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Incline and Drumhouses

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanddeiniolen, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1234 / 53°7'24"N

Longitude: -4.1153 / 4°6'54"W

OS Eastings: 258550

OS Northings: 360562

OS Grid: SH585605

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.78TH

Mapcode Global: WH54M.RRJD

Entry Name: Incline and Drumhouses

Listing Date: 4 November 1999

Last Amended: 4 November 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22661

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Incline and drumhouses rising from the old floor (now car park of the Welsh Slate Museum) to the top level of the former Vivian Slate Quarry; massive slate retaining wall located immediately to the no

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Llanddeiniolen

Community: Llanddeiniolen

Locality: Gilfach Ddu

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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The Vivian Quarry, an open hillside quarry worked on 6 levels, formed part of the Dinorwic Quarry, first established in 1787, taking over existing workings in the area, the first incline being built in 1789. By the 1830s there was a tramway system on each terrace of the quarry, steam locomotives being introduced in the 1870s. The eventual scale of the quarry was such that its output of c100,000 tons p.a. in the late 1890s put in on a par with Penrhyn, representing almost a quarter of the total production of Welsh slate. The quarry finally closed in 1969. The first drumhouse and lowest pitch of the incline above the former Padarn Railway has been restored to full working order (based on the form of the incline in 1910) by the Welsh Slate Museum and is not included on this List.


Incline runs in 5 tandem pitches, the lower 3 (including the section reconstructed by the Slate Museum) with much of the track and gear intact. The 4 unrestored drumhouses are of rubblestone and slate slab construction with gable-ended slate roofs. All retain their brake-drums and cabling, the brake mechanisms to the lower inclines being of massive cast-iron construction, operated via spur gears and "ship's wheel" controls with elaborate remote control crimp sprags. Double drumhouse on top level.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a remarkably well-preserved incline with drumhouses and counter balances forming an integral part of the former Vivian Slate Quarry and particularly important for the impressive physical evidence it provides for the distribution of slate away from the quarry.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (198).

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Locomotive Shed
    Situated to the north-west of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops, immediately alongside the former Padarn Railway (now the Llanberis Lake Railway) between the old quarry hospital and the moder
  • II Locomotive Shed
    Situated to the north-east of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops, the locomotive shed is located immediately north of the entrance to the Glan-y-Bala tunnel which once provided a connection to
  • II Offis Fawr (now Woodcraft Centre)
    Located immediately to the east end of the north range of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry workshop complex, the building is situated high above the workshops on a quarried outcrop; flight of slate st
  • II* Former Hospital and boundary walls
    Situated on level site above the north-east side of Llyn Padarn with spectacular mountain views; lies to north-west of the slate museum from which it is reached by a long drive; also approached over C
  • I Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops (Welsh Slate Museum Buildings)
    Located at the south-east end of Llyn Padarn to the east of Llanberis, the quarry workshops sit at the foot of the vast workings of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry; the immediately surrounding land i
  • II Former Mortuary
    Located immediately to the north-west of the former hospital at Dinorwic Slate Quarry on the edge of the levelled site.
  • II Incline, Drumhouses and Counter Balances ('A' Incline)
    Incline rising steeply to the north-east of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops, running initially south-eastwards and then just to the south-west of the former quarryworkers' barracks turning
  • II Hafodty
    Situated in remote wooded position at the end of a driveway leading off the track/road leading down from Dinorwic to Llanberis; driveway has drystone slate slab wall with slab-on-edge coping.

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