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Vivian Slate Quarry, Inclines, Walia & associated structures

A Scheduled Monument in Llanddeiniolen, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1244 / 53°7'27"N

Longitude: -4.114 / 4°6'50"W

OS Eastings: 258636

OS Northings: 360667

OS Grid: SH586606

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.7349

Mapcode Global: WH54M.SQ4N

Entry Name: Vivian Slate Quarry, Inclines, Walia & associated structures

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1989

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 184

Cadw Legacy ID: CN198

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Incline

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Gwynedd

Community: Llanddeiniolen

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


The area includes 6 levels, each opening onto a corresponding level on the quarry face. Pedestrian access from one level to the next is by a series of steps and paths which are maintained, to some extent, to facilitate visitors to the 'Vivian Trail'. A table incline runs down the NW side of the scheduled area.

LEVEL 1. A terrace retained by a massive slate wall (showing signs of deterioration). At the NW end is a recently restored roller house, still containing some of the original mechanism. It stands above the lowest part of the incline, which passes over a minor access road down to the railway. The foot of the incline is now incomplete.

On the terrace itself is a row of 8 walia, one recently re-roofed, but three of the others also retain much of their roofs. A caban built close to the rock face to the NE has also been restored, and is periodically occupied, against the wishes of the owners. A tunnel leads from this level to the quarry face, but this has now been partly blocked with dry-stone wall. Steps lead up to level 2.

LEVEL 2. This is similarly located on a terrace retained by a massive wall of slate. The roller house at the NW end retains much of its roof and internal mechanism. There are also several walia, some roofed, on the SW edge of the terrace, and a relatively well-preserved caban. A further structure lies at the SE end of the terrace. Steps lead up to level 3.

LEVEL 3. Also located on a terrace retained by a substantial slate wall. There is a well-preserved roller house at the NW end together with a row of roofless walia. At the foot of the incline from level 4 are two badly corroded and somewhat buckled incline cars in their pit. There is also a caban and an isolated structure, roofed, towards the SE end. Steps lead up to level 4.

LEVEL 4. This is on a slightly less pronounced terrace. The roller house is quite well preserved and some of the row of walia retain portions of their roofs. Another group of structures exist towards the SE end, near the quarry face. A path and steps lead up to level 5.

LEVEL 5. Although there is a sort of terrace at the NW end, this level really comprises a broad rock-cut gully in which several structures have been built. Originally the gully was probably created for a track from the top of the quarry to the incline. Perhaps later it was adapted for more general working, and there are the remains of several walia. Close to the quarry face there is a particularly fine circular blast shelter with its roof intact, but there is no roller house and no caban. Steps lead up to level 6.

LEVEL 6. This is simply a level terrace retained by a substantial slate wall, now collapsed at the S corner. There are no walia but a roofed structure/shelter stands near the quarry edge. There is a fine roller house at the NW end at the foot of a length of rock-cut incline. This leads up to the NW end of a rock-cut gully which runs horizontally from the top of the incline to the top of the quarry itself.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the slate industry. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structures themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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