Welsh Slate – Archaeology and History of an Industry

Welsh Slate – Archaeology and History of an Industry

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This book is also available in Welsh:
Llechi Cymru – Archaeoleg a Hanes


Slates from quarries in Wales once went to roof the world. By the late nineteenth century as many as a third of all the roofing slates produced worldwide came from Wales, competing with quarries in France and the United States. This book traces the industry from its origins in the Roman period, its slow medieval development and then its massive expansion in the nineteenth century – as well as through its long drawn-out decline in the twentieth.

Dr David Gwyn lives in Pen y Groes, in the Nantlle slate region of Gwynedd. He has worked in archaeology for 20 years, and is co-tutor on the annual slate quarry Practical Industrial Archaeology courses run by the Snowdonia National Park at their study centre, Plas Tan y Bwlch.


  • Foreword: Professor R. Merfyn Jones CBE
  • Author’s Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Landscapes of the Slate Industry
  • The Archaeology of Slate Products
  • Extraction and Tipping
  • Prime Movers and Power Systems
  • Drainage, Pumping and Ventilation
  • Processing
  • Internal Transport Systems
  • Workshops and Maintenance
  • Offices and Administration
  • Health and Welfare
  • Settlement and Community
  • Overland Transport Systems
  • Maritime Transport
  • A Wider World
  • Bibliography
  • List of Figures
  • List of Principal Sites
  • Index


Author David Gwyn, 2015
Cover Hardback
Size 225 x 288mm
Pages 291
Illustrations 248
ISBN 29781871184518