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The interior of Quarry man’s house of 1900. Four such houses of different periods have been rebuilt as a terrace in the in the National Slate Museum at Llanberis. Photograph © Denis Egan

The Welsh Slate Museum is located at Gilfach Ddu in the 19th century workshops of the now disused Dinorwic slate quarry, within the Padarn Country Park, Llanberis. The museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage.

These workshops, which served all the needs of the quarry and its locomotives, were built in 1870 on land created from the continuous tipping of spoil from the adjacent Vivian Quarry, and as a replacement for the store sheds which were previously sited there. Rail access to the works was by both 2 ft (610 mm) gauge (the quarry gauge) and 4 ft (1219 mm) gauge (that of the Padarn Railway which carried the slate from the quarry to Port Dinorwic). Rails also entered the main yard through the main entrance.

The museum is now connected to the nearby village of Llanberis by the Llanberis Lake Railway.

The museum reopened after receiving a £1.6 million grant from the National Lottery Fund and now has innovative displays featuring Victorian slateworkers' cottages that once stood at Tanygrisiau, near Blaenau Ffestiniog. They were taken down stone by stone and re-erected here. As well as many interesting exhibits, it has the multi-media display, To Steal a Mountain, showing the lives and work of the men who quarried slate here.

The museum also has the largest working waterwheel in the United Kingdom, which is available for viewing via several walkways. Close to the museum is the partly restored Vivian incline, a gravity balance incline where loaded slate wagons haul empty wagons back up.

    Address Address:

    National Slate Museum
    Llanberis,
    Gwynedd
    LL55 4TY

    Telephone Telephone:

    01286 870 630

    Wensite Website:

    http://www.nmgw.ac.uk/en/slate/

    Admission Charges Admission Charge:-

    Free

    Opening Hours Hours:

    Open Sunday — Friday (closed Saturdays) until 27 March, 10-4pm

    Open 10am–5pm daily (Easter–October), 10am–4pm Sunday–Friday (November–Easter)

    Facilities for the Disabled Facilities for the Disabled:

    Physical Mobility

    • There are designated disabled parking bays located in Padarn Country Park. This is a pay and display car park therefore orange stickers should be displayed. There is free parking for buses.
    • From the car park there are flat paved routes into the museum which can easily be used by all visitors.
    • Entrance to the museum for wheelchair users and those with pushchairs is via the shop.
    • A wheelchair is available on request in the shop. The chair is allocated on a first come first served basis and cannot be pre-booked, although any advanced requests will be considered.
    • Seating is available at various locations throughout the museum – in the first instance near the 3D show and thereafter by the cafe. Please ask any member of staff if you require seating at any other location.

    Access to the site
    There is wheelchair access, suitable for unaccompanied wheelchair users to most parts of the museum, along slate paving and shingle paths. This includes the waterwheel to the rear of the museum which can be accessed by lift and also the V2 incline in Padarn Country Park, which can be reached via an easily graded Gwynedd Council prepared route. This route starts from behind the Lake Railway terminus.

    However, due to the nature of the museum buildings some areas may require extra assistance:-

    • Railway tracks run throughout the site and may cause difficulty if visitors leave the official pathways. Please ask for assistance.
    • Pattern loft
           Unfortunately the only access to the pattern loft at the moment is via a steep stairway therefore wheelchair users cannot access it.
    • Smithy
           The pathway narrows slightly in the smithy making it impossible for a wheelchair to use the normal pathway. Please ask a member of staff to assist with opening the barriers to allow access.
    • Fron Haul – Quarrymen's Houses
      The houses can be reached by following the pathway via the cafe and Play and Discovery area. There is a slight gradient to this path and unaccompanied wheelchair users may need staff assistance. The nature and historical correctness of these houses makes access by most wheelchairs difficult. Please contact a member of staff if you have any problems.

    Visually Impaired

    • One of the great joys of visiting an industrial site such as the Welsh Slate Museum is the experience of the noises and smells of the exhibits and demonstrations. Few objects are in glass cases. Museum Assistants and craftsmen are happy to allow visitors the opportunity to touch and handle the exhibits to give a full explanation of their role.
    • Handling sessions which include museum artefacts are available by arrangement with the Education Officer.
    • Large print guide books are available free on loan. Please ask at the entrance.

    Hearing Impaired

    • Video presentations can be seen throughout the museum.
    • Induction loops are available and headsets can be worn in the 3D show.

    Facilities

    • Both the shop and the cafe are accessible to wheelchair users.
    • Toilets for the disabled are available in the cafe building.
    • Baby changing facilities are provided in both the ladies and gents toilets, located in the cafe building. Please ask if assistance is required with the doors.

    Dogs

    • Dogs are allowed on site provided they are kept on a lead. Guide dogs for both visually and hearing impaired visitors are welcomed and are allowed into the Quarrymen's House and the Chief Engineer's House.
    • Water bowls are provided at the museum entrance and by the cafe.
    • All dogs must leave the premises to relieve themselves. Staff will advise on request.


     

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