During the 19th century much of Wales’s landscape was transformed by industry. In the south Wales valleys it was coal. Here in the north it was slate.
In the beginning small groups of men worked the slate. But then great landowners and entrepreneurs moved in, taking over the quarries and controlling the market. The industry was at its height in 1889, two years before Kate Roberts was born.
By then Gwynedd slate employed 14,000 men and had roofed the world. It created an incredible landscape of huge waste tips, scattered upland settlements and a network of railways to take the slate to the sea.
It’s so unique that the Slate Landscape of north-west Wales is pursuing World Heritage Site status. Kate Roberts’s childhood home of Cae’r Gors is a vital chapter in the story.