Cefn Du Manuscripts

Scope and Content

This collection contains accounts, ledgers, report books, correspondence and miscellaneous papers relating to the Cefn Du Slate Quarry in the parishes of Llanrug and Llanbeblig, Caernarvonshire.

Administrative / Biographical History

Until 1928 the Cefn Du Slate Quarry, situated in the parishes of Llanrug and Llanbeblig, was one of the most important of the minor quarries of Caernarvonshire. From 1878 onwards the quarry was one of the three worked by the Llanberis Slate Company Ltd. It pursued its activities until the Company went into liquidation in 1928. Two years later the quarry plant was dismantled and sold by auction and it was at this juncture that an opportunity offered itself to secure the contents of the quarry office.

Previous to the formation of the Llanberis Slate Company, Cefn Du was in the hands of a Glasgow merchant, James Wotherspoon. He claimed to have spent D18,000 upon it since taking over the quarry from the Messrs Stephens in 1875 and to have increased the royalties accruing to the Crown from D105 per annum to D900 per annum in two years. It is to be gathered that this effort had exhausted his capital resources, and it was this fact together with the bad days that then befell the industry generally which led Wotherspoon to seek amalgamation with two adjoining smaller quarries. These - the Goodman and the Cambrian - were worked by T. H. Goodwin Newton of Barrell's Park, Henley in Arden. From the point of view of Cefn Du, amalgamation with these two quarries offered very desirable shipment facilities in the form of access to the siding on the Caernarvon to Llanberis railway. A renewal of the Cefn Du lease was obtained from the Crown and the two parties agreed to merge their interests under the title of the Llanberis Slate Company Ltd. In addition to Wotherspoon and Newton, who became secretary and chairman respectively, John Menzies and W. B. Jeffrey, both of Caernarvon joined the company, one as a managing director and the other as work's manager.


Grouped according to type of document.

Conditions Governing Access


Open to all users.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mr Owen Parry M.A.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist.

Appraisal Information

The number of single documents in the collection amounts to over 14,000, but the grouping system adopted with a considerable section of it reduces this number for reference purposes to 759.


None expected

Related Material

Porth yr Aur Manuscripts 27069-27200