Places to visit in Europe

Llechwedd Slate Caverns

In the Llechwedd Slate Caverns - Wales - former miners take visitors underground into the slate quarry to tell them about the often horrible working conditions endured by their Victorian predecessors. Two very different tours are on offer at the heart of this still-active quarry.
The "Miners’ Tramway" is a guided tour along a route which dates back to 1846, through impressive caverns where mining techniques are explained. To reach the "Deep Mine", visitors travel on the steepest funicular railway in Great Britain. There, 10 son et lumière tableaux depict the social life of a slate miner and his family. The commentary is available in several languages.

This underground exploration is completed at the surface by a Victorian village with a forge, a pub (the Miners’ Arms) where typical miner’s food is served, Victorian shops, a prison, a bank where visitors can withdraw Victorian coins to spend in the village shops, printing workshops, a cobbler’s, houses, and exhibitions. There is also a museum of industrial railway vehicles, and the restored cottage of a famous blind musician who lived and died here.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns is both an instructive and pleasant experience for your pupils. The visit will give them a better understanding of industry, the environment and community life.

Try to include a journey to Porthmadog on the "Ffestiniog Railway", a narrow-gauge railway with old steam trains which are still in service and which lead from Llechwedd to the port where the slate was loaded onto ships. It is possible to buy a joint ticket for the train and the mine. Ask the Education Officer for information when you make your reservation.

An experience like this will strengthen pupils’ and teachers' perception of the links between industry and the means of transport used to despatch the slate.

To date, Llechwedd has won ALL the major awards.
Preparing for your visit

It is possible to study the complete cycle of slate mining from the mine to its use in a roof. The Victorian village will provide an indispensable sociological complement.
FREE preliminary visit for 2 teachers: ask for your Privilege Admission Card and your Lunch and Shop vouchers. A teacher’s pack is available.

There is now a French commentary available for the tour of the mine in the funicular. This visit is also accompanied by the son et lumière display, "Deep Mine".

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