"BAGLAN, a parish in the hundred of NEATH, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (S.) from Neath, on the road to Cardiff, comprising the townships of Higher Baglan and Lower Baglan, each maintaining its own poor, and containing 410 inhabitants, of which number, 58 are in Higher Baglan, and 352 in Lower Baglan.
This small parish, which comprises not more than two thousand five hundred acres, is delightfully situated in the midst of rich and beautifully diversified scenery, bounded on one side by mountains, the acclivities of which are thickly wooded, and commanding over the lower grounds a magnificent view of Swansea bay. The beauty of its situation, and the local advantages which it possesses, have made it a favourite place of residence; and within its circumscribed limits, in addition to the many neat cottages which are profusely scattered over its surface, there is a greater number of gentlemen's seats than is usually found in so small a parish. The village has an air of rural simplicity, and a prepossessing appearance of cheerfulness and tranquillity. The soil is of different kinds, part being meadow and grazing land of good quality, and some tolerably good arable land; but the greater portion of the parish consists of mountainous ground, affording pasturage for sheep, and on the side next the sea are extensive banks and plains of sand.
There are several veins of coal, of a good bituminous quality, of which some are worked ; and a considerable quantity of fire clay is obtained, part of which is used in the manufacture of earthenware, and part conveyed to the different copperworks in the neighbourhood, together with some ironore, which is smelted at the Neath Abbey iron-works. A creek, called Baglan Pill, which falls into the Neath a little below Briton-Ferry, affords a facility for conveying the produce of the mines, and other commodities, in small craft of from twenty to thirty tons' burden.
The living is a consolidated vicarage with that of Aberavon, both of which are endowed with the great tithes, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf. The church, dedicated to St. Baglan, is a neat and appropriate building, and the churchyard is shaded with yew trees of luxuriant growth. A small sum of £ 2 per annum, chargeable upon the turnpike trust, is annually distributed among the poor.
Of the gentlemen's seats with which the parish is decorated, the principal are, Baglan House, the property of the Earl of Jersey, and the residence of Watkin Homfray, Esq., once the residence of the Rev. William Thomas, by whom it was built, the friend of Mason and Gray, who were his occasional visitors ; Baglan Hall, the seat of Griffith Llewellyn, Esq. ; Baglan Cottage and Greenfield Lodge, two ornamental cottage residences on the road side, both the property of that gentleman ; and Baglan Lodge, the property of the Rev. Edward Thomas, patron and incumbent of Aberavon cum Baglan.
Mynydd Gaer, in this parish, a small circular intrenchment, is supposed to have been either of British or of Danish origin. There is a separate assessment for the support of the poor of each portion of the parish, the average annual expenditure of the Higher division being £85. 6., and of the Lower £85. 3."