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RATGOED SLATE QUARRIES

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 400827

Cyfeirnod Map SH71SE

Cyfeirnod Grid SH78201189

Awdurdod Lleol Gwynedd 

Hen Sir Meirionnydd

Cymuned Corris

Math o Safle CHWAREL LECHI

Dosbarth Cyffredinol DIWYDIANNOL

Cyfnod 19eg Ganrif

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Ratgoed Slate Quarry is located on the east side of Cwm Ratcoed, about two miles north of Aberllefenni. The quarry opened in the mid-nineteenth century as underground workings. There seems to have been a closure in the late 1840s as a re-start is recorded in 1851 with sales of slab (including washstands, 'chimneys' and headstones) and roofing slate. At this time wages were being paid for 'enammelling' and, unusually, female names appear on the payroll, possibly based in Machynlleth. The quarry was connected to the Corris Railway by the horse worked Ratgoed Tramway. Three mills operated at different times and a turbine is recorded here in 1864, amongst the earliest. But lack of planning led to complicated working and movement. Output was small, 434 tons with 25 men in 1882. Only eight men were employed in 1898. From the turn of the century the quarry closed and re-opened several times; the Ordnance Survey second-edition 25-inch map (1901) portrays the quarry as 'disused'. By 1937-8 the quarry employed 17 men. It finally closed in 1946.
Remains (in 1991) are extensive but now lie in forestry with difficulties of access and interpretation. Adits, pit workings, inclines and stocking areas, can still be found. Ruined buildings include mills, drumhouses, powder house and, on the valley floor, ruins of cottages, chapel and manse. The owner's house, Ratgoed Hall, is still occupied.

Sources:
D.Gwyn, Welsh Slate: the Archaeology and History of an Industry (RCAHMW 2015), pp.122 & 185.
Ordnance Survey County Series map: sheet Merionethshire XXXVIII.13, editions of 1889 & 1901.
A.J.Richards, A Gazeteer of the Welsh Slate Industry (1991), pp.187-8.
A.J.Richards, Slate Quarrying at Corris (1994), pp.95-104.

David Leighton & Claire Parry, RCAHMW, 2 March 2015

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