Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Middle Bank Copperworks

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Boundary marker displayed at Swansea Museum

1755 Middle Bank Works were established by Chauncey Townsend to smelt lead.

Located on the eastern bank of the River Tawe, between the White Rock Copper Works and Townsend's Upper Bank copper works and lead and zinc works (1757).

1765 The works were first used for smelting copper.

1782/3 Thomas Williams broke the grip of the Associated Smelters cartel by developing copper smelting works at Ravenhead, and at Middle Bank works in Swansea, as well as a manufacturing plant at Holywell in Flint.

1787 Williams' Stanley Co. operated the Middle Bank (or Plas Canol) Copper Works in Swansea from 1787 onwards[1].

1794 Pascoe Grenfell went into partnership with Owen Williams to buy Cornish ores, primarily to supply the Williams' Middle and Upper Bank smelting works in Swansea.

1829 Owen Williams withdrew from the business; as a result the family firm of Pascoe Grenfell and Sons was formed to continue the Middle and Upper Bank Copper Works in the Lower Swansea Valley; at their height these works employed 800 men.

1892 Late this year, Williams, Foster and Co took over the copper-smelting business of Pascoe Grenfell and Sons. [2], acquiring the Middle Bank Copper Works and the Upper Bank Spelter Works.

1924 Copper smelting ended.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Morgannwg, Vol. 23 1979 Enterprise and capital for non-ferrous metal smelting in Glamorgan, 1694-1924 [1]
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908