Fron Quarry

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Notes by J I C Boyd.[1] Fron Quarry was located near Fron village.

The operators were:

c1815 John Evans

1837 Sir John Kennaway (Bart) and others (along with Moel Tryfan Quarry)

1851 John Jones of Glan-Ceunant and others

1867 Carnarvonshire & Bangor Slate Co. Ltd.

1868 John Robinson and William Tuxford

1873 Vron Slate Co, Ltd.

1882 Vron & Old Braich Welsh Slate Quarries Ltd.

1896 Vron & Old Braich Slate Quarries Ltd. - in liquidation 1901

Periods of working: By 1830, 1858-1880, 1882-1891 (not in 1883), 1915 and spasmodically to 1950.

Tonnage produced in 1864 was 680 tons. Employees: 1858 - 8, 1864 - 40, 1875 - 70, 1878 - 6, 1886 - 96, 1887 - 60, 1915 - 100.

Rail Connections[edit]

Fron Quarry was situated between the Drumhead above the Bryngwyn branch of the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways and the quarries above the Nantlle Railway. Initially it was connected through lower quarries to the 3 foot 6 inch gauge Nantlle Railway and so its earliest quarry tramways may have been of this gauge. There is a copy of a lease for building the connection over Crown land which specified a toll of 10d. per ton and no charge for empties. There had to be two trips per day but none on Sundays. This link operated from 1868.

The North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways' Bryngwyn line reached its terminus below Drumhead by 1881. In that year the connection from Fron Quarry to the Nantlle Railway was abandoned and a 2 foot gauge tramway built to Drumhead. If this gauge was in use in the quarry to receive dressed slates it removed the need for transshipment in getting them to a place where they could be loaded into standard gauge railway wagons.

The quarry had two locomotives an 0-4-0 vertical boilered De Winton called Vron delivered (new?) in c 1878 and an 0-4-0 Hunslet No. 848 of 1904 new to Moel Tryfan Quarry and hired in? Much of the operation was presumably by gravity, hand pushing or horses.


  1. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1986) [1981]. Narrow gauge railways in North Caernarvonshire. Volume 1, The West. Oxford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 085361-273-0. OCLC 14641039. p 236.