Where in the World?
Slate wrenched from the hills of North Wales has made an attractive and long-lasting roofing material since Roman times. Industrial revolution Britain was roofed in Welsh slate and by the 1870s so too were the expanding towns in Europe, America and Australia.
No other stone industry dominated world markets like Welsh slate. This is why a partnership of organisations both local and national in Wales believes that the industry’s contribution worldwide should be recognised and awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Quarrymen shaped the landscape in which they lived. The great quarries and their tips of waste rock were made by their skill and hard work in a harsh environment. These now sustain a modern and dynamic slate industry in North Wales.
They and their families shaped the culture of Snowdonia. Historic towns and villages bring to life the struggle to make a new way of life - and to keep the best of the old.
Their chapels, churches, libraries, meeting-rooms tell a story of faith, of a love of learning, of literature and music. The great houses and gardens of quarry-owners show the wealth the quarries generated.
Famous railways built to connect the quarries with the sea once brought engineers from all over the world to marvel, and to copy. Now they have found a new lease of life carrying tourists.
This landscape is both living and historic, a vibrant place where the past meets the present. A vigorous culture and an ancient language are still at work in the slate quarries of Snowdonia - the quarries whose slates roofed the world.