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Aberdulais Waterfall

Neath, Glamorgan

Location Guide

The upper falls at Aberdulais  Chris Shaw

For over 400 years the waterfall on the River Dulais has provided the energy to drive the wheels of industry from the first manufacture of copper in 1584 to the present day remains of the tinplate works.

The site today houses a unique hydroelectric scheme and the new waterwheel, the largest currently used in Britain, the National Trust says largest in Europe, used to generate electricity. It makes Aberdulais Falls self-sufficient in energy. The Turbine House provides access to an interactive computer, fish pass and display panels. From the roof level there are views over the falls, which have been visited by many famous artists, including J M W Turner, who came here in 1796. Works by some of these notable visitors are reproduced in the Information Centre, which also houses a historical display and video.

The earliest enterprise at Aberdulais was the first copper smelter in Wales, built here by the Mines Royal in c.1590, and fed with ore shipped across the Bristol Channel from the rich mines of Cornwall. Copper smelting was replaced by iron working, fulling and dyeing, and in the 18th century the falls were being used to run a large corn mill which supplied flour to the growing industrial towns of the Welsh valleys. The present ivy clad ruins, including a tall chimney, are the remains of a 19th-century tinplate works, which ceased working in the 1880s.

I have visited in the past and the site generally is interesting, here we have covered the waterwheel only. Across the road is the remains of a canal viaduct, crossing a river.

Lower falls with upper falls behind. Hywel Williams 


Location: Aberdulais Waterfall, Neath, Glamorgan

Grid Reference: SS772995 Ceremonial County: Glamorgan

Map Link:  Google      StreetMap

Aerial photo: Google Aerial

Getting there: On A4109, 3miles NE of Neath, 4miles from M4 J43 at Llandarcy, take A465 signposted Vale of Neath.

Access: Parking outside and on opposite side of road. Adapted toilets near entrance and in visitor building. All of property is accessible by lifts and gravel and stone slab paths.
Website: NT
Other Useful Websites: BBC pictures
Email: aberdulais@nationaltrust.org.uk
Address:
Postcode: SA10 8EU Telephone: 01639 636674
Opening Times: Feb 2012 Weekends 11am-4pm, Half Term week daily 10am-5pm; Mar-28 Oct Daily 10am-5pm; Nov-23 Dec Fri-Sun 11am-5pm; Closed Dec and Jan 2013. Check their website for dates and opening days.

Charges: Free to members. Adult 4.05; Child 2.02; Family 10.13
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Nearby Locations: Canal viaduct over a river opposite.
Other Location Pages: Waterfalls   Waterfalls in Wales

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By: Keith Park Section: Waterfalls Section Key:
Page Ref: Aberdulais Topic: Waterfalls Last Updated: 01/2012
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