarrymen and engineers have only just put down their tools and left the courtyard for home.
Now, with imaginative interpretation, the remarkable relics of the slate industry can be understood and enjoyed by the many thousands of visitors to this stunning countryside on the flanks of Snowdon. The lottery grant made possible unique features and facilities, which offer the visitor an unparallelled day out in the richly wooded lakeside landscape of the Padarn Country Park.
All visitors can now enjoy:
- Close-up exploration of the largest working waterwheel in mainland Britain
- Slate-splitting demonstrations by craftsmen revealing the skills and artistry of generations of quarry workers
- The perilous ups and downs of a 19th-century incline plane, a unique, award-winning restoration of the machinery that transported slate
- A fascinating tour of the workshops, iron and brass foundry, forges, loco shed and the waterpowered machinery that made the tools for quarrying slate
- A well-stocked shop with slate, wrought iron and wooden gifts, and an inviting cafe with mountain views
Another addition to the site is a row of four quarrymen's houses, rescued from demolition in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Like some giant painting-by-numbers picture, numbered stones have been reassembled to recapture significant periods from the slate industry.
One house is furnished to reflect 1860, another the Penrhyn Strike of 1901 and a third the time of the quarry's closure in 1969. The fourth offers interactive learning facilities for schools, children and their families, one of many educational and play activities available on the site.
Also, visit the Chief Engineer's House, refurnished to reflect life in 1911.
The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn, and at the terminus of the Llanberis Lake Railway, one of the 'Great Little Trains of Wales', which runs along the watersport shoreline.
Easter–End of October: 10am–5pm, daily
Beginning of November–Easter: 10 am–4 pm, closed Saturdays
National Slate Museum
Tel: +44 (0)1286 870630
Fax: +44 (0)1286 871906.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015