History of the port of Swansea.

Port of Swansea

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IMPORTANT! Many of the links from this page will be password protected. You will need to subscribe get a user name and password. For a subscription of £3.99 you get:
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This is a list of all the Swansea History pages; and here's some free samples from the subscription collection.

Port Sheet 4 (pdf):

Web Page 18:The Harbour Act:

Dick German and Swansea's Sweyn:

Swansea History Web subscription details are here

Home Page ] Reading about the Port of Swansea ] Swansea Harbour in 1771 ] Swansea's South Dock (c.1870s) ] Swansea's South Dock (c. 1880s) ] Swansea Docks in 1881 ] Brunel's report for Swansea Docks 1846 ] 2. Charter of William de Newburgh ] 6. A Royal Charter ] 9. Trade In The Early Port ] 10. A port Indenture of 1135 ] 11. Salt A vital commodity ] 12. Swansea's Layer Keeper ] 12a. Early Quays and Docks ] 14. The Uncrowned King Of Swansea ] 15. Swansea in the 1790s ] 16. After Gabriel ] 17. 1790s Swansea;The Time For Change ] 17a. Smuggling in Swansea and Gower ] [Smuggling in Gower sketch map] 18. The Harbour Act and the Mumbles Lighthouse ] 19. Port Tennant ] Port Tennant in 1827 ] 20. Port Development. A Chronology ] 21. The South Wales ports ] 21a. The port in the 1840s. ] 22. Joseph Rutter's pamphlet of 1843 ] 25. Thomas Page's report of 1846. ] 27. John Henry Vivian ] 29. The East Dock ] 30. The Prince of Wales opens the East Dock ] The Helwick Lightvessel ] James Harris, Swansea seascape painter ] Jack's World: Swansea North Dock in the 1880s ] Mr Padley of Swansea ] Plan of the Prince of Wales Dock ] Who put the 'Sweyn' in Swansea? ] Swansea's first tugs ] The Victorian port of Swansea ][The Chariot of Progress in 1909]

History of the Port Sheets 1 to 11 (pdf)

History of the Port Sheets 12 to 18 (pdf)

History of the Port sheets 19 to 27 (pdf)

Swansea History Web subscription details are here

Port Tennant in 1827:

Padley's Yard and Swansea Jack's world:

Order from Amazon.co.uk

Recommended Reading:

The Forgotten Trade by Nigel Tattersall

You can obtain a copy of this book by using our association with In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Just click on the book title or cover picture!

Although this is mainly a book about a Dartmouth slave trader, I found it to be of immense value in understanding local life at sea in the early 1700s. The heart of the book is the log of the merchant vessel Daniel and Henry which set out on a slave trading voyage between Dartmouth, the Guinea Coast, and Jamaica in 1700. The author makes the most of a tremendously detailed log which helps him recreate the preparation, the voyage and the dramas that took place. He also manages to reconstruct in very clear style the essentials of the slave trade as practiced by British traders. But beyond this, he paints a picture of north Atlantic trade and the difficulties of the small west coast ports in wonderful detail. I learned far more about eighteenth century seafaring from this book than from any other, and it is still the one I refer to on a regular basis.

The detailed schedules and accounts of the goods traded on the African coast give you an excellent picture of the local industries that surrounded the ports of the west coast. The book is superbly referenced which has often pointed me in the right direction for local research of my own. One final jewel; the book has an excellent glossary of eighteenth century trade terms which has proved priceless time after time. (Nigel Robins)

SHW Microhistory: 9. The Black Point Burrows.

This little ecosystem of dunes is one of the most remarkable survivals of the landscape of the original site of the original settlement of Swenes'

This little group of sand dunes has survived almost untouched for perhaps two thousand years. Caught between the sea and the South Dock, they have escaped any development and landscaping, and give us an idea of how the mouth of the River Tawe looked when the Viking and Norman settlers first decided to build a permanent settlement.

The dunes owe their existence to the phenomenon of 'longshore drift' which

continually moves sand and sediment along the beach from Mumbles to be gathered up at this point where the currents of the bay would come into conflict with the river waters of the Tawe. For generations of Swansea seafarers the area was known as 'Black Point'. The point disappeared in the 1790s when the West Pier was built in an attempt to ease navigation into the mouth of the river. The dune field was once much larger and did form part of the corporate estate enclosed under the 1762 Enclosure Act.

The remarkable survival of the dunes up to the present day is down to the fact that there has never been any need to remove them, although they have been nibbled around the edges by various building projects over the years. The demolition of the adjacent factory means that there is no protection for the dunes and most likely they will now be destroyed by unscrupulous property developers in the rush to build more luxury housing.

More SHW Microhistory

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