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Yorkshire Imperial Metals Site, Landore, Swansea 2002

The photo shows the Vivian engine house (Hafod Works) from the south.

The nature, condition, potential and future management of the buildings and features at the former Yorkshire Imperial Metals Site (YIM) at Landore, Swansea, have been examined as a preliminary to decisions over the future use of the site. The site is of crucial importance to the later history and development of Swansea. It includes the Hafod and Morfa Works, two 19th century copperworks which, during the mid 19th century, were the largest in the world. Hundreds of workers were employed, and housed in purpose-built estates in Landore.

The study area, which is 4.3ha in extent, lies between the west bank of the River Tawe and the Swansea Canal which was established in 1794-8 to open up the coal trade at the head of Swansea Valley. Copperworking ceased in 1980 and the site was acquired by (the then) Swansea City Council. Much of it was cleared. The A4067/A4217 Cross Valley Link Road was carried through the centre of the site in the early 1990s, and light industrial units established in the eastern half. A further 20% of the site was covered over by the car park for the Landore Park-and-ride scheme, which adjoins the study area to the east, in the early 2000s.

However, the site is still an important feature of the urban landscape. It is one of the very few assemblages of 19th century industrial buildings that survive in Swansea. There are 10 listed buildings on the site, one of them also a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and the incomplete remains of a large number of other structures. The group includes a building from the 1820s, and an engine house with surviving rolling machinery.

The study was commissioned by the City and County of Swansea and was undertaken by Dyfed Archaeological Trust in conjunction with Davies Sutton Architecture, Veryards Ltd and Parry and Dawkins.

Ludlow N D et al 2002 The Yorkshire Imperial Metals Site, Swansea: a Site Appraisal – draft report, Dyfed Archaeological Trust report No 2002/100

Project contact: N Ludlow




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