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Briton Ferry

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Briton Ferry




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Briton Ferry (Welsh: Llansawel) is a town and community in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot, traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales. The town encompasses the electoral wards of Briton Ferry East and Briton Ferry West.

Briton Ferry is on the mouth of the River Neath where it enters Swansea Bay and was the first river crossing along the Roman road that followed the coastline along that part of South Wales. The river crossing was by boat some 2 miles from the bridge across the River Neath at Neath.

The town was part of the Briton Ferry Estate, which was part of the land of Margam Abbey.

The industrial revolution brought the South Wales Railway, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel who also built the docks to serve the burgeoning industries in the area as the industrial revolution developed. There are many examples of the engineering talent of Brunel in the area including the South Wales Mineral Railway with its cable powered incline.

The industrial revolution brought much expansion to Briton Ferry that included iron works, steel works, tinplate production and engineering that lasted until the 1970s.

A new bridge was built across the River Neath in 1950 and second one built to carry the M4 Motorway completed in 1993. The main line railway still passes through but the industries have closed resulting in Briton Ferry being a dormitory suburb of the new Neath Port Talbot County Borough.

The sailing ships with destinations all over the world that used to berth in Brunel�s magnificent ports have disappeared as has the docks, which is now filled in with only a few remains to be seen.But work has now started to restore Brunel`s tower,and restore the whole of the docks.

There the remains of ancient stone age settlements on the hills above Briton Ferry.

Briton Ferry Woods is a natural woods that has never been felled and remains one of the most ancient wooded areas since the last Ice Age covered Great Britain.

Briton Ferry Woods
The hill above and bordering Briton Ferry is covered by mature trees. The majestic beech trees, which display vivid orange hues in autumn and cool shelter from the sun in summer, welcome visitors to the wood. In spring time Bluebells put on their show. Ancient upland oak woods cover much of the slopes, which give way to healthy scrubland towards the top of the hill. There is also an area of firs within the wood, a remnant of a very old plantation. The wood is full of birdsong during spring and summer, and in the evening you may see bats feeding on insects throughout the wood.

The woods used to provide a huge safe play area for the children of Briton Ferry before the advent of TV. Camping on the 'Fighting Bank' playing 'cowboys and Indians' on the 'Rock-yn -Wen'or just enjoying the 'Ladies Walk' which went from Briton Ferry to Baglan.

How to get there: Come into Briton Ferry from the Port Talbot side, drive through on the main road, turn right at the traffic lights onto Ynysymaerdy Road, follow the road past the cemetery, turn right and your within 100 yards of the entrance to the woods.

Giant's Grave and Briton Ferry Docks
Briton Ferry still has an operational docks. After World War II, many warships were scrapped here.

 Trains in Briton Ferry: Briton Ferry is on the South Wales Main Line

 Libraries in Briton Ferry:
 Briton Ferry Library
       Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       SA11 2AQ
 01639 813244
 Mon 10.00am�12.30pm 2.00pm�5.30pm
       Tue 10.00am�12.30pm 2.00pm�5.00pm
       Wed Closed
       Thur 10.00am�12.30pm 2.00pm�5.00pm
       Fri 10.00am�12.30pm 2.00pm�5.00pm
       Sat 10.00am�12.30pm

 Football in Briton Ferry: Briton Ferry Athletic FC

 Rugby in Briton Ferry: Briton Ferry RFC

 Pubs/Bars in Briton Ferry:
 The Crown Inn
       Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2AX
 01639 813427

 Earl Of Jersey
       73 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2DX
 01639 812820

 The Puddlers Arms
       Shelone Road
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2PS
 01639 812265

 Rose & Crown
       1 Bethel Street
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2HQ
 01639 821700

       2 Villiers Street
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2DZ
 01639 813899

 B&B's/Guesthouses in Briton Ferry:
 Tree Tops Guest House
 282 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       Neath Port Talbot
       SA11 2SL 
 01639 812419
 01639 812419
 [email protected]

 Restaurants in Briton Ferry:
       8 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2YR
 01639 822451

 Cafes in Briton Ferry:
       109 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2BZ
 01639 812211

 Take Aways in Briton Ferry:
 Bombay Tandoori Takeaway (Indian)
       18 Villiers Street
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2DZ
 01639 814913

 Happy Wok (Chinese)
       117 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2BZ
 01639 813712

 Jimmy's Chinese Takeaway (Chinese)
       145 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2BZ
 01639 820880

 Lillywhites (Fish and Chips)
       16 Ritson Street
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2RN
 01639 812044

 McDonald's Restaurants Ltd
       Travellers Rest
       Baglan Old Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2YW
 01639 823612

 Moby's Fish Bar (Fish and Chips)
       193 Neath Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2BJ
 01639 823185

 Children in Briton Ferry:
 Briton Ferry Play & Out Of School Group
       The Scout House
       Old Road
       Briton Ferry
       West Glamorgan
       SA11 2HA
 01639 769649

Briton Ferry

Briton-Ferry - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
BRITON-FERRY, a parish, in the union and hundred of Neath, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles (S. W. by S.) from Neath; containing 718 inhabitants. This place, called in the Welsh language Llansawyl, derives its name from an ancient ferry over the river Neath, established here from time immemorial, and communicating with the opposite shore, from which there is an agreeable ride over Cremyln Burrows to Swansea. The Neath here expands into a channel of considerable breadth, and falls into Swansea bay, a little below the harbour. The navigation was greatly improved some years ago, at an expense exceeding �4000, raised by subscription among the proprietors of the coal, copper, and iron works in the neighbourhood, and other persons interested in the trade and prosperity of the town of Neath, to which place the river was rendered safely navigable for ships of three hundred and fifty tons' burthen at spring tides. In 1843 an act was passed for carrying out further improvements. The Neath canal, which passes through a district abounding with mineral wealth, terminates here, after a course of about fourteen miles; the wharfs are at a place called Giant's Grave, where, also, vessels lie when they are unable to proceed up the river so high as Neath. The water-communication between Neath and its out-port of Briton-Ferry is mostly carried on by means of barges. Powerful rolling-mills were built here in 1847, at which a good deal of the iron made in the Vale of Neath is converted into bars: the engine is of 300-horse power. It has been for some time in contemplation to construct a bridge over the river at this place, and to make a road across the Burrows to Swansea, by which a distance of seven or eight miles in the present coach-route would be saved. At present, persons on horseback and on foot save this distance between Swansea and the eastern part of the county by crossing the ferry, the fare of which is one penny for each man, and the same for each horse. In 1847 an act was passed for certain branches and deviations of the South Wales railway, including a branch to Briton-Ferry, one mile and three-quarters long.

Nothing can surpass the beauty of this sequestered spot: embosomed in hills, skirted by shady woods, fertile vales, and luxuriant meadows, the scenery is strikingly diversified. In some parts are fine views of the sea, from which the woods seem to rise. The atmosphere is mild and temperate, and the air salubrious; the arbutus, the myrtle, the magnolia, and other exotics grow in the open air, and the environs abound with the richest verdure. The advantages of its situation, and the facilities afforded for seabathing, may at no distant period render this the favourite resort of families who are fond of retirement, and of invalids whose state of health requires a temperate climate. Formerly the accommodation for visiters was extremely deficient; but since the Vernon Arms, a house of great respectability on the banks of the river, has been conducted by the present tenant, every regard is paid to the comfort of families, who may be boarded upon terms as reasonable as in a private family. Attached to the building is excellent stabling, with every requisite.

The parish comprises about 1500 acres of meadow, pasture, and arable land, with some mountain sheepwalks of various soils and quality; the wood consists chiefly of oak, larch, fir, and poplar. The mansion house of Briton-Ferry, which for many generations was the property and residence of the Mansels, one of the most ancient families in the county, is now occupied by George Frederic Muntz, Esq., M.P. for Birmingham, and late of Hockley Abbey near that town. It is a spacious building, adapted more to comfort and family accommodation, than remarkable for magnificence of character; the situation commands extensive marine views, and prospects over a tract of country richly cultivated, and abounding with objects of interest. The other principal mansions are, Rock House, Craig Vawr House, Court Sart, Upper House, and Baglan Bay. The Briton-Ferry estate, originally comprising nearly forty thousand acres, distributed through not less than forty parishes in South Wales, was devised to the younger brother of the present Earl of Jersey, on whose death it passed to the earl, who has reduced it to about eight thousand acres in the immediate vicinity. The Earl of Jersey is proprietor of the whole parish, and lord of the manor.

The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with �400 private benefaction, and �600 royal bounty; net income, �124; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Jersey. The church is a neat structure, about sixty feet long and twenty wide, and the churchyard, remarkable for its picturesque appearance, has been celebrated in elegy by the poet Mason, who, with Gray, occasionally visited at Baglan House, then the residence of the Rev. William Thomas, chancellor of the diocese of Llandaf. In this church the late Archbishop of York preached his first sermon; his Grace's half-brother, Lord Vernon, at the time occupying the mansion, and being owner of the estate. At Giant's Grave is a day school on the British system, established in 1842, and supported by subscription; also a Church Sunday school, and a Sunday school connected with the Independents. In another part of the parish is a Sunday school kept by the Calvinistic Methodists. The Countess of Jersey gives �10 per annum to be laid out in the purchase of flannel for the poor.


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