Valentia Slate is 385 million years old and is the rock that contains the famous tetrapod footprints of Valentia. The underground mine of Valentia Slate is one of the largest man made caves in Ireland. It can be seen operating during one of the tours which happen hourly during the summer season. On this tour you can see the old mine where slate has been excavated since 1830 as well as the modern workings where equipment includes a diamond studded rope and what's reputed to be Ireland’s largest chainsaw.
The local guides will explain the history of this unique place and show you how the solid rock is extracted to make a variety of interesting and durable products. You can also try your hand at making a roofing slate to take away and browse in the shop where unique mementos are available. Valentia Slate produces objects and materials that reflect the beauty, strength and durability of this local stone. The quarry is very conscious of its 200 year history of production and uses well proven design principles to make durable, simple and aesthetically pleasing products.
The raw slate has no embodied carbon and low carbon techniques and energy are used in manufacture. The quarry has a zero waste philosophy.