Vast mountains of slate debris, ruined structures, deep water. Walking on a summer afternoon, warm, moist air caressing the skin, feet slipping on wet grass, taste of sweet wild strawberries on the tongue. Once the scene of noise and industry now a peaceful walk to where nature is reclaiming her territory in spite of the ugly scars on the landscape, all that now remains of the once lucrative slate quarries in the Nantlle Valley. Ferns, mosses, heather and a myriad of other plants and trees slowly reclaiming the ruined landscape and hiding the ugliness and dozens of tiny frogs hopping on the moss.
Dorothea Quarry first opened in the early 1820s although there had been small scale workings prior to this. It had become the dominant quarry in the area by 1848, employing over 200 men and producing about 5000 tons of finished slate. At its height in 1872 production peaked in 17442 tons. The slate industry is virtually gone now and the quarry closed in 1970. It is a popular spot with divers, although highly dangerous.