Carn Llechart stone circle. There are twenty five slabs in the circle, up to 2.5m in length with most leaning slightly outward. In the middle of the circle is a stone cist with its east side and capstone missing. One of the most impressive monuments of its type in Wales, it is said to date from the first half of the second millennium.


A RAF image of 1941 depicting part of Pontardawe and Alltwen showing much heavy industry: the sheetworks (bottom left), the steelworks (centre right) and the former chemical works (centre). The image is important for revealing a third crossing over the River Tawe which lay between the stone bridge and the wooden bridge. This middle bridge connected the Primrose Colliery tramroad which ran from Rhos. (Courtesy of Welsh Government).


An oblique view of Trebanos in 1971, with Swansea Road prominent and the Swansea Canal running parallel to it on the right of the photograph. The new housing development in Heol y Llwynau is under construction (left) above which runs the former railway line linking Trebanos with Felin Fran in Birchgrove via Clydach. This line was part of the Great Western Railway’s attempt to connect with Brynamman, but only reached Trebanos. This was the last line built by the GWR in South Wales.


A view of W. Gilbertson & Co. c 1925 indicating the extent of the steel and tinplate enterprises that so dominated the town. The steelworks closed in September 1962 and the stacks were demolished in 1965. The site was eventually cleared in 1973. The tinplate works (centre right) was demolished in 2012. The area is now a retail park and recreation centre with the new Cwmtawe School occupying part of the site.


St Peter’s Church is particularly conspicuous in this photograph c 1910, which includes: the South Wales Brewery; the Infants School; and a number of small scale establishments. Some of Pontardawe’s  grand houses also appear, such as Brynheulog (Centre right), with Gelligron House just above – whilst Glynteg (centre) and the chimneys of Glanrhyd (centre left) also appear.


High Street, Pontardawe, looking towards the Cross in the early 1950s. the drapery section of the Co-operative store is immediately left while further down the road, towards the Cross and next to the vehicle, is the Home and Colonial store with the Cross Hotel next door. The crowd of people on the right are waiting for a bus, this being one of the key pick up points for such travel up the Swansea valley.



The Alltwen and Pontardawe Co-operative Society store in High Street, Pontardawe, 1910. The Co-op drew its membership from its customers, and its aim was to arrange bulk purchases of goods at wholesale prices and pass these benefits (the divi) on to its members. The Society had branches in Alltwen, Pontardawe, Rhos, Trebanos and Rhyd y Fro. The Pontardawe branch closed in the early 1980s.




The Home and Colonial store in High street, Pontardawe  c 1910. The Home and Colonial was founded by tea-buyer Julius Drew and Liverpool shopkeeper John Musker. Tea was the key product for the stores, which also sold dairy products, sugar, bacon and ham. There were 500 stores throughout the country at the turn of the century. A merger with Liptons and others in 1924 brought together over 3000 shops. The store in High street closed in the early 1970s and the site is now occupied by the ‘Café on the Square’.


The triangle in Alltwen in 1908 with the memorial fountain to Howel Gwyn prominent. The latter was the owner of the largest estate in Alltwen. The Triangle became the site for the annual week long agricultural fair that saw farmers buy and sell stock, as well as hire farm hands for the year. The last fair was held c1928. The site today remains much as seen here.



Pontardawe RFC 1892/93. Taken eleven years after the official formation of the club in 1881, the side was largely composed of workers from Gilbertson’s works in Pontardawe. The player with the cap on the right of the front row may be either Jack Cumberland or Syd Edwards, both of whom represented the Glamorgan County Rugby Club. During their early years the Pontardawe Rugby Club could hold its own with the likes of Swansea, Neath and Llanelly

 Copyright (c) of all images is with the Swansea Valley History Society (apart from the aerial view of Pontardawe which is a Welsh Government copyright) and if anyone wishes to reproduce the photographs then they should contact either Jeff Childs or Keri Thomas (see Contact Us page).








%d bloggers like this: