Dinorwic Slate Quarry - Wales

Geoff Moore Adventures in Landscape Photography on Sat 17 September 2016

  • Image Title: Dinorwic Slate Quarry
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Tokina 11-20mm UWA Lens used:
  • 20mm Focal length:
  • f/5.6 Aperture:
  • 1/90 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

Late morning sunshine breaks through the clouds over the Llanberis Pass revealing Snowdonia in the background as Mark and I start our decent from the upper quarry terraces to the foot of Elidir Fawr.

Dinorwic Slate Mine near Snowdonia in North Wales, quarrying slate at Dinorwic began in 1787 and ended in 1969. In its hayday the quarry employed over 3000 men and produced 100,000 tonnes of slate products each year. Today its pretty much abandoned apart from some rock climbers and divers, and some very inquisitive and smelly wild mountain goats. The only other activity at the quarry is electricity generation from the Hydro power station at its base.

Exploring Dinorwic with your camera

Access to the disused mine is possible but it will require you jump a few fences and possibly break some Heath and Saftey law's. So, do so at your own risk and at your own choice!  It's worth noting to the adventurer, that the landscape is, and can be very dangerous, the quarry is unstable and liable to flooding and slippage in many restricted areas, so if you do head off the beaten path do so safely, don't go alone, and let a responsible person know your planned route and what time you will be back. 

Map of Dinorwic Slate Quarry

By popular request here is a user contributed map of the Dinorwic Slate Quarry, its lists over 250+ features, structures, buildings, trails and paths and is quite good for planning your visit > Map: Dinorwic Slate Quarry  

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Dinorwic Storms
  • Image Title: Dinorwic Storms
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Tokina 11-20mm UWA Lens used:
  • 16mm Focal length:
  • f/11 Aperture:
  • 15 Sec Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

Walking up and into the slate quarry you have have 2 options, check out the lower levels which are much easier to get to, or head up and then climb to the higher levels. The going on on both routes is tough work either going up or down, especially so if carrying photographic equipment, make sure you have plenty of water with you and you are prepared for rapid changes in the weather, its not unheard of for for a sunny day to descend into think fog and heavy rain in a matter of an hour or so whilst traversing the quarry slopes, such is the lively micro climate the quarry enjoys. As you work your way up and around the quarry there are many photographs to be had of old workshops, slate huts, railways, breaking yards, barracks, a chapel, and not for getting Snowdonia and Llanberis Pass.

For walkers who like explore, the following resource from BBC Wales is very good. PDF Weatherman Walking - Llanberis Walk also Delve - Abandoned - The Dinowic Slate Quarry, Wales have a nice write up on the quarry.

Dinorwig Power Station - Electric Mountain
  • Image Title: Dinorwig Power Station - Electric Mountain
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Tokina 11-20mm UWA Lens used:
  • 20mm Focal length:
  • f/2.8 Aperture:
  • 15 Sec Exposure time:
  • 800 ISO:

Dinorwig Power Station : Electric Mountain

When it was fully commissioned in 1984, Dinorwig Power Station was regarded as one of the world's most imaginative engineering and environmental project. Today, Dinorwig's operational characteristics and dynamic response capability are still acknowledged the world over. Dinorwig is the largest scheme of its kind in Europe. Dinorwig is comprised of 16km of underground tunnels, deep below Elidir mountain. Its construction required 1 million tonnes of concrete, 200,000 tonnes of cement and 4,500 tonnes of steel.

The station's six powerful generating units stand in Europe's largest man-made cavern. Adjacent to this lies the main inlet valve chamber housing the plant that regulates the flow of water through the turbines. Dinorwig's reversible pump/turbines are capable of reaching maximum generation in less than 16 seconds. Using off-peak electricity the six units are reversed as pumps to transport water from the lower reservoir, back to Marchlyn Mawr.

Further reading and video history


Other Images from this adventure

Shadow Quary Shadow Quary
The View The View

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