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A Guide To Gower

A Guide To Gower

Edited by Don Strawbridge and Peter J. Thomas

ISBN 0 902 767 23 2

Published 1999

Paperback 120 pages

Available from The Gower Society, c/o Swansea Museum, Victoria Road, Swansea SA1 1SN.


A new edition of the guide first published in 1965, this is the sixth edition of what could be regarded as a classic. A small almost pocket-sized book packed with information.

As many readers will be aware, the Gower peninsula is a mass of contrasts, part of the ever growing city of Swansea, and large expanses of breathtaking unspoiled scenery. It serves as a focus for the city's leisure activities, mainly upon the sandy beaches of the south coast, but also provides ample opportunity for leisurely secluded walks in lush green countryside. On a good summer day, the peninsular may cope with eighty thousand visitors yet it still survives as working countryside. A constant challenge to manage such diverse interests and needs!

Above: St Illtyd Church in Gower

The Guide reflects the diversity of reasons that led to Gower being made an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. There is a Gazetteer documenting the various localities of note across the Peninsula, secondly, a series of articles on topics ranging from Bird Life to Gower History, the final section is a list of essential information, including reading lists and car parking (the latter being particularly important).The articles are written by a collection of acknowledged Gower experts and are basically reworkings of the earlier editions of the Guide. Where necessary they have been updated to reflect alterations in legislation or other changes. The articles on the history of Gower are by well known authority Bernard Morris. They provide a first class introduction to the castles and landscape of Gower. Whilst there are many books on the history of Swansea and its environs, the specific history of the peninsula is not particularly accessible in a reasonably priced book. The Gower Society are to be congratulated for including so many good articles in the Guide, and redressing the need for cheap and accessible local history.
Even though the Guide is stocked with first class content, there is an even greater treat in the stunning colour photographs that illustrate the beauty of the landscape, wildlife and history of Gower. They encourage you to go out and walk the suggested paths to experience the delights for yourself. A wonderful bonus.





SHW's Book of the Month:

The History of the Countryside: The...

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Oliver Rackham's book is a classic for anyone who wants to understand the way Britain's countryside has changed over the past two thousand years. I have never came across any other book that offered so many insights into trees, hedgerows, and roads explained in such a readable and interesting way. The author starts in Roman times and goes into marvellous detail to explain the way in which roads and hedgerows shaped the landscape. He looks at the 'new arrivals' such as rabbits and sycamores. The differences between woodlands, wood pastures and commons are better described here than any other book I have come across. A comprehensive reference and bibliography section give you plenty of further ideas for more reading. (Nigel Robins)

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