Roll up, roll up, living history festival this way!

We’re having a living history festival on the 14th June why not turn up for some fun, frolics and live copper smelting!

living history festival

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Where waters meet

Yesterday Professor Huw Bowen gave an excellent paper at the Where Waters Meet conference in Swansea on the copperworks. His two most salient points were:

1) Swansea was, in his opinion, the first industrialised town in the world. Where more people worked in manufacturing and associated industries than in agriculture.

2) Swansea’s copper industry was the first globally integrated industry in the word with raw materials being imported into Swansea from Spain, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, South Africa, Australia and North America. While finished products where exported as far a field as India.

Hopefully the copperworking area can be regenerated soon to show just how important and outward looking it really was.

Harriet’s Grand Tour

Here are a few photographs of Harriet’s tour of the copperworks during the open day. Kindly provided to us by Ivor Williams and Teresa Hillier, thank you both.

Down on the banks of the Tawe Harriet explains the forge building to her tour guests.

Down on the banks of the Tawe Harriet explains the forge building to her tour guests.

 

Opposite Trench 3 Harriet leads her charges into the tree line. You would never know there is canal behind there!

Opposite Trench 3 Harriet leads her charges into the tree line. You would never know there is canal behind there!

 

Harriet explains to her tour that hidden behind this forest of scaffolding is the pretty V & S (Vivian and Sons) engine shed.

Harriet explains to her tour that hidden behind this forest of scaffolding is the pretty V & S (Vivian and Sons) engine shed.

 

Tour guide, tour guests, volunteers and your amiable host discuss the site of the canal bridge.

Tour guide, tour guests, volunteers and your amiable host discuss the site of the canal bridge.

The joy of material culture

Our volunteers cleaned all the artefacts recovered from the excavations at the copperworks in the Swansea Museum’s Collection Centre (the building that was once the rolling mill for the Morfa Copperworks).  We brought all of the cleaned finds back to the office on Tuesday and are now starting to analysis them.

One of our volunteers carfeully washes a sherd of 19th century ceramics.

One of our volunteers carfeully washes a sherd of 19th century ceramics.

However, some of the more modern finds we recovered were recorded on site and left for future archaeologists to find again!

Two late-20th century drinks cans (Tango and Lilt) recovered from Trench 3.

Two late-20th century drinks cans (Tango and Lilt) recovered from Trench 3.

We also found some artefacts from other areas of the site and left them in situ.

This object is a probable crucible, which would have been used to test the quality of the copper being produced on site.  We found this along the line of the Swansea Canal.

This object is a probable crucible, which would have been used to test the quality of the copper being produced on site. We found this along the line of the Swansea Canal.