The natural heritage
Since the site closed in 1980, nature has moved in to reclaim parts of the site and much has been done to clean up the contamination of the area, including the river. It is a very pleasant place to walk, sit and relax. Of particular interest is the river, with views south east over Kilvey Hill, (Otters, Seals and Kingfishers have been sighted here in the last five years) and the now wooded northern section of the canal, which is home to two rare species of Wintergreen and a rare moss from Chile, thought to have arrived on a copper barque.
Practical information for visitors
Visitors to the site are asked to remember that the buildings that are fenced off are not safe for public access. Please respect all other structures by not climbing on them.
Bus number 4 from Swansea bus station to Morriston which stops on Neath Road
Walking routes and distances
A walk around the entire site, starting at the interpretation features beside the new car park and taking in the furthest points of the V&S locomotive shed, the northern part of the Swansea Canal and the Swansea Museum Collections Centre is approximately 1500metres. A number of shorter routes are also possible, outlined below
The audio trail. This walk takes in the main artwork and audio devices and allows you to hear the voices from the site’s history. It is 500 metres long. Start at the main car park where the boards will give you an introduction to the site. Then head south towards the river. We recommend you start with the audio device at the riverside and the stories of the Cape Horner, Local farmer and the scientist. Retrace your steps to the character point at the base of the ramp depicting the child worker and the engine house boy. Head towards character point 3 turning left and up the ramp to the point overlooking the Engine Houses. Follow the path round to the right and you will find character point 3, depicting the Hafod Woman and the Foreman. Continue up to the road, cross to the pavement on the other side and walk down the hill (right) towards the Laboratory building and character Point 4 where you can hear the voices of the Manager and the Furnaceman.
River front walk. Walking along the river Tawe, it is possible to imageine what the lower Swansea valley may have been like before the arrival of coal mining and copper smelting. This peaceful stretch of the river is used by walkers, yclists, fisherman and rowers. From the car park to the V and S locomotive shed and the southern border of the site and back is approximately 800 metres.
Swansea Museum Collection Centre. The museum collection centre, set within the Morfa Rolling Mill, houses a fascinating and eclectic collection of artefacts and archives relating to the Copperworks and much more. It also houses the Copperopolis exhibition. It is open on a Wednesday. From the car park to the Museum Collections Centre and back is 600 metres.
Swansea Canal Walk. The northern section of canal, now a thin strip of woodland between the walls of the old canal, works buildings and tramway piers is an atmospheric and fascinating walk. The newly restored walls are visually impressive and reveal how the copperworks sites were build with whatever materials they could lay their hands on including a lot of copper slag. Please note that there is rough stone footpath and ramp which means that it is not accessible to all visitors. A walk to the end of the canal and back, via the Hafod Entrance is approximately
Hafod-Morfa and White Rock sites combined. The white Rock site is on the other side of the river and would be an additional 1600 metres for a ciruit of the site. See http://whiterocktrails.org/ for more information.
Information for school visits
A number of resources are available for schools, including a resource for Key Stage 3 which is available on the schools page. At times we are able to offer tours of the site from community volunteer members of the Friends of the Copperworks groups and Swansea University students.
Extending Your Visit
Other Local Attractions
A visit to the Hafod Morfa Copperworks can be combined with a visit to the Swansea Museum Collections Centre http://www.swanseamuseum.co.uk/visit-swansea-museum/collections-centre , The White Rock Heritage Park http://whiterocktrails.org/ a trip of Copper Jack http://scbt.org.uk/about/boat-trips/ and a tour of the Liberty Stadium
Swansea Museum Collections Centre
Swansea Museum Collections Centre is located in the Morfa Rolling Mill on the site of the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks and is open to visitors every Wednesday, 10.00am to 4.00pm. It houses the Swansea Museum’s reserve collections, including the collection from the former Maritime and Industrial Museum in Swansea.
Popular items in the stores include motorcycles, old police vehicles, trains and tractors. You’ll also find an old fire engine and the William Gammon lifeboat, donated to the museum in 1992.
The White Rock Heritage Park
The White Rock Heritage Park is just on the other side of the river from the Hafod works. A group of volunteers, the Friends of White Rock is creating self-guided digital trails of White Rock aspart of a project supported by Swansea University’s Connected Communities Project.
Swansea Community Boat Trust
The trust runs tours from Swansea Marina along the river Tawe and past the copperworks on their oat Copper Jack. Copper Jack offers a flating classroom and a rnage of facilities to enable people to fins out about Swansea;s industrial heritage.
In time they hope to secure a pontoon to enable access from the river onto the site of the Hafod Morfa works.
Liberty Stadium Tour
Swans and Ospreys fans can follow in the footsteps of their sporting heroes with a tour of the Liberty Stadium. Visitors can see areas that are usually off-limits to everyone except players, officials and the press. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01792 616402.
Where to eat?
Frankie and Benny’s www.frankieandbennys.com and The Morfa Parc Harvester www.harvester.co.uk/restaurants/wales/themorfaparcswansea are 200 metres from the site beside the Liberty Stadium. Rossi’s excellent fish and chips are nearby on Neath Road www.rossisoriginal.co.uk/ and Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Starbucks are in the nearby Morfa Retail Park.
Maps and Directions