Valentia Slate

Valentia Slate is an exceptional slate. The quarry is 22km by road from Cahersiveen Town.

What are the famous buildings that house Valentia Slate?

Westminster Abbey where Valentia Slate was used
Westminster Abbey

Valentia Slate quarry opened in 1816. When it first opened the slate was used for roofs and headstones. The slate from the quarry was excellent. Therefore, it was used in many UK buildings like Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, and The Houses of Parliament. It was also used in Waterloo Train Station and the Paris Opera House.

How many people did it employ?

During the 1850’s it employed 500 workers. Then after that, cheaper and softer Welsh Slate came on the market. It began to lose market share. The quarry closed in 1910 due to a rockfall.

What is at the entrance to Valentia Slate Quarry?

In 1954 a statue of Our Lady & Bernadette was put up at the entrance to the quarry. Every year there was a mass at the entrance to the quarry and people went up a long ladder to the statue. It is not for the faint-hearted.

Is it still mined now?

It reopened in 1999 and produced a very good slate for local craftsmen. Today the slate is used in building houses, roofing, headstones, furniture, flooring, and much more. For example, I have a Valentia Slate Plaque with my name and my wife’s name written in Ogham writing.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.

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