Explore a disused Welsh slate mine with Corris Mine Explorers

History of Braich Goch Slate Mine

Experience first hand at Braich Goch the rich history of the Welsh slate industry and the harsh working lives of the Welsh quarrymen (by kind permission of Gwynedd Archives DRO)Experience the working lives of Welsh slate miners, a real piece of Welsh history [+] (by kind permission of Gwynedd Archives DRO)

The first slate mining to take place around Braich Goch began in open cast pits, on the hillside above the Corris Craft Centre, around 1800. From 1836 onwards tunnels were driven through the hillside to reach the seam of slate deeper in the mountain.

The early years were difficult and four different companies failed before the opening of the Corris Railway in 1859 and the establishment of the Braich Goch Slate Quarry Co. in 1864.

During its heyday, in 1878, the mine employed 250 men and produced 7,000 tons of slab and roofing slate. This was sent all over the world. Rising costs and falling demand saw the company collapse in 1906. Another 6 companies worked the mine, intermittently, until 1970 when the mine finally closed.

Over the years, 7 different levels of the mine had been excavated. During the Corris Mine Explorers visit you explore levels 4, 5 and 6. Part of the lowest level of the mine, level 6, is used by King Arthur's Labyrinth. Like a behind the scenes tour, you look down on the King Arthur's Labyrinth attraction as a part of your Braich Goch exploration.

Further information can be found on panels in a special Slate Mine Exhibition at the Corris Craft Centre. Or, to really find out more and to discover the Braich Goch Slate Mine for yourself book a visit with Corris Mine Explorers.


See a sample of what you will experience on the tour.

Please click here to view our spectacular underground photographs.

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All photographs by Jon Knowles, Paul Kay and Neil Buckland

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