anglesey barracks

History hidden within the mountains - Lying in the shadow of the gigantic disused Dinorwic slate Quarry which was mined for slate as far back as the late 18th century. Over 3000 men worked in the industry this side of the valley at its peak. Aside from local workers, those from further afield in Anglesey required to lodge or barrack at the quarry, spending the entire working week up in the hills before returning home to family for the weekend. The barracks were built using the slate from the quarry itself, and consist of two identical blocks of 11 units facing each other across an unmade street. Each unit had a living room with a fireplace and a bedroom with space for four men. Amenities were few - no electricity, soft mattresses, toilets or running water, just basic furniture and little else. Windows were provided only onto the street. This way of life survived until 1948 when an unannounced visit by the local Public Health Inspector saw the barracks condemned as unfit for human habitation. The industry here quite literally fueled the entire region, and hailed as the second largest opencast producer in Wales with an annual production of over 100,000 tonnes of what was highly regarded as the world's finest slate. The Great depression kick-started the end of the slate industry in Wales as new mining technology and foreign import took over, leaving the quarry and the buildings used by the miners to sit eerily dormant within the mountains now for almost fifty years.