The Cambrian