The Slate Quarry first opened in 1816 under the direction of the Knight of Kerry and has been a working quarry on and off since that date. Famous for the quality of the slate quarried, this recently reopened quarry is famous for providing the slate for the Paris Opera House, London’s Houses of Parliament and many billiard tables, including one made for the Duke of Wellington & Queen Victoria, today it is used as counter tops, tables and roof slate to name a few (see Valentia Island Slate Quarry).
A rock fall closed the mine in 1910, it remained abandoned until the 1954 Marian Year when statues of Our Lady & Bernadette where placed high above the quarry entrance. It has since played host to various events, including a yearly community mass – a ladder was constructed to reach the statues from the ground but only those with a head for heights were able to complete the journey up! For further information on the construction of the Valentia Grotto please see click here. The slate quarry was reopened a number of years ago and again Valentia Island State is being successfully exporting around the world along with providing local employment. For more information please visit www.valentiaslate.com.