Press Releases

A World of Welsh Copper launched at the Waterfront

A preview of a brand new exhibition A World of Welsh Copper will take place today, Thursday 30 June at the National Waterfront Museum.

The exhibition, officially open to the public this Saturday (2 July), uncovers the historic significance of the Welsh copper industry, its heritage, the global links and the place of copper in our lives today. 

Working with SwanseaUniversity, the exhibition has been mounted by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales forming part of a larger University project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) entitled History, heritage and urban regeneration: the global and local worlds of Welsh copper.

Speaking about this project, Professor of Modern History atSwanseaUniversity, Huw Bowen said: “We tend to think that the history of Wales is written in coal dust and iron and steel.  But in fact it's really copper that lies at the heart of Wales' development as an industrial nation.

“The project builds on a strong track record of collaborative working between the University and the Museum, and the planning and development of this major exhibition has enabled us to combine our research expertise in new and imaginative ways.  As a result, the exhibits and information on display will offer people plenty of fresh insights into the history of the first truly global heavy industry, the heart of which was located in the Lower Swansea Valley.”

Speaking about the arrival of the exhibition, A World of Welsh Copper, Steph Mastoris, Head of theNationalWaterfrontMuseum said:  "We are very excited to be working withSwanseaUniversity to deliver the public face of this important project.  The exhibition provides a fascinating insight on a very important part of Welsh industrial history.  As usual we have also put together an exciting programme of associated talks and workshops to enable people to explore this subject from a variety of historical and creative standpoints.”

A packed programme of events, talks and tours will take place throughout the next couple of months to complement the exhibition.

Artist Jill Randall, who has worked for several years in the disused copper mines of Mynydd Parys on Angleseywill demonstrate - in a one-off study day - how she used the minerals and water in the mines to stain huge sheets of paper to create abstract images to map the underground workings. 

Copper Tours will explore the fascinating remains of the White Rock copper works on the East bank of the River Tawe (Sat 6 August), and the Hafod and Morfa copper works on the West bank (Sat 20 Aug).

Family workshops will investigate fascinating properties of copper and principles of copper electroplating and a series of themed talks will focus on various elements of the exhibition including The Vivians: Makers of Modern Swansea and To Chile and Back for Copper Ore which delves into Sir William Reardon Smith’s voyage on a copper-ore barque in 1872.

For more information about the ESRC Project led by Swansea University visit

For more information about the National Waterfront Museum, contact Marie Szymonski on 01792 638950.

For more information about any of the events associated with the exhibition, visit or contact (01792) 638950.