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Report - Dinorwic Quarry - Llanberis - 2010

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by The Cat Crept In, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. The Cat Crept In

    The Cat Crept In 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    The Dinorwic Slate Quarry is a large slate quarry located between the villages of Llanberis and Dinorwig in north Wales. It was the second largest slate quarry in Wales, indeed in the world, after the neighbouring Penrhyn Quarry. It covered more than 700 acres (2.8 km2) consisting of two main quarry sections with 20 galleries in each and a number of ancillary workings. Extensive internal tramway systems connected the quarries using inclines to transport slate between galleriesThe first commercial attempts at slate mining took place in 1787, when a private partnership obtained a lease from the landowner, Assheton Smith. Although this met with moderate success, the outbreak of war with France, taxes and transportation costs limited the development of the quarry. A new business partnership led by Assheton Smith himself was formed on the expiry of the lease in 1809 and the business boomed after the construction of a horse-drawn tramway to Port Dinorwic in 1824. At its peak in the late 1800s, "when it was producing an annual outcome of 100,000 tonnes", Dinorwic employed over 3,000 men and was the second largest opencast slate producer in the country. Although by 1930 its working employment had dropped to 2,000, it kept a steady production until 1969.The quarry closed in July 1969, the result of industry decline and difficult slate removal. During the 1950s and 1960s extraction had become difficult, because after 170 years of extraction many of the unsystematically dumped tips were beginning to slide into some of the major pit workings, and after an enormous fall in the Garret area of the quarry in 1966, production had ceased almost permanently. It was however decided that some final work could be done by clearing some of the waste from the Garret fall. This involved making an access road for more modern quarry vehicles across some of the terraces, to the rock fall. This amount of slate won by this method was small and all production stopped by 1969.

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