The National Slate Museum
The National Slate Museum is located in the Victorian workshops which were part of the site of the Dinorwig quarry, which closed in 1969. The workshops and buildings have been restored to give the feeling that the quarrymen and engineers have just put down their tools at the end of a shift.
There are talks and demonstrations of the slate making processes designed to give the visitor an insight to what it was like to be a quarry worker.
Slate quarrying has been carried out in Wales for more than 1,800 years. One of the exhibitions at the museum is a 3-D presentation introducing the industry which then goes on to tell the story, in words, pictures and music, of the quarry’s development.
The live demonstrations include slate-splitting where craftsmen recreate the skills and artistry of generations of quarry workers. As well as splitting slate the craftsmen also create works of art out of the stone, from ordinary circles to hearts, picture frames and intricate slate fans.
Visitors to The National Slate Museum can see a refurnished Chief Engineer's House and take a tour of the workshops, forges, and the iron and brass foundry.
For railway enthusiasts there is a 0-4-0 61 gauge steam engine built in 1905. The locomotive is fully working and is started up regularly.
There is also on show a display of the water-powered machines that were used to make the tools for quarrying slate, and the Waterwheel that powers them; the largest on the British mainland.
There is wheelchair access to most parts of the museum.
Car parking is free. The museum has a gift shop and a cafe serving light refreshments. There is a picnic area at nearby Padarn Park.
National Slate Museum
01286 870 630