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Lying in the shadow of the Elidir mountain,the National Slate Museum at Llanberis celebrates the tradition of Welsh slate mining in the authentic Victorian workshops of one of the oldest quarries in Wales. The Dinorwig Quarry, whose history spans several centuries finally closed its door in 1961, since when the site has been turned into a vast country park set at the heart of magnificent surroundings which include fabulous mountain ranges and lakes.
The museum richly portrays the lives of the men who toiled in the quarries for long, arduous hours. It is wonderfully set out, showing relics of the industry including one of the largest working water-wheels remaining in mainland Britain. It also has unique collections of tools used by quarrymen, and you can see slate-splitting demonstrations by craftsmen using skills acquired over generations.
A miniature engine runs around the giant site. In one part visitors can see restored cottages from the 18th century onwards, these give a little peep into the lives of the quarry workers and their families. Each cottage is furnished to reflect a particular period, with the Chief Engineer's house, fitted-out in style of the early 20th century.
Visitors may wonder at will, or take part in an organised tour of the workshops, iron and brass foundry and forges. The tour takes in the locomotive shed, and also shows how the water-powered machinery that made the tools for quarrying, worked!
This is a terrific award winning museum where it is easy to spend a whole fun filled absorbing day losing yourself in the atmosphere of a vanished industry. Entertaining to all, the museum site sports a shop for the purchase of souvenirs, slate and wrought iron gifts, and Welsh wooden crafts. There is also a delightful cafe for refreshments where you can relax enjoying incredible mountain views.
in the county of Gwynedd(0.5 miles, 0.8 km)
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