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Aberdulais Neath Neath_Port_Talbot Wales
For over four hundred years this famous waterfall on the River Dulais has provided 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 a modern waterwheel, the largest currently used in Britain to generate electricity, makes Aberdulais Falls self-sufficient in environmentally friendly energy. Display panels in the Turbine House provide fascinating information about the origins of the Falls and a short film tells the story of its history. From the roof level there are magnificent 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 by the Mines Royal in 1584 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. Now the falls are harnessed once again, in a unique hydro-electric scheme introduced by the Trust.....
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