Site of original Dinorwig quarry hospital
If you’ve just scanned the QR codes beside the derelict mill building, you’re standing almost on top of the quarry’s first hospital. The building disappeared when further tipping widened the flat-topped expanse of waste rock here in the 1930s.
The quarry hospital was built c.1830. It was at the end of the minor road which paralleled the “village tramway” a little lower down the hillside. It was replaced by a larger hospital near Gilfach Ddu c.1860, after which it was a house known as Hen Hospital (Old Hospital). Latterly it was a shop.
Few quarries had their own hospital in the 1830s, despite the dangers to the workforce. Even visitors were at some risk. In 1853 an inquest was held at the hospital on Catherine Williams, possibly the only woman killed at the quarry.
She was a servant, aged about 24, at Felin Fach farm, Llanrug. She visited the quarry with two other women from Llanrug to view operations at one of the levels. They were conducted by a quarryman. They stood at what was considered to be a safe distance to watch “rubbish” being cleared from a height. Some of the falling rock rebounded and a fragment struck Catherine in the back. She bled profusely and soon died. She was buried in her home village of Clynnog.
An inquest was held at the quarry hospital in 1855 after three workers died in a shaft which was being sunk. A large explosion had been detonated safely. After the customary waiting period, the men followed each other into the hole but suffocated at the bottom.
David Roberts, who lived with his family in the old hospital in the 1870s, died in the new hospital in 1878. A large rock had shattered his leg. He died during amputation, leaving many children and a widow.