Industrial Wales - Mid and North Wales
North Wales and Snowdonia
Including Anglesey, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Llanberis and Croesor
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Porth Wen Silica Brickworks, Anglesey

The steam engine was built by Thos C Fawcett Ltd, Leeds and knapping machine was by W H Baxter Ltd, Leeds.
The inscription on the knapping machine reads :-
    'Lubricate this breaker well'
    'tightened bolts prevent all rapping'
    'and be sure all parts are clean'
    'thats the way to keep it'

Parys Mountain

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog Town

Oakeley Quarry - SH 6940 4665

Votty Quarry - SH 7075 4615

Llechwedd Quarry - SH 7000 4700

No 3 'Coalition' is a 1930 rebuild of 'Edith', Bagnall 1728/90
No 4 'Eclipse' is a 1927 rebuild of either 'Dorothy' WB 1568/99 or possibly ' Margaret' WB 1445/95

Britannia Copper Mine, Snowdon (or 'Brittania')

The Miners Track was in use by 1813 and by 1898 had gone through the 'Green Lake', 'Snowdon' and 'Great Snowdon' mining companies to become the 'Brittania Mining Co', responsible for most of the existing leftovers. Despite new equipment, a aerial ropeway, electicity and a Pelton Wheel, mining finally finished in 1916.

The crusher, mill and offices, Llyn Llydaw - SH 6246 5449

The upper mine workings, Glaslyn - SH 6176 5477

Croesor and Rhosydd

Croesor Valley and Quarry

Croesor Tramway and Quarries - SH 6450 4563

The Croesor Tramway opened in 1864 and died a slow death that lingered on into the 1950s. It served quarries on the ridges either side, Croesor, Rhosydd and Pantmawr using long, steep inclines and a tunnel to Fron-boeth. Blaencwm hydro-electric power station was built in 1904 to provide power to Croesor quarry.

Pantmawr Quarry and Fron-Boeth Quarry - SH 6458 4525

Pantmawr Quarry opened in 1864, the connection to the Croesor Tramway opened in 1879 via the two-stage incline and the quarry was disused from 1913. The extension to Fron-Boeth Quarry was built in 1889 via the tunnel, one of the few in North Wales on a tramway 'mainline'. Fron-Boeth Quarry had closed by 1908.

Incline to Croesor Quarry - SH 6552 4583

Work on Croesor Quarry began in 1854, the incline opening in 1864. Croesor Quarry was an early convert to hydro-electricity in 1904 but closed by 1930. However it had a second life from 1942 as an explosives store.

Rhosydd Quarry

Rhosydd Quarry incline and tramway - SH 6590 4630

Rhosydd Quarry was one of the older quarries with minor workings up to 1853 when the Rhosydd Slate Co was formed. The usual chequered existence followed until closure in 1930. The spectacular 1500ft-long incline opened in 1864.

Rhosydd dressing floor and workshops - SH 6650 4620

Rhosydd waterwheel and tips - SH 6660 4632

Rhosydd reservoirs and leats - SH 6642 4687

Dinorwic Quarry and Llanberis

The Garret incline A5 to A9, galleries and mills

Incline A4

Incline A3

Anglesey Barracks

Inclines A1 and A2

Gilfach Ddu

The Braich Inclines and Galleries

Long range photos of the Braich side of Dinorwic showing some of the transporters that took the slate wagons up and down the inclines.

Vivian Quarry - SH 5866 6051

Vivian Quarry and it's inclines are part of the Museum complex but, despite being staged, are well worth seeing.

Llanberis Village

There are quite a few preserved slate wagons dotted around Llanberis.

Glyn-Rhonwy Slate Quarry - SH 5645 6085

The National Slate Museum

Llandudno, both Ormes and Penrhyn Castle

Great Orme mines and quarries - SH 770 830

The Bishop's Quarry (on land given to the Bishop of Bangor by King Edward I in 1284 - the church sold the land in 1891
The copper mines December 2016 from prehistoric times to the late 18c., an excellent study is at
The water tower at Gloddaeth Hall, Llandudno, is similar to a 17c dovecote in the grounds but probably December 2016s from the 1880s.

Little Orme Quarry - SH 8180 8255

The Little Orme Quarry worked from 1898 to 1931, stone being loaded direct into ships at it's quayside. The quarry was worked by 2ft gauge Kerr Stuart locos up to 1927 and after by vertical boilered Sentinal locos, the ghosts of De Winton?
Further Reading :- ' Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire - Volume 3' by J I C Boyd

Penrhyn Castle, Bangor

Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda

Penrhyn Quarry - SH 6190 6575

Pontcysyllte and the Dee Valley

Pontcysyllte - SJ 2705 4200

Froncysyllte - SJ 2735 4123


Photos of the Llangollen Railway can be found here :-

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

'Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire - Volumes 1-3' by J I C Boyd
'The Festiniog Railway - Volumes 1-2' by J I C Boyd
'Industrial Locomotives of North Wales by V J Bradley
'Rhosydd Slate Quarry' by M J T lewis and J H Denton
'The Old Copper Mines of Snowdonia' by David Bick
Bulletin, Vol 9, No 5, 'Brittania or Snowdon Mine', The Peak District Mines Historical Society

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins