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Aberdulais Falls: a case study in Welsh heritage
Aberdulais Falls: a case study in Welsh heritage

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1 Aberdulais Falls

1.1 Background

Aberdulais Falls is under the control of the National Trust. It is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty that has attracted artists for centuries (Turner visited the ten-metre high waterfall in 1796). Aberdulais Falls also has a four-hundred-year history of industrial use, due to the opportunities it provides for water power. The industrial history of Aberdulais Falls goes back to 1584, when the availability of water power and fuel led to copper ore from Cornwall being smelted there. Copper smelting was superseded by a fulling mill (used in the manufacture of cloth), and later by a corn mill. Corn ceased to be milled there in 1820.

The combination of good canal and road links and water power led to the construction of a tinplate works on the site in 1830. This remained in operation until 1897, after which the works fell into decay, with only a few buildings remaining occupied and maintained. One was Danygraig House; the others were a stable and the former school for tinplate workers' children.

In time, even Danygraig House became derelict, and in 1981 the whole site was taken over by the National Trust.