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bran until the tin presents a bright polish; and finally abbey once existed at this spot; it was built in the they are packed in boxes, each box containing from early part of the twelfth century for a Cistercian 100 to 225 plates, and the plates measuring 13 inches brotherhood, and bore a high name among the abbatial by 10 up to 17 by 13. These processes seem strangely establishments of its time. After the dissolution of numerous ; but most of them are rendered necessary the monasteries, part of the abbey was occupied as a in order to render the surface of the iron scrupulously dwelling-house until 1782. Nothing now remains free from oxide and all other impurities.
except a few fragments of the chapter-house, and the west front of the abbey church, which forms part of the
modern church. Margam House is a modern structure SWANSEA ; its BAY, AND ITS ENVIRONS.
of large size, in the Tudor style ; and around it are Such are some of the industrial pursuits which give plantations which are said to be enriched by the such a busy aspect to Swansea and its neighbourhood. largest orangery in the world ; rich, not only in oranges, Let us now leave the work-people, and view this but in lemons, citrons, shaddocks, and pomegranates. interesting district under another aspect. (Cut, No. 4.) How long this beautiful spot will continue undefiled
Swansea Bay is one of the most beautiful in South by smoke remains to be seen ; already the Tai-bach Wales. Its amphitheatric character is very striking, copper-works, at no great distance, are sending forth especially when viewed from the Mumbles Head at its their clouds of white vapour. south-west extremity. We may consider the eastern The valleys to which Porthcawl and Port Talbot extremity of the bay to be formed by the headland serve as outlets are growing rapidly in commercial near which Porthcawl is situated ; but it is more usual importance. About twenty years ago a tramway was to name Aberavon or Port Talbot as the eastern limit, formed from Duffryn to Porthcawl, and small from which spot to the Mumbles, or the western limit, harbour formed to accommodate the vessels which is about ten miles, which may be deemed the width shipped the coal brought down by the tramway ; but of the bay at its opening. The depth of the bay is it is only very recently that iron has been added to about four miles, with an additional small but deep the exports. There are now many large establishcreek close to Swansea town. Into this bay, in the ments in the Llynvi valley—the Maestog Company, north-east corner, enters the somewhat wide month of the Llynvi Company, the Tondu Company, the Cefyn the river Neath ; and at the lowest point, where this Company-which send down enormous quantities of river is narrow enough to be crossed by a bridge, iron and coal to Porthcawl. The Avon valley has stands the town of Neath. In the north-west part a still more remarkable establislıment, the Cwm Avon of the bay enters the Tawy, which has flowed from works, perhaps the largest in Wales except the the mountains through the beautiful Swansea valley. Dowlais. They belong to the “Governor and Com
The whole of the towns surrounding Swansea Bay pany of the Copper Miners of England ;” or, more are gradually becoming absorbed in the vortex of strictly, we believe that they actually belong at the manufactures. Porthcawl was a place scarcely known present time to the Bank of England, owing to a few years ago ; but a railway has been formed, which certain financial arrangements between the two comsprings from the iron and coal works at Duffryn, and panies. They comprise five establishments in one; winds through the Llyn vi valley to Porthcawl, which for there are collieries, iron-works, copper smeltingis becoming a place of shipment.
works, tin-plate works, and chemical works; they The same may be said of Aberavon or Port Talbot, cover an immense area of ground, and give employa little farther up the bay towards Swansea. Aberavon ment to some thousands of persons. A lofty hill at is its old-fashioned Welsh name ; Port Talbot is its Cwm Avon may be seen from a great distance vomiting new-fashioned commercial name. It is a very old and forth clouds of smoke and vapour into the air ; this humble village, with a marshy shore in front, and a is the upper extremity of a system of Alues formed up range of hills behind it; but it stands at the mouth of the slope of the hill from the works beneath, conthe little river Avon, and this river flows through the stituting, perhaps, the loftiest chimney in the world. small valley where the gigantic Cwm Avon works are Having had occasion to speak of the somewhat situated. Hence Aberavon became the port of ship- neglected state of the dwellings occupied by the ment for copper, iron, and tin-plate; and hence the miners and workmen in other districts, it is pleasant chief proprietor, Mr. Talbot, has done his best to make to read what a competent authority has to say conit a convenient port. A straight irench has been cut cerning Cwm Avon. Mr. Seymour Tremenheere, the through the marshy land from the river to the sea; Mining Commissioner, in his last Report to the Goand this has been so cleverly done that a fine port vernment (1850), says, " The Cwm Avon Works are has been made, capable of admitting ships of large now carried on on behalf of the Bank of England, burden,
under the management of Mr. J. Biddulph. ImBetween Porthcawl and Port Talbot is Margam portant additions have been made to their schools. Park, the residence of Mr. Talbot, and one of the Two clergymen have been appointed; one to take finest estates in South Wales.
