Time Team focus on Swansea's rich copper history
Tony 'Baldrick' Robinson presents a Time Team special about the Hafod and White Rock sites
Tony Robinson, most famous for playing Blackadder's downtrodden servant in the TV comedy hit, presented a Time Team special about the Hafod and White Rock sites on Channel 4 on Sunday 26 February.
Tony visited the sites with an archaeological team last summer to reveal traces of their industrial past and rediscover the stories of workers from bygone centuries.
Swansea led the world in copper smelting about 200 years ago when the Lower Swansea Valley resembled an inferno of smoke and noise.
But the sites have remained of international importance ever since despite the decline of heavy industry over the last half century or so.
This is why Swansea Council is working with Swansea University as a preferred development partner for the Hafod Copperworks site to explore regeneration opportunities that would preserve and celebrate its industrial heritage.
Work will soon start thanks to a major tourism grant on a scheme that will include tourist trails, a visitor gateway and an annual on-site event that will raise the profile of the copper industry and both its local and global history.
The Welsh Government is contributing £277,000 to the scheme through Regeneration Funding and Targeted Match Funding and £244,000 has been provided from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Welsh Government's £19m Heritage Tourism project.
Cllr Gareth Sullivan, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Planning, said: "We're making significant progress alongside our partners at Swansea University on plans that will see our historic Hafod Copperworks site preserved for future generations to enjoy.
"Swansea and the Hafod area in particular was once the epicentre of the world's copper industry but a combination of projects will breathe new life into our past and help rediscover the stories of our ancestors.
"Time Team is an internationally-renowned programme and their interest in Swansea speaks volumes for the enormous contribution our city has made to the world."
Professor Huw Bowen, who is leading the project team on behalf of Swansea University, said: "Exposure on Time Team will further raise the profile of Swansea's history at a time when we're already making progress on a series of ideas for the Hafod site that will mark its past and offer a fascinating visitor experience.
"We'll continue to work hard alongside Swansea Council and our other partners and will be in a position to make even more positive announcements in the near future."
The 12.5 acre Hafod Copperworks site contains 12 Grade II listed buildings and features.
The site's smelting works and other buildings date from 1810 and helped shape the development of Swansea as a key industrial town at the heart of the first globally integrated heavy industry.
Missed it on Channel 4 last Sunday? Watch it on 4oD here: