A view of hafod copperworks

A view of hafod copperworks

I was doing some research in the West Glamorgan Archives when I came across a delightful book by George Grant Francis, published in 1867, called ‘The melting of copper in the Swansea District’. In the book he describes all of the copperworks strung along the Lower Swansea Valley. Included with the description of the Hafod Works was this wonderful engraving. Note the canal bridge in the middle ground, this is what the cobbles we found during the excavation were leading up to!


Hafod Community Excavation Saturday 8th June- Open Day!!

Its finally arrived! It’s our big day…..our open day!

One and all are welcome to our open day today between 10:00 and 15:00. We have a lot of different activities going on throughout the day today for all ages including;

  • Photographic competitions- Simply take your best ‘shot’ at any of the local Hafod Wildlife, Archaeology/Buildings, the Hafod community or the people of the Copperworks.  Our age categories are Under 14s, 14-18 and 18+
  • Visiting the Swansea Museum’s stores to see all the fantastic collections and array of finds
  • Explore the Hafod site and see the new buildings uncovered and the new trails
  • The hidden treasures roadshow- come and bring along your Copperworks related objects and photographs
  • Walk along our various tours, including the Copperworks and community tour 10:30am- 12:30pm, Useful plants and wild food walks 11:00- 13:00, and our nature walks 11:30- 13:30
  • And finally come and visit our excavation site!

So now you have all the info…..Come on down and see us!


Day 8 – Friday

Well, where do I start?!  We’ve been pulling the volunteers here there and everywhere today with our training!

Excavation works have been continuing over at the site of trench 3, with various tasks being carried out.   Johnny has been carrying on with excavations along with some of the volunteers, expanding the area and removing the modern cements (!) and build up of flora.

The southern side of our north-south running wall has now been cleaned, revealing an astonishing set of cobbles, along with a beam slot and the remains of a wooden feature, that may  possibly be the lower section of of the original door still in situ!

Sophie, along with her gang of helpful volunteers, started on the task of recording the site.  With the volunteers taking the archaeological photographs and recording various deposits.  The survey skills taught by Andyt last Saturday were put into practice, with the volunteers undertaking the spot level recording across the site.

Whilst all this was occurring Jan was supervising the finds and making sure all was correctly washed, labelled and cataloged before training more volunteers in the art of  plane table survey.

Charlotte meanwhile was extremely busy with some building recording all along the back of the Hafod Copperworks Canal wall with a group of very excited volunteers.  This included a photographic survey and drawing record.

Further blog updates tomorrow and of course don’t forget to check out our other social media points at Twitter and Facebook.


Day 7 – Thursday

Today has been extremely busy and very productive.  Luckily, we had a lot of very eager and determined volunteers to help us out!

 At the start of the morning, we continued work on the cobbled area where we stopped at end of play on Wednesday.  We can now happily report that the volunteers have discover more cobbles!  The extent and condition of the cobbled floor is fantastic and has now been shown to extend over quite a large area extending to both the north and south of the original visible cobbled section.

In the afternoon we were graced with a visit from GGAT’s Web Manager, Paul Huckfield, who came to take lots of photos of the the volunteers, to be included in an upcoming web gallery for the project, so watch this space!

Volunteers at work


Newly exposed cobbled surface

Newly exposed cobbled surface






















Day 6 – Wednesday

Today we started to see some nice finds coming out of the Hafod Copperworks, consisting mainly of some 19th century pottery, brick and glass!   So not only is it full steam ahead for the diggers, it’s all hands on deck for the cleaners!

Thanks to all the volunteers who have been with us so far, keep up the good work!

A GGAT archaeologists and volunteers washing small finds


You’ve had a rest, now it’s full steam ahead!

Morning everyone!  Yesterday it was full steam ahead for the excavation!

We’ve had lots of volunteers, all digging at a tremendous pace!  In the morning our very eager volunteers started clearance works, supervised by Johnny and Andy, surrounding the cobbled surface and were amazed and excited to see more and more and even more cobbles sloping up towards the canal bridge.  So exciting times for us at the community excavation!.

Whilst this was going on, a turf layer was removed to the north of the cobbled surface which was supervised by Sophie.   Also further activities going on at the Hafod community excavation takes form in the finds washing area that Charlotte supervised, leaving not a dirty pot sherd in sight!

Further blog updates tomorrow and of course don’t forget to check out GGAT’s other social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook

If you’re visiting our Facebook site, why not pay your appreciation and give us a ‘Like’.:-)

Volunteers hard at work


Photo Gallery


Day 5 – Tuesday

Yet another sunny day!  Oh, how the Gods or Archaeology must favor us!   Today Sophie, Andy,  Johnny and Charlotte are busy preparing the new area for excavating which will commence tomorrow.   We are all very much looking forward to seeing the volunteers again.

The new area will be at the cobbled entrance to the Hafod Copperworks.  Volunteers from Saturday will remember the area from the surveying exercises we did, so will know that this is a very pretty area, and we hope that they will thoroughly enjoy it! 🙂

We had a visit from one of our volunteers this morning, Katrina, who very kindly bought in some finds from her garden which contained some nice Post-medieval pottery, an old street map of Swansea and a book of the Lower Swansea Valley.

One of the volunteers shows off a peice of post-medieval pottery that she found in gher garden.


Day 4 – Monday

Today brought a temporary break in the excavation, and therefore no volunteers.  Andy and Johnny have been working hard to find other areas to excavate (the photo is proof!), while Sophie imputed  the site records into a database on the computer.

Fingers crossed, digging will resume over the next few days.

In the afternoon we had a visit from Professor Huw Bowen and his Swansea University Heritage Apprentices!   They were busy performing tasks while Andy and Edith successfully found a new area for us to excavate, HORRAY!!  The new area will be at the cobbled entrance way to the Hafod Copperworks, so we are looking forward to seeing our volunteers back on Wednesday.

A GGAT archaeologist looking long and hard for new areas to excavate!

Andy looking long and hard for new areas to excavate!