Aberdulais Tin Works & Waterfall
Aberdulais Tin Works & Waterfall is one of the oldest industrial sites in Britain. The waters of the Dulais River just outside Neath have been driving the wheels of industry here for over 400 years, a tradition that continues to this day. Discover how a small village in the Welsh valleys used cutting edge technologies to harness an ice age landscape and breath-taking waterfalls, to shape the industries that changed the world.
Aberdulais Tin Works & Waterfall is Britain’s oldest surviving remains of a water powered tinplate works, a site where the river Dulais and picturesque waterfall lies at its heart. You can meander around the site and imagine the hustle and bustle of days gone by; dozens of workers onsite, furnaces burning all day long with tinplate being prepared to be transported around the country. Today’s waterwheel is a modern version of an old technology that has stood the test of time for more than 400 years. Built by students and apprentices of British Steel at Port Talbot, this is the largest electricity-generating wheel in Europe, with a diameter of 8.2m. It has 72 buckets and rotates five times per minute. Our waterwheel sits in the original wheel pit and a flywheel would have transmitted rotary power to the rollers of the Victorian tinplate work, where two wheels actually operated side by side.