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Birchgrove, Swansea

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Birchgrove, Swansea




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Birchgrove (Welsh: Y Gellifedw) is the name of a community and a large village in the city of Swansea, and county of Swansea, south Wales. The village is situated roughly 6 miles from the centre of Swansea. It is situated roughly between the flood plain of the River Tawe and Drummau Mountain. Birchgrove also lies on the Neath Port Talbot border.

Early history
From an early date to the beginning of the 19th century, coal-mining played an important role in Birchgrove. It was mainly on coal-mining that the villages of the parish grew, and Birchgrove was no exception. Mining played a very important role in the industrial development of the lower Swansea Valley, which was becoming the metallurgical centre of the world. Coal was replacing wood in the smelting of ores; and it was because of the demand for coal that a pit was sunk in Birchgrove, known as Birchgrove Colliery Company, locally know as the 'Old Pit'. It was situated just below the present (as of 2005) Birchgrove Post Office. It was sunk in 1845, to a depth of approximately 100 feet. As a result of its prosperity, two further pits were sunk, namely Sisters Pit, and Brothers Pit near Glais. Approximately 200 worked at the Old Pit. This involved many new people coming into the area, to work in both mining and the copper industry.

The only cultural recreation was a Reading Room, situated near the colliery. It was not used on Sundays, so the people of the village were given permission to use it for Sunday worship. Services were held there according to the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England (the Church in Wales not being founded until 1920). The services held there were well supported. The Birchgrove Colliery was closed in 1931. There are still relics of Birchgrove's industrial past in the area, The ruins of Scot's pit pump house dominate the lower end of Birchgrove and evidence of mine workings can still be found.

The countryside surrounding Birchgrove is littered with prehistoric sites. There are numerous barrow mounds and evidence of prehistoric dwellings.

Carreg Bica is a large standing stone on Drummau Mountain. The stone is local sandstone and is around 13ft high and is believed to be a bica monument. The word "carreg" means "stone" in the Welsh language. The stone is also known by other names: Maen Bredwan or Maen Bradwen. It is also mentioned in a charter to King John to William de Breos in 1203 as "meynhirion", as a boundary stone marking the Gower.

Cistercian monks built the nearby Neath Abbey in the early 12th century. Wintering their flocks and herds in the few open spaces down in the valley, during the other seasons keeping them in their specially constructed stone walled fields on Drummau mountain top, using the standing stone as a landmark. Many sections of the stone walls are still standing from Cistercian times.

Legends surrounding the stone
There is a legend of the stone moving and going to a local stream to drink or bathe. In this case the stone is said to bathe in the River Neath once a year on Easter morning. Children from Skewen were said to race to the stone on Easter morning.

Birchgrove today
Some of the finest vistas in south Wales can be viewed from the top of Drummau mountain, where the Swansea, Neath and Blaengwynfi valleys can be seen along with clear views of Devon across the Bristol Channel.

Birchgrove has a Comprehensive and Primary school. Both of which are state run, mixed and of no denominational religion. However, under British law schools must perform a daily act of worship, but due the number of pupils (Approx 850) and lack of space this is not done.

The primary school has only recently been merged, despite being adjoined and sharing the same kitchen, car park and grounds since opening.

Birchgrove Comprehensive School was opened in 1991 on the grounds of the old school. It serves the areas of Birchgrove, Glais and Clydach. However, many pupils from Glais and Clydach attend another comprehensive, Cwm Tawe, while pupils from Llansamlet and Trallwyn attend Birchgrove instead of Cefn Hengoed.

 Rugby in Birchgrove: Birchgrove RFC

 Pubs/Bars in Birchgrove:
 Birchgrove Inn
       396 Heol Las Close
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9DP
 01792 771181

 Bowen Arms
       Birchgrove Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9JR
 01792 812321

 The Crown Inn
       344 Birchgrove Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9NA
 01792 812079

 The Globe Inn
       Birchgrove Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9EN

 Old Glais Inn
       Birchgrove Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9EN

 Terrace Inn
       205 Birchgrove Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA7 9JU
 01792 813123

 Schools/Colleges in Birchgrove:
 Birchgrove Comprehensive School (Secondary)
       Birchgrove Road
       SA7 9NB
 01792 535400
 01792 535444

 Birchgrove Infants School
       Heol Nant Bran
       SA7 9LS
 01792 813524

 Birchgrove Junior School
       Heol Dulais
       SA7 9LH
 01792 814293


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Ma mwy nag un site i gal o dan Birchgrove Colliery a llawer iawn o hanes diddorol i ti gal darllen.
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd
#0 - David Lewis - 12/29/2008 - 11:54
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