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Team digs up city's hidden copper history

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 26, 2011

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BALDRICK from Blackadder has praised the cunning plan to breathe new life into Swansea's historic Hafod Copperworks site.

Tony Robinson, famous for playing Blackadder's downtrodden servant in the hit comedy series, has been on site with Channel 4 programme Time Team for an archaeological dig aimed at unearthing secrets from the past.

Tony said: "The site came as a surprise to me.

"As an ignorant Englishman who lives the other side of the River Severn in the Bristol area, I hadn't realised Swansea was once the epicentre of the world's copper industry.

"This is a lost story that has status not just in Swansea but across the world as a whole. The Hafod and White Rock sites are just as historically significant as any we've worked on in the UK and we've left a half-finished story that can be completed and passed down to future generations.

Exciting

"We made some pretty exciting discoveries and what we have done should lay the foundations for future work to tell what's largely an unknown story."

In January, Swansea Council reached agreement with Swansea University to act as a preferred development partner until early next year to explore regeneration opportunities for the Hafod Copperworks site.

A feasibility study is being jointly done which includes exploring the potential of preserving and developing the historic buildings that once formed part of the world-famous copperworks.

Time Team spent three days on site to carry out a series of investigations with expert assistance from Swansea Council, historic monuments body Cadw and other partners.

Swansea Council leader Chris Holley said: "We have always known about the historic significance of the Hafod and White Rock sites but what Time Team's programme will do is further raise the profile of Swansea's rich industrial heritage."

Time Team will air on Channel 4 from January to April next year.

robert.goodman@swwmedia.co.uk

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