The slate landscape of North West Wales has been nominated by the UK government for Unesco world heritage status.
If accepted it would join a prestigious global list of sites including the Grand Canyon, the Vatican City, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Wrexham.
The application has been made by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in cooperation with the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council.
If accepted, the landscape will become the UK’s 33rd UNESCO World Heritage Site and the 4th in Wales, following the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape and the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.
The landscape – which runs throughout the Welsh county of Gwynedd – became the world leader for the production and export of slate during the 18th century.
While slate had been quarried in North Wales for over 1,800 years and was used to build parts of the Roman fort in Segontium in Caernarfon and Edward I’s castle in Conwy, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that demand surged as cities across the UK expanded with slate being widely used to roof workers’ homes and factories.
By the 1890s the Welsh slate industry employed approximately 17,000 and produced 485,000 tonnes of slate a year. The industry had a huge impact on global architecture with Welsh slate used on a number of buildings, terraces and palaces across the globe including Westminster Hall, the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Australia and Copenhagen City Hall, Denmark.
📰 NEWS: https://t.co/ZrZPsxvNj8
Heritage Minister @Helen_Whately submits the formal nomination to UNESCO for the Welsh Slate Landscape to become the UK’s 33rd UNESCO World Heritage Site and the 4th in Wales.@UNESCOUK @UKGovWales pic.twitter.com/iyjS4rkUQo
— DCMS (@DCMS) January 24, 2020
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said:
“We are delighted that the Slate Landscape of North Wales will be put forward as the next UK nomination for inscription as a World Heritage Site.
Wales has a unique and varied industrial heritage that is rightly celebrated.
This nomination provides further recognition of this outstanding landscape – of something which is rooted in our own geology and culture, but has global significance.
I’d like to thank all partners for their hard work in preparing the bid and wish the bid well as it is formally submitted.”
UK Government Minister for Wales, David TC Davies said:
“Another stunning Welsh landscape has been formally nominated to join a long list of wonders of the world – an accolade it thoroughly deserves and one which recognises the significant role this region played in the slate industry in the UK and around the world during our industrial past.
Today, the nomination will play a huge role in providing a further boost to the tourism industry and acting as a catalyst to greater investment across north west Wales.”