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Incline, Drumhouses and Counter Balances ('A' Incline)

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanddeiniolen, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1211 / 53°7'15"N

Longitude: -4.112 / 4°6'43"W

OS Eastings: 258762

OS Northings: 360299

OS Grid: SH587602

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.79MQ

Mapcode Global: WH54M.TT35

Entry Name: Incline, Drumhouses and Counter Balances ('A' Incline)

Listing Date: 4 November 1999

Last Amended: 4 November 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22653

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Incline rising steeply to the north-east of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops, running initially south-eastwards and then just to the south-west of the former quarryworkers' barracks turning

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Llanddeiniolen

Community: Llanddeiniolen

Locality: Gilfach Ddu

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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The Dinorwic Quarry was first established in 1787, taking over existing workings in the area, the first incline being built in 1789. By the 1830s there was a tramway system on each terrace of the quarry, steam locomotives being introduced in the 1870s. The eventual scale of the quarry was such that its output of c100,000 tons p.a. in the late 1890s put in on a par with Penrhyn, representing almost a quarter of the total production of Welsh slate. The quarry finally closed in 1969. The lower 4 pitches of this incline (the 'A' incline) brought material down from Mills Level of the quarry to the Padarn Railway loading platforms, the sharp turn between Drumhouses A 2 and A3 marking a replacement of earlier inclines which ran straight down at this point. The upper pitches (not included on this List) have been modified to carry cables for the Llanberis hydro-electric company and the drumhouses demolished.


Drumhouses of local rubblestone and slate-slab construction, the latter predominating, each with a gable-ended graded slate roof, that to drumhouse 2 in poorest condition with a number of slates missing at time of Survey. Each drumhouse retains a winding drum and cabling, the double track with rails to the incline itself remaining almost completely in situ. The lower drumhouses (1 and 2) have brakesman's cabins alongside, well-built with fireplaces, the latter having a contiguous office with squint window offering a view of approaching wagons. At this point a stone-walled path leading from Dinorwic down to Llanberis is carried over the incline by means of a cast-iron girder bridge, while the wall bounding the track on its south-western side has heavy slate slabs cantilevered out to provide shelter for the men handling the wagons.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a remarkably well-preserved incline with drumhouses and counter balances forming an integral part of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry complex and particularly important for the impressive physical evidence it provides for the distribution of slate away from the quarry.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (177).

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