once called the place of the incumbent. Reading-rooms have Pen-dar, or the oak summit, and consists of a beautiful been formed, accessible to all the workmen. The alternation of wooded heights, and shady hollows. An principal one, near the offices, containing an abundance
of well-selected books, papers, and reviews, supplies | the mail-coach road from Merthyr to Neath and Swanbooks, &c., to the others, held in the school-rooms at sea. A railway, called the Vale of Neath Railway, was the remoter parts of the valley. To this is also planned a few years ago ; but the South Wales Railway attached a mechanics' institute ; and both are shortly is the only one which yet accomodates this town. to be placed in a large building under the same roof. Neath is supposed to have been the Roman Nidum, Useful and attractive lectures are given, and musical and a few Roman coins have been found there. An performances, the latter chiefly by young men belong. abbey was built here in the time of Henry I. which ing to the works. Evening schools have also been was one of the most beautiful in South Wales, A opened for young men and young women ; the latter castle had been built earlier than this, but of this castle zealously superintended by the ladies of the chief scarcely anything remains, while the ruins of Neath persons in the valley. A more systematic attention Abbey are still majestic and interesting Industry is has been paid to sanitary measures as regards sewerage, encroaching on the precincts of this venerable pile with taking off all refuse, &c. A penny in the pound is
A penny in the pound is stern determination. There are iron-works, copperstopped from all wages for this purpose. The Com- works, tin-works, and collieries, in its immediate pany's shop (on the truck system) has been given up ; vicinity. The Neath iron-works form an extensive advances in cash are made weekly to every work- establishment not only for the smelting and making of man, and the balance paid every month. Several iron, but for the manufacture of machinery; a very good shops were immediately opened by persons from large portion of the smelting and mining machinery of a distance. Excellent accommodation has also been South Wales and of Cornwall has been made here. afforded for holding a market, at which there is a daily Near the abbey also are the copper-works of the attendance of persons who bring their goods from Crown Company and the Mines Royal Company. Aberavon, Neath, and Swansea, and a full market These, with the coal and the tin-plate works, are every Saturday; and the prices of everything were, gradually converting the Vale of Neath (one of the I was informed, precisely the same as at Swansea. It most beautiful in South Wales) into a smoke-covered needs no such example to disprove what is often manufacturing district. alleged as excuse for a company's shop (and A few short miles bring us from the Neath valley to which was so formerly here), that it is necessary as a the Swansea valley, where, as we have already said, check upon exorbitant prices. Where between 4,000 coal-smoke and cupreous vapour are also doing their and 5,000 persons are collected, earning in good times work. Swansea is one of the best towns in the about £10,000 per month, there can be no fear of a principality. It is the centre of commercial transactions want of sufficient competition for the supply of such a of such magnitude, that many wealthy families have condemand.” Mr. Tremenheere states that the proprietors gregated in and near it, and these families bring with of the Maestog and Llynvi works have lately entered them the amenities and usages of cultivated society. upon a similar excellent mode of attending to the com- Swansea is the only town in Wales which can offer a forts of the persons employed by them; and in relation fitting locality for the British Association for the Adto the copper-works of Messrs. Vivian, he says, “Spa- vancement of Science; and the meeting of this society at cious and handsome school-buildings have been erected Swansea showed how well the inhabitants were prepared close to the works, at a cost of £2,000 or £3,000. They to welcome their scientific visitors. The town stands are placed under trained masters and mistresses, and chiefly on the west bank of the Tawy, near the mouth, amply supplied with every requisite for good schools. but it also stretches across to the east side. The best The cottages for their work-people are of the best and streets run nearly north and south through the town. most convenient kind in all their arrangements, with They extend beyond the limits of the river itself, and gardens both in front and behind, and small paved follow the curvature of part of the beautiful bay. In back-yards. The occupants have the opportunity the western part of the town is a fine new market-place, of hiring a piece of land in adjoining fields for their and new streets and handsome buildings are springing potatoes. Foot. pavements are laid down between the up rapidly. The remains of the castle are now so rows, and the roadways properly made. Water, surrounded with buildings in the very heart of the generally scarce about large works, is to be brought town, that they can scarcely be seen ; the chief portion in, either from the town or from a reservoir to be is a circular tower, from the summit of which a fine formed in the hills. The number of public-houses is
The number of public-houses is view can be obtained over the bay. also kept down in their immediate neighbourhood. Few commercial towns have so admirable a sea-side The cottages already built are only the commencement walk available to the inhabitants, as that which extends of an extensive design, which includes the building of from Swansea to Oystermouth and the Mumbles, round a church, and the leaving vacant a large space · near the western margin of the bay. The whole line of the centre of the rows of the cottages, to be laid out coast is gently and gracefully curled, and a fine road ornamentally for the purposes of recreation."
having been formed throughout the whole distance, A cluster of hills separates the Avon valley from the every part of the route is made easily available. For Neath valley, and when we have passed this cluster, we those who do not or cannot walk, frequent and very find ourselves at the town of Neath. The river Neath cheap conveyances follow this line of route. Leaving flows from the Brecknockshire hills, and by its side is Swansea at its south-west margin, and passing through streets of good houses, we arrive at this water-side | There are steep winding paths which afford means for boundary, near which are many private mansions and ascending to the summit of the headland, from whence pleasant nooks. Just before arriving at that jutting is obtained a view of great magnitude and extent. peninsula which forms the Mumbles Head, we pass The whole of Swansea Bay lies spread out before us; Oystermouth. The village was anciently called Caer while a distant blue line, towards the south, marks Tawy. Its ancient importance was due to a castle, which, out dimly the Devonshire coast, on the opposite side of until a few years ago, was hardly known or appreciated, the Bristol Channel. Landward we can see the white from being buried so deeply in its own ruins ; but the smoke of the copper-works; and immediately beneath Duke of Beaufort, to whom it belongs, has judiciously us we have a view of the fleet of oyster-boats,-such of expended a small sum in making such clearances as them at least as happen to be drawn up near the shore. shall develop the majestic character of the ruins, There are from sixty to eighty of these boats, manned without making them too ornate or formally trimmed. by four hands each. The oyster beds lie off the Oystermouth depends in modern times on three Mumbles and to a considerable distance westward of elements — oysters, limestone, and visitors. The that point; and the men have often a fierce struggle to oyster-fishery is carried on during the season to a con- contend against the winds and tides of the Channel. siderable extent. The limestone, which is of very fine During the season, each boat takes from 500 to 3000 quality, fitted for decorative purposes, is found in oysters per day, which are sold to Swansea dealers at 9s. quarries behind the village; the quarrying, the sawing, to 16s. per thousand ; and these dealers supply Bristol, and the polishing give employment to a number of Liverpool, and even London ; for the Mumbles oysters the inhabitants; and a tram-road, running alongside are highly esteemed. Besides the oyster boats which the coach-road, affords the means of conveying the thus speckle Swansea Bay, it forms an excellent refuge stone to Swansea. Visitors are attracted to the neigh- in bad weather : 500 vessels having been sheltered in bourhood during the summer by the beauty of the sur- it at once. The headland of the Mumbles is itself rounding scenes seaward and landward ; but the bold composed of limestone, which is quarried in large headland of the Mumbles shuts out so much of the quantities ; but there is another circumstance which sun's rays, that the season' is very short.
will very shortly cut up this delightful breezy elevaThe Mumbles Head is a conspicuous spot. It bends tion into a series of ravines and pits. It was discovered round so far to the south-east as to give a deeply- in 1845 that iron-ore exists in the headland; and the curved form to the western half of Swansea Bay. proprietor has not been slow to avail himself of the
discovery. Off the extreme point of the headland lie their time in deep-sea fishing. The plough and the three small islands, isolated at high water, but con- net may often be seen together." nected by a narrow strip of isthmus at low water. On one of these has been built the Mumbles Light House, (Cut, No. 5,) which affords valuable guidance to ships
CAERMARTHEN; TENBY; PEMBROKE. entering the bay.
Let us now leave the Swansea district, and glance a The western side of Swansea Bay, just described, little farther westward in the principality. forms the eastern margin of the peninsula of Gower, There are two very different routes from Swansea to which extends thence to Caermarthen Bay, and which Caermarthen ; one by way of the Llanelly railway and is nearly severed into an island by the river and wide Llandeilo ; and the other a coach route nearer the æstuary of the Burry. It is an out-of-the-world place, coast. The former of these, at the present time, is a leading no-whither; yet the tourist finds upon it and curiously mixed mode of travelling. We first avail around it many beautiful spots. A body of Flemings ourselves of an omnibus from Swansea (at which town was planted here by Henry V. in 1103; and the these conveyances are numerous, well conducted, and descendants of these Flemings have ever since given a cheap) to Loughor, and thence to the point where the peculiar character to the peninsula of Gower. “This coach road crosses the Llanelly railway. Here is a race have, in a great measure,” says Mr. Cliffe, "pre- station-perhaps one of the least aspiring and least served their material characteristics throughout a magnificent railway-stations in the kingdom; but if it period of nearly seven centuries and a half. They accommodates the sprinkling of passengers who use have held aloof from and rarely intermixed with their it, no one has a right to complain. We travel for neighbours the Welsh. Their physical form is dif- about a dozen miles along this railway, and are then ferent; their costume somewhat peculiar; and their transferred to a 'bus which conveys us to the Caermarlanguage an English dialect, the prevailing radical of thenshire town of Llandeilo-vawr. This is a very which is Saxon, although abounding with obsolete, beautiful ride (or walk.) On the east rise the bold somewhat Flemish, words. The Goverians are gene- heights of the Black Mountains ; while, spread out rally more cleanly than the Welsh, but perhaps not so towards the north and west, lies a wide expanse of very much so as the English peasantry; their character is lovely country, fertile and studded with pretty Welsh good; they are temperate, and their pursuits are villages, comprising the vale of Towy. Llandeilo-vawr chiefly pastoral ; although many, like the inhabitants p is itself a pretty town ; but it is more attractive on of the Danish marshes, are sailors, or pass part of account of its vicinity than for anything contained within the town. South-east are the bold fronts of Caermarthen Bay is wide but not very deep. On the mountains which we have passed on the road; the east flows into it the Llwchwyr and the Burry; on north-east is the upper part of the vale of Towy, ! the north, the Tawy and the Taff; on the west, some leading towards Llangadock and Llandovery; and smaller streams. On the east lies the peninsula of westward is the lower part of the same vale, with the Gower, already spoken of; on the north, is a wide castles of Dynevor and Dryslyn, and a succession of stretch of country, the chief part of which is that beautiful scenery all the way to Caermarthen.
which is traversed by the Towy up to Caermarthen; Dynevor or Dynas-Vawr Castle was the regal resi- , but on the west, we find the peninsula or headland on dence of a Welsh prince so far back as the ninth which the pretty town of Tenby is situated. Tenby (Cut, century; and continued so till the Norman Conquest No. 7), has rapidly risen in importance as a watering of the principality. The castle was the scene of or pleasure town.
of or pleasure town. Until the beginning of the present repeated conflicts between the Welsh and the Normans, century it was a small and insignificant place, living on until the former were finally subjected to English the means of its once famous castle ; but its availrule. The remains of the castle comprise a guad- ability as a watering-place has led to the construction rangular area about a hundred feet in length and of hotels, marine villas, parades, and all the other breadth, and two towers which formerly constituted appurtenances of such places. From the Castle-hill part of the ponderous outer wall. The modern mansion may be obtained a splendid and extensive view, stretchof Lord Dynevor occupies part of the site of the ing to the Caernarthenshire Beacons in one direction, ancient castle. Carreg Cennin Castle, at the foot of the and down the Channel to Lundy Island and its lightBlack Mountains, is a strongly-wild and picturesque house in another. The town stands on the neck or ruin. Golden Grove, on the southern side of the isthmus of a little peninsula, and has two beaches or Towy, is the residence of Earl Cawdor. At Aber- sea-shores ; a position which has enabled the pleasure ywilli, within a short distance from Caermarthen, is the visitors to have a double share of the pleasure of seaepiscopal residence of the Bishop of St. David's, side rambling. situated in the midst of delightful scenes. Dyer, the Tenby stands on the margin of the southern part poet, was a native of this part of Wales; and has of Pembrokeshire : a part which, bounded by Caerattempted to make his pen do justice to the scenes marthen Bay and St. Bride's Bay, is rather thickly which surrounded hiin.
studded with Welsh villages. Pembrokeshire is one The second route to Caermarthen, of which we have of the most remarkable counties in Wales, in respect spoken, goes by way of Loughor, Llanelly, Pembrey, to its population. It is the Cornwall of Wales-10 and Kidwelly. Loughor is the English form given to only in occupying the south-west jutting peninsula, the name of the town and river whose Welsh name is but in having been the stronghold of the ancient Llwchwyr. The river is very wide just opposite the Britons after the rest of the districts further east had town ; and, until within the last few years, no bridge fallen into the hands of the Anglo-Normans. The chief crossed it below Pont-ar-dulais, some miles higher up; towns in this part of the county are Pembroke, Pater but as Loughor stands in the direct line from Swansea or Pembroke Dock, Milford, and Haverfordwest. to Llanelly, a timber bridge has recently been built. Three of these towns lie on the margin of Milford Near Loughor are some large copper-works; and Haven, the grandest natural harbour in Great Britain, a ride of a few miles brings us to the coal region of and one of the finest in Europe. The lower porLlanelly. Llanelly was, a few years ago, a place of no tion of the Haven runs inland towards the east for importance; but it has become a port of shipment for almost twelve miles, and then turns towards the the coals brought down by the Llanelly railway from north ; many parts of it are two miles wide ; and the mountain districts. A little beyond Llanelly the the seamen, who know how to value such advantages, road to Caermarthen goes over Pembrey Hill, a steep count five bays, ten creeks, and thirteen roadsteads elevation, from the summit of which a widely-extended within the haven. Milford Haven can be entered view can be obtained. Another few miles bring us to without a pilot by day or night, even with contrary Kidwelly, where is one of the many castles with which winds; and vessels may find sheltering places within it this district is spotted ; and beyond this a few miles of against any and every wind. So safe and advantageous flat country completes our journey to Caermarthen. is the harbour, that vast fleets of merchant-ships are
Caermarthen (Cut, No. 6)is a well-built and flourishing sometimes congregated here. town. It forms a meeting-point where roads converge . It is the fine haven at Milford that gives importance from the extreme sea.coast districts of South Wales,- to this part of Wales. Milford itself is now an unimTenby, Pembroke, and Milford on the south-west ; portant place; although there were two circumstances Nurberth, Haverfordwest, and St. David's on the west ; which gave it distinction a few years ago--the dockCardigan and Newcastle Emlyn on the nortli-west; yard and the packet-station. Towards the close of the Lampeter and Aberystwith on the north. There are last century an Act was obtained for making docks and remains of a castle and two priories at Caermarthen ; quays, which for many years were used by the mail and there are associations connected with Steele, who packets going to Ireland : and the governinent is believed to have written some of liis works on the afterwards established a dock-yard on a small scale ; site where the Ivy-Bush Hotel now stands.
but both the packet-station and the dock-yard have