Welsh Slate is regarded as the finest quality slate found anywhere in the world. The deposits here are unusually pure and have properties which make them extremely long lasting.
- The slate industry in North Wales goes back to the 2nd century, when the Romans used locally quarried heather slate (possibly from Penrhyn) to roof the fort at Segontium (modern Caernarfon)
- Slate has been quarried and used in Wales since this period and the industry reached its peak in the latter part of the 19th century with major quarry operations like Penrhyn, Dinworig, and the Ffestiniog quarries dominating the world’s slate production. The industry employed over 10,000 men at this time
- With the emergence of cheaper man-made roofing materials, the industry went into decline in the 20th century and many of the quarries were forced to close
- There has been a huge revival of Welsh Slate over the last 25 years and Penrhyn and Cwt-y-Bugail quarries are currently thriving and are the largest producer of natural roofing slate outside of Spain. These quarries trade under the name ‘Welsh Slate’ and employ over 200 people, selling their top end slates to discerning clients all over the world