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Llechwedd Slate Caverns


History & Archeology






In 1830 Blaenau Ffestiniog was only a Welsh phrase to describe the cliffs towering above a narrow shelf of farmland about 2½ miles north of the old village of Ffestiniog. Slate was to change the face of the area forever and now mountains of discarded inferior slate tower over Blaenau Ffestiniog village. Although slate is still worked in the area the once world famous Llechwedd slate caverns now cater for visitors.

trainHere in the home of Slate Heritage International there is a choice of two spectacular rides into the vast underground caverns. The Miners' Underground Tramway, opened in 1972, takes you through a network of enormous caverns of cathedral proportions, supplemented with tableaux. It allows you to experience the working conditions of the Victorian miner and discover how millions of tons of rock were moved using simple tools, gunpowder and muscle. In the Deep Mine you will walk through 10 son et lumière sequences where the ghost of a Victorian miner unfolds the social life of a community which roofed Europe's industrial revolution.

Back on the surface you can wander through the Victorian village, where pubs and shops used re-minted Victorian coins. See also the 'old bank', smithy, lock up, the home of the blind harpist of Merionydd and historic narrow gauge railway wagons.

History and Archeology >>