Welsh slate mines nominated for world heritage status

Welsh area known as the ‘capital’ of the country’s slate mines and quarries is nominated for world heritage status

  • The Slate Landscape could be ranked alongside Stonehenge and Grand Canyon
  • It will become the UK’s 33rd Unesco World Heritage Site if successful
  • Site will be reviewed by experts before a Unesco committee meeting in 2021

A landscape in Wales which once provided a third of all slate used for buildings across the globe has been nominated for world heritage status.

The so-called Slate Landscape of Snowdonia could be ranked alongside other Unesco sites such as Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon and Great Wall of China.

The slate mines and quarries of the area ‘roofed the world’ in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

The so-called Slate Landscape of Snowdonia could be ranked alongside other Unesco sites such as Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon and Great Wall of China

The slate mines and quarries around communities such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda ‘roofed the world’ in the 18th and 19th centuries

Slate has been quarried in North Wales for more than 1,800 years but it was not until the Industrial Revolution that demand surged.

By the 1890s around 17,000 people were employed in the industry, mining 485,000 tons of slate a year.

The landscape includes seven quarries and mines around communities such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda. 

Some quarries still operate.

If successful, the Slate Landscape will become the UK’s 33rd Unesco World Heritage Site, and the fourth in Wales

The site will be reviewed by experts before being considered at a Unesco committee meeting in 2021

If successful, the Slate Landscape will become the UK’s 33rd Unesco World Heritage Site, and the fourth in Wales.

Welsh heritage minister Helen Whately hailed ‘the incredible slate landscape’ after submitting a formal nomination. 

The site will be reviewed by experts before being considered at a Unesco committee meeting in 2021. 

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