Former harbour offices, Y Felinheli
The oldest part of this building, now a restaurant, was erected c.1902 as offices for the newly enlarged slate harbour. The land between the building and the quayside was once occupied by railway tracks for the wagons which brought slates here from the Dinorwig quarry complex, near Llanberis.
The building’s walls are covered with tongues of slate, arranged to overlap in a pattern which looks like fish scales. Slates were a method of protecting the walls of buildings from rain in exposed locations. Here, in this relatively sheltered position, they were probably decorative. There would have been no shortage of slate for the cladding!
If you look closely you’ll see that the slates are arranged in rows of subtly different colours. The Dinorwig quarries produced slates of various shades, with blue, red, green and other tints.
Staff at the harbour offices supervised the berthing and loading of ships which carried Dinorwig slates to ports around the British Isles. One of the main destinations for the vessels was Liverpool, where slates were transferred to larger ships for export to countries as far away as Australia and South America.
In 1886 the harbour master here was given new powers to prevent ships from anchoring across the route of the ferry boats which plied between Y Felinheli and Foel y Don, on the Anglesey side of the Menai Strait. This followed complaints that obstruction by ships was causing “much inconvenience”.
Postcode: LL56 4JN View Location Map