The greatest concentration of tinplate works in Britain was in the western part of the South Wales Coalfield. Hand-worked tinplate mills closed quickly after the Second World War with the establishment of large mechanised mills, and the museum at Kidwelly is one of the few places where the technology used in the industry can be observed. Kidwelly lies 30 km north-west of Swansea, and the museum occupies a mill dating from 1737 that was supposedly the second built in Wales, occupying the site of a forge dating from 1710.
Oldest surviving tinplate works in Great Britain. It is a hand mill where bars of wrought iron or steel were rolled on hot rolls to wafer thickness, using hand-held tongs, then sheared and trimmed. The resulting black plates were then dipped in sulphuric acid or ‘pickled’ to dissolve scale, then washed, annealed, cold-rolled, then treated again before being fed into pots of molten tin. The works closed in the 1940s. Visitors can see the hot- and cold-rolling mills, the pickling and annealing area and a horizontal oil engine that powered the rolls.