Oxwich - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
OXWICH, a parish, in the union and hundred of Swansea, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 14 miles by way of Penrice, and 13 miles across the sands, (W. S. W.) from Swansea; containing 345 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the Bristol Channel, on the western shore of the small but fine bay to which it gives name, and which has a considerable depth of water at all times of the tide, as well as good anchorage. It comprises a moderate tract of arable and pasture land, inclosed and in a profitable state of cultivation. The scenery is finely varied, and enlivened with luxuriant woods, and the views over the Channel and the adjacent country possess much interest. On the north, the bay has some firm and smooth sands, well adapted for seabathing; on the east it is bounded by lofty and precipitous cliffs, affording shelter from the winds, and on the west by gently sloping hills richly covered with wood from the margin of the water to their summits. A few of the inhabitants are employed in blasting the contiguous limestone rocks, and in digging on the shore for stones of a similar quality, with which small vessels are occasionally freighted for the opposite coast of Devonshire. Lobsters and crabs, with two or three species of edible sea-plants, are procured here.
The living is a discharged rectory, united to that of Nicholaston, and rated in the king's books at £9. 9. 2. The church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, is romantically situated at the base of a hill on the western side of the bay, and, as seen from the sands, has a very picturesque appearance; it contains an ancient altar-tomb, on which are the effigies of a knight and his lady, in a recumbent position. There is a National school, supported by a lady in the neighbourhood, and attended by forty children daily, and by seventy on Sundays. Thomas Bevan, in 1708, bequeathed £10 to the poor of the parish; but after the interest had been paid for some years, the principal was lost by the personal representative of the testator becoming insolvent. On the hill above the village are the ruins of Oxwich Castle, which appears to have been intended rather as a residence than as a place of strength. They are of considerable extent, and great interest, consisting chiefly of a tower of large size, the adjoining state apartments, which externally are in tolerable preservation, and a range of ancient buildings now occupied as a farmhouse. The tower, of which an engraving is given in Mr. Cliffe's wellwritten "Book of South Wales," is divided into six stories, and lighted on three sides by numerous round-headed windows irregularly placed.