"Slate" Top 5 Page for this destination Llanberis Local Custom Tip by kit_mc
Llanberis Local Customs: 2 reviews and 5 photos
The socio-economic importance of slate to Wales is pretty hard to avoid. You'll see it used everywhere, in various artworks, on the roofs of houses and inscribed in the quarried landscapes.
The Welsh economy of the 1800s was heavily dependent on the mining and processing of slate. It reached its heyday in the late 1800's when Welsh slate was being exported across the globe, to such distant climes as Australia and the Americas.
Quite a few of Wales' tourist attractions are now based in old quarries or mines, where you can go in and get an idea of what working life may have been like, the kind of conditions people worked and lived in. While slate is still processed on a much smaller scale nowadays, the version we see today as tourists is much sanitised, more gift shops and slate 'Cymru' coasters than the industrialised reality.
The hardships of such backbreaking work, the injuries and deaths that occurred in those conditions are hard to grasp. But also the sense of community that the mines engendered, where most workers were drawn from local Welsh speaking communities, does seem to remain in North Wales.
Slate continues to have socio-economic and cultural meaning for an understanding of Wales in both its past and present.