The last thing we did one our trip to Wales last summer was visit some slate caverns near where we were staying on Shell Island. As we drove up a steep hill we were rewarded with some pretty awesome views of where we spent the last few days and the ocean.Inside the small welcome centre are various souvenirs, the most interesting being the slate fans. Young boys started working down in the mines at the age of 12, and after a six year apprenticeship they had to make a slate fan to show that they had the skill to work with this finicky material. Each fan is made by hand, and still made that way today. We donned our hard hats and flashlight and headed into the cave.Once you walk through the tunnel, ducking down slightly in parts to avoid hitting your head, you come out into a giant vaulted opening.
Old tools and mining equipment are displayed in various spots throughout the cave, and story boards fill you in on the history. They also explain how each cavern was used, and show your location as you go deeper into the cave.I can’t imagine being down in the mines with only a candle for light, and that was only if you could afford it that week. Just a couple of miners, doing some mining work.Not the most brilliant of pictures, but it’s hard to get them in a cave and on self timer running back and forth.
My love of caves satiated for the day, we headed back out into the sunlight and had a coffee in the cafe on site. We were there probably about an hour, and while it might not be the type of place to spend hours trying to get to, if you find yourself in the area I highly recommend a visit. Entry was £6 and to see something that was manmade over 100 years ago, worth it.