Penrhyn Slate Quarry – The Largest In The World?


The Penrhyn Slate Quarry is located near Bethesda in north Wales. It is reputed to be the world’s largest slate quarry: the main pit is nearly a mile long and 1200 feet deep.

The quarry was first developed in 1770 by Richard Pennant and later by Baron Penrhyn, although it is likely that small-scale slate extraction on the site began considerably earlier. Slate from the quarry was transported to the ocean Port of Penrhyn on the narrow gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway built in 1798 – one of the earliest railway lines. In the 19th century the Penrhyn Quarry, along with the Dinorwic Quarry, dominated the Welsh slate industry.

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Peter Phillips