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Llansamlet Spelter Works

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Map ReferenceSS69NE
Grid ReferenceSS6747296201
Unitary (Local) AuthoritySwansea
Old CountyGlamorgan
Period19th Century
A zinc-smelting works consisting of three English-type furnaces and two calciners was established on or near this site in c.1835 by Evan John, operating intermittently until c.1840.

In c.1858, the zinc-smelting works started on this site by Dillwyn & Co. under the direction of the Swansea industrialist and MP, Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (1814?1892), who entered into two leases with the Earl of Jersey to erect a smelter and slag dump. The new works improved on the earlier smelter, utilising more updated Silesian and Belgian smelting processes. The works were located near the Swansea Vale Junction and Smith's Canal, the westernmost of four spelter works in the Llansamlet area, and to the east of the Landore Seimens Works.

On the death of Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn in 1892, the management of the works passed to his daughter, the author Elizabeth Amy Dillwyn (1845?1935). The works was, at that time, in financial difficulty, with a deficit of almost £100,000. However, in 1896, with Lewis's creditors compensated, the works were under the administration of E. A. Dillwyn & J. Cortfield, James Cortfield being the manager of the works. This became Dilwyn & Co. Ltd in 1902, and soon after the works were one of the largest producers of zinc in the UK, with annual profits of around £10,000.

In the early-twentieth century Dillwyn & Co. Ltd. merged with Metallgesellschaft of Frankfurt. The works declined following the First World War and closed in 1926. Thereafter, the site fell into dereliction and was demolished in 1962.

(Sources: David Trevor Williams, The Economic Development of Swansea and of the Swansea district to 1921 (Cardiff; University of Wales Press, 1940); R. O. Roberts, `The Smelting of Non-Ferrous Metals since 1750? in Arthur H. John and Glanmore Williams, Glamorgan County History, Vol. 5, Industrial Glamorgan from 1700?1970 (Cardiff: Glamorgan County History Trust, 1980), pp. 47?95; David Painting, Amy Dillwyn (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1987); Stephen Hughes, Copperopolis: Landscapes in the Early Industrial Period in Swansea (Aberystwyth: RCAHMW, 2000) Peter Claughton, `Silver and Zinc: Cardiganshire, Brittany, and Dillwyn & Co. of Swansea? in D.J. Linton (ed.), Towards a Better Understanding: New Research on Old Mines, Welsh Mining Society Conference Proceedings, Welsh Mines and Mining, 2 (2010), 45?50)
A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 19.02.2019, updated 25.02.2019