Melincourt Waterfalls

Melincourt Waterfalls

Historical FeatureWater FeatureEcotourism Resource


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This spectacular eighty foot high waterfall on a tributary of the Neath River was painted by Turner in 1794. The reserve includes 12 acres of upland broad-leaved woodland which ascends steeply from the narrow gorge of the Melincourt Brook.

The woodland is made up of mature durmast oak interspersed with gnarled silver birch, wild cherry, rowan and crab apple, and alder dominates the stream bank. The woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells in spring, with enchanter's nightshade taking over later in the year.

Because of the local humid atmosphere in this narrow valley, twenty species of ferns have been recorded including green spleenwort, brittle bladder-fern, hay-scented buckler fern and Wilson's filmy fern.

The bird life, typical of this habitat, includes redstart, wood warbler and pied flycatcher in summer, with dipper and grey wagtail being regularly seen along the stream at all times of the year.

On the northern boundary of the reserve the remains of a blast-furnace and iron works can be found. Built on the 17th Century, the works were opened in 1708 for 100 years of iron production. The great overshot water wheel was powered by water carried in a channel from above the falls.


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