Blue Peris, Dinorwig

Blue Peris, Dinorwig

During the 19th century this house was home to successive managers of the Dinorwig slate quarry. In 1893 it was described as having 31 windows, 16 doors, a dining room, drawing room and breakfast room.

Quarry manager Griffith Ellis lived here c.1841-1851, a Methodist with a slate and mining background. Under his management, the number of workers at the quarry increased from 300 to more than 2,400.

During the 1850s and 1860s his son, also named Griffith, lived in Blue Peris. Griffith junior succeeded his father as manager in 1860 and was considered “one of the best practical geologists in Wales, if not equal to any in the kingdom”. He died in 1869 aged 48 and was buried with his father in Nant Peris churchyard. Thousands lined the route of his funeral procession.

In 1874 John Davies (1828-1891) moved in to Blue Peris. Originally from Llandysilio (near Welshpool), his tenure as local manager became notorious. To the quarrymen, he was “an office official” whose ignorance of the actual workings of a quarry led to “glaring mistakes” and a working environment which put the men's lives in danger.

His methods, and those of general manager WW Vivian, sparked the Dinorwig lock-out and strike of 1885-1886. At one point in the dispute, a large crowd besieged Davies, Vivian and other officials in the quarry offices (now the National Sate Museum) and eventually turned them out of their quarry!

In 1893 painters presented a quote of £57.7s (equivalent to over £7,000 today) for painting and decorating the downstairs rooms of Blue Peris and the exterior. The dining room was to have a white ceiling and salmon pink walls!

From the 1890s onwards the property was sub-divided and rented to several families, most of whom worked in the quarry. Since the 1980s it has been an outdoor education centre. It is now home to the Blue Peris Mountain Centre, which provides outdoor education in Snowdonia.

With thanks to Dr Hazel Piece, of The History House. Sources Include ‘Welsh Slate: History and Archaeology of an Industry’ by David Gwyn (RCAHMW, Aberystwyth, 2015) and ‘The North Wales Quarrymen 1874-1922’ by R Merfyn Jones (Cardiff, 1981).

Postcode: LL55 3ET     View Location Map

Website of Blue Peris Mountain Centre