Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog - Step aboard and journey down into the mountain where the underground world of the slate miner is waiting to be explored.
Meet Sion Dolgarregddu – the ghost of a Victorian miner, and your guide through the Deep Mine. Sion was born in 1844 and was only 12 years old when he came to work at Llechwedd with his father and uncle in the great chambers you’ll see along the way.
Follow Sion as he leads you through winding tunnels and breathtaking caverns that were once his work place. Listen to the haunting music emerging from the ‘Caban’ and hear intriguing stories of working conditions beyond belief as your journey leads you down, deeper and deeper into the mountain.
Imagine what it would have been like underground before electricity, without any light but for a candle here and there! This is an easy place to get lost with over 25 miles of tunnels connecting underground chambers at Llechwedd alone – but you needn’t be scared, Sion knows these mines like the back of his hand –he worked here for over 50 years!
As you make your way back to the waiting train be sure to soak up the atmosphere of the spectacular underground lake before travelling back to the surface and daylight!
The Deep Mine tour involves walking down 61 well-lit, grippy steps (left). In the busy season it may be necessary to walk back up 70 steps at the end of the tour.
Take a seat and enjoy a ride through tunnels and time into the world of the Victorian Miner, hidden deep in the mountainside.
Imagine entering the mines to begin your working life at only 12 years old with a life expectancy of just 52 years. That’s 40 years working 6 days a week and 12 hours a day by the light of a small candle-if you were able to afford it!
Could you work with heavy tools, 50 feet above a sheer drop with only a chain wound around one thigh to keep you from falling? Or perhaps you’d prefer to work as a roof inspector, using an 86 foot tall ladder to inspect the vast caverns with only the light of a candle held in one hand?
No? Perhaps this doesn’t sound like the job for you, but for many Victorians in Blaenau Ffestiniog, work at Llechwedd not only provided a wage but created a vibrant society full of political debate, poetry, song and a stronghold for the Welsh language.
Our guides will take you to various chambers in the oldest part of Llechwedd where you will explore the real working life of the Victorian slate miner. Hear stories of the ‘Caban’ and experience what it was like to see by only the light of a candle in these great, man-made chambers.
Your train will bring you back to the slate mill of 1852 where many of the slates mined in the chambers you have seen would have been split and prepared for shipping.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd. LL41 4NB
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