Explore a disused Welsh slate mine with Corris Mine Explorers

Corris Mine Exploration for School Groups

How we fit with the National Curriculum in England

Corris Mine Explorers provides an exciting setting for a school visit and fits well with the programmes of study for Geography, History, Citizenship, Design and Technology, Social, Health and Economic Education and to a lesser extent Science.


Children investigating mining artifacts with Corris Mine ExplorersChildren investigating mining artifacts with Corris Mine Explorers [+]

An exploration of the once thriving Welsh slate mine coupled with the reasons for its demise and final closure would provide a perfect case study for changing economic activity. The impact of the closure of the mine on the village of Corris and its Railway could be incorporated here too. Today, the Corris Mine Explorers visit provides a good example of tertiary economic activity - a tourism attraction. In addition, the Corris Craft Centre, which is the starting point for the Corris Mine Explorers visit, houses 9 independent craft studios and is the starting point for two further visitor attractions King Arthur’s Labyrinth and Lost Legends of The Stone Circle. School visits are also available for these attractions. The Corris Craft Centre, and its attractions, are built on reclaimed land formerly used for slate mining.


The nearby village of Corris, a typical Welsh slate quarrying villageThe nearby village of Corris, a typical Welsh slate quarrying village [+]

Corris Mine Explorers provides a stimulating setting for pupil engagement and to study Industrialisation in Britain. The opening of the Braich Goch slate mine in 1836 resulted in a population boom in the village of Corris. This generated demand for local housing and resulted in the building of the Corris Railway linking to the mainline in Machynlleth to enable the transportation of slate all over the world.

A guided tour of the village of Corris can be arranged to provide an insight into how the village would have looked during the early 1900s, when the slate mine was most productive. A visit to the Corris Railway Museum can also be included, providing further information about the extension of the railway to Corris and another stimulating setting within which to study industrialisation in Britain.

During the Corris Mine Exploration consideration is given to the introduction of legislation to improve working conditions and the changes which took place in the mine at this time. Curriculum links can be drawn here particularly with Citizenship.


A school party at the entrance of the mineA school party at the entrance of the mine [+]

Corris Mine Explorers provides an exciting environment in which to study social history from the mid 19th century through to the 1970s. It also provides a preserved historical setting where not only the operational side of the mine is looked at but also the working life of the miners and life in the local village. The changes in working conditions and society in general from the opening of the mine in 1836 to the day it finally closed in the early 1970s are very apparent.


The village of Corris once had 11 chapels and 1 church. Of these, just Salem Chapel and the Holy Trinity Church now open for worship. Grave stones of former Braich Goch miners can be found in the village grave yards, providing a further angle of study.

Design and Technology

Corris Mine Explorers provides a preserved example of the introduction of industrial technology. An inspection of the cavern (correctly known as a chamber) walls dug out in the early parts of the mine clearly show the use of basic hand held tools. Whereas the excavation markings on chamber walls dug out at a later date are much different, showing the use of industrialised machinery. Examples of the tools and machinery used by the miners are seen during the visit. Pupils will learn how the introduction of technology enabled the slate mine to develop and grow and to have a direct impact on the growth of the village of Corris and its population.

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All photographs by Jon Knowles, Paul Kay and Neil Buckland

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Corris Mine Explorers is registered with The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority as licensed to provide specified activities under the following heading: Caving (mine exploration)

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