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Industrial Nation

Chwarel Nantlle Quarry - Hawlfraint Ein Treftadaeth / Copyright Our Heritage
Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway - Hawlfraint Cyngor Gwynedd / Copyright Gwynedd Council
Gwaith cloddio Cyffty Lead Mine - Hawlfraint Ein Treftadaeth / Copyright Our Heritage

Both town and countryside was radically transformed in the late 18th and 19th centuries by an immense effort of industrial activity. Technological innovation and advances in engineering meant that the extraction of resources like slate, copper and lead underwent a major change. Even gold mining took place around the town of Dolgellau! Many villages and towns in north west Wales owe their existence to slate quarrying and the legacy of this enormous industry can be seen in the quarry workings and worker’s cottages left behind in places like Dyffryn Nantlle. Transportation also developed with narrow-gauge railways, like at Ffestiniog and Talyllyn, crossing the land to transport slate to harbours such as Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Bangor. These ports exported the fruits of industrial endeavour across the globe –even as far away as Australia. More locally, the engineers Thomas Telford and Robert Stephenson helped shorten travel distances with their pioneering bridges across the Menai Strait. Why not discover the wide variety of industrial gems for yourself by donning a hard hat to explore underground caverns at Llechwedd, hopping on one of the narrow-gauge trains across the slate quarrying valleys or taking a stroll along the seaside pier at Bangor built with Victorian engineering prowess?

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