"Über die Dachschiefergewinnung in Nord-Wales"

Name of traveller

Rudolph Nasse (1837-1899)

Reason for travel

  • study of slate mining in north Wales

Date of travel

summer 1869

Merkwürdig sind die kleinen Tagetiefbaue in dem breiten Thalgrunde von Nantlle. Sie haben nach Blavier Aehnlichkeit mit denjenigen Dachschiefertiefbauen von Angers, welche als offene Tagebaue betrieben werden. (Nasse 97)


  • art: contains a number of ink figures detailing the various mining strategies in different quarries and the machines used for the production of slate tiles
  • history:
    • identifies a centuries-long tradition of slate mining in the area between Bethesda and Bangor
    • gun cotton and dynamite were introduced to north Wales slate mines after the fatal 1869 Cwm-y-glo explosion
  • industry:
    • Caernarfonshire roof slates exclusively mined in quarries and described as unsurpassed in quality
    • detailed description of Penrhyn Quarry, its workforce and annual production of roof slates
    • detailed description of roof slate production in Blaenau Ffestiniog; predominantly carried out underground
    • description of individual steps for the production of the finished roof slates with the help of various tools and machines
    • notes on the structure of the workforce, their production output and comparatively generous income
    • describes sales numbers and profit for slates of various sizes and quality
    • brief comparison to slate production in France and Prussia
  • literature: notes a general lack of scientific literature on slate mining in north Wales
  • terrain:
    • overview of distribution of slate in north Wales and its availability for commercial purposes
    • overview of geological properties in the Caernarfonshire area
    • detailed geological description of the terrain surrounding Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • transport:
    • detailed notes on transportation of roof slates via railway networks in the quarries and mines themselves and to the various ports along the north Wales coast
    • contains a brief description of the Ffestiniog Railway
  • click here to read the full account

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

scientific study


Nasse, [Rudolph]. "Über die Dachschiefergewinnung in Nord-Wales." Zeitschrift für das Berg-, Hütten- und Salinenwesen in dem Preussischen Staate 18 (1870): B. Abhandlungen: 92-111. Print.