I.C.I. Cooke's Explosives Works, Penrhyndeudraeth

Scope and Content

Records of I.C.I., Cooke's Explosives Works, 1884-1995, comprising S. S. Florence Cooke logs, ledgers, correspondence, surveys and papers, 1921-1968; Croesor Quarry papers, 1944-1977; Miners Safety Explosives Co. Ltd private, sales and wages ledgers, cash book, 1898-1945; and Cooke's Works papers, 1884-1995

Administrative / Biographical History

Cookes Explosives Ltd was part of the Imperial Chemical Industries (I.C.I.) empire but ran as an independent firm. The ship S.S. Florence Cooke was built to the order of Cookes Explosives. Their offices and distribution depot, from where explosives were sent to the coal mines, was in Durham, County Durham. The increased demand for explosives during WW1 forced the company to search a new site at Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales. The Miners Safety Explosives Company, London started producing explosives for the coal mining industry in 1924. In 1958, I.C.I. bought the works. In 1949, R. T. Cooke applied for a licence to store explosives at Croesor Quarry, in Penrhyndeudraeth. In 1964, I.C.I purchased the quarry. Cookes Explosives Works closed in the 1990s.


Arranged into the following groups: S. S. Florence Cooke; Croesor Quarry; Miners Safety Explosives Co. Ltd; and Cooke's Works.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted access. Croeser Quarry and items 647-666 of Cooke's Works closed until July 2006.


Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Meirionnydd Archives, I.C.I. Cooke's Explosives Works, Penrhyndeudraeth vol. 1; S.S. Florence Cook (freespace.virgin.net); Miners Safety Explosives Company (www.defra.gov.uk) and Cookes Explosives (www.deudraeth.net) viewed 12 October 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Meirionnydd Archives, the National Register of Archives and the National Library of Wales. The catalogue is available online.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright laws apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Meirionnydd Archives have been retained


Accruals are not expected.