Walk through this stunning valley to discover the echoes of a quarrying community.
One of a number of slate mines above the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cwmorthin Slate Quarry lies on the shores of Llyn Cwmorthin. A sense of the lives of those who lived here and worked the mines may be gained by taking an atmospheric walk among the derelict cottages and ruins of Capel Rhosydd, the Calvinist Methodist chapel and schoolhouse. Look behind Rhosydd Terrace for the steep path used by the workers to reach the mine.
Originally worked in the early 1800s, poor working practices and rash engineering decisions resulted in a substantial collapse, which ended production. Work was resumed later in the century, but eventually this operation also ceased in 1901. Extraction of slate continued in a limited capacity until the early 1990s.
Today the mine is maintained by the ‘Friends of Cwmorthin’, and access is free to anyone interested; just ask for the code to the gate. Be warned that, like many disused mines, it can be a hazardous environment for the inexperienced. The reward for those who do venture underground are many miles of tunnels to explore and hundreds of enormous chambers – all littered with artefacts such as powder horns, timber stairways, winches, wagons, cranes and bridges.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
Carpark at end of minor road to Tan y Grisiau, parallel to Ffestiniog Railway off A498 at Blaenau Ffestinog
Blaenau Ffestinog Station - 1 mile
Nearest bus stop at Cwmorthin Road
Follow tarmac road from Tan y Grisiau to Cwmorthin Lake. No access for cars.
Buildings near Cwmorthin lake are visible. Underground workings and adits SHOULD NOT BE ENTERED.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH681459
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- Cwmorthin Quarry, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog