At Valley Mill, all the slate used for our homeware products has been mined from the Lechwedd slate caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Known around the world as the finest slate there is due to the deep blue grey colour and the texture and flatness of the surface. It is also known as the toughest slate known to man and does not fade in the sun.
The slate is approximately 500 million years old and made up of the compression of clay over time from movement of the techtonic plates that formed the welsh mountains.
The high quality of the slate is partly due to the high quality of the original clay and the correct amount of pressure and heat, making welsh slate the best quality around.
The Llechwedd slate caverns where founded in 1849 by J.W.Greaves where 5 large slate beds where found sandwiched between layers of chert running diagonally down at 30 degrees from the surface, which meant the slate miners had to create the impressive slate caverns to extract the slate from the ground, which are still open today for tourists.
The slate is still being extracted and cut in very similar ways today as they where over a hundred years ago, all our slate is hand split and selected for the best quality before being sent to our workshop in South Wales for us to manufacture our wide range of homeware by hand.