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Quarryworkers' Barracks

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanddeiniolen, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1205 / 53°7'13"N

Longitude: -4.1092 / 4°6'33"W

OS Eastings: 258948

OS Northings: 360226

OS Grid: SH589602

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.7J8Z

Mapcode Global: WH54M.VTFM

Entry Name: Quarryworkers' Barracks

Listing Date: 4 November 1999

Last Amended: 4 November 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22654

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Spectacularly and now remotely located off the 'A' Incline of the Dinorwic Slate Quarry just north of the point where it turns abruptly to the north-east; the path between the 2 rows of barracks runs

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 barracks appear to have been constructed c1860.


2 parallel rows of inward-facing single-storey cottages, aligned roughly north-west to south-east joined by linking wall with flat-headed arch-way at south-eastern end. Each row consists of 11 cottages, all of 2-room plan, the larger room with fireplace and a doorway leading into smaller room. Roughly coursed rubblestone and slate slab construction, the latter also used as quoins and lintels; roof timbers entirely gone but formerly slate covered (at the north-western end of the north-eastern block the 2 end cottages have been reroofed but here too the slates have been stripped off). Each cottage has tall rectangular window openings (originally sashed?) flanking offset doorway, all joinery missing, and slate-stone ashlar ridge or end stack with slate drips. Back wall of each range has single window to the larger room of some but not all cottages.


There is no fireplace in the gable-end room of the cottage at the south-east end of the north-east range suggesting that the gable-end stack was simply to provide a symmetrical appearance to the range as a whole; the built-out slate fireplace in the corresponding room of the south-western range appears to be a later insertion and it can be assumed that this room was also originally unheated.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a remarkably well-preserved set of quarrymen's cottages forming an integral part of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry complex and particularly important for the physical evidence it provides for the purpose-built accommodation constructed by the Quarry Company for its workers in the later C19.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (177).

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