Welsh slate mining landscape nominated as world heritage site

By Steven Morris

An extraordinary landscape shaped by many centuries of slate production has been nominated by the UK government for Unesco world heritage status, a distinction enjoyed by sites such as the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Stonehenge.

The production of slate in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, has left a landscape dotted with underground workings, terraces cut into hillsides, grey, towering tips and bright blue pools, all nestling within mountains and woodland.

It includes cottages for quarrymen and their families, chapels, band-rooms, libraries, great houses for the wealthy industrialists and railways that in their day were great feats of engineering.

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