Chimney to the West of the Vivian Engine House

This tall tapering chimney stack served the steam engines of the nearby Vivian Engine House which was built between 1860 and 1862.  Other tall chimneys on the site served the furnaces of the smelting houses, and it was through them that poisonous fumes were released into the atmosphere.  During the nineteenth century, visitors to the site often commented on the ‘copper smoke’ that formed dense low clouds across the Lower Swansea Valley.  These visitors also noted the extremely damaging effects that the sulphurous fumes had on local plant and animal life. The effects of pollution were especially marked upon Kilvey Hill which can be seen in the distance.  In its industrial hey-day, hundreds of tall chimney stacks were dotted all over the Valley.  Today, the chimney in front of you, together with the nearby one that serves the neighbouring Musgrave Engine House, are the only two to survive. As such, they are extremely important symbolic reminders of Swansea’s historic copper industry.

Chimneys of the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks (Engraving 1880)
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