Explore a quarry’s legacy amidst a beautiful valley
Named after Dorothea Garnons, the daughter of the owner, the remains of Dorothea Quarry are set in a landscape marked by the slate industry. Although vegetation has reclaimed much of the land, you can clearly see the features associated with the local quarrying activity that began in the 1820s.
Deep pits, now often flooded, show where slate was extracted from the ground. See the huge slate bases, known as bastions, which supported the winding gear that raised large blocks and rubble from the pits up the steep inclines.
Take time to look at the mill buildings that once processed the large blocks into smooth slate slabs, as well as the engine house, home to a Cornish beam-pump engine. Installed in 1906 to drain the largest slate pit of water, it was the last brand-new Cornish engine to be installed anywhere in the world.
Plas Tal y Sarn, a large ruined house, is also worth a visit, with its formal gardens and kennels.
In 2011 the Slate Industry of North Wales was successfully included on the UK Tentative List (short list) of 11 potential sites for UNESCO World Heritage Site status – the only site in Wales. The nomination is currently being developed and the process is likely to take between 4 and 10 years to complete.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
Follow B4418 Penygroes to Rhyd Du. At Talysarn continue on Ffordd Nantlle through village to roundabout at end. Parking possible on roadside.
Bangor - 17 miles, Porthmadog - 15 miles
Buses to Talysarn. Nearest bus stop Cavour Street - ¼ mile.
Lôn Eifion (Route 8) nearby. Cycle path to Talysarn.
Walk to end of road at Cavour Street and follow track into Quarry. Footpath circles the flooded quarry.
Footpath around Dorothea Quarry. Muddy and wet in places. Walking boots recommended. Steep drops into quarry, which is filled with water. Not suitable for un-supervised children. Care should be taken.
Full Grid Reference Number: SH499531
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- Dorothea Quarry, Dyffryn Nantlle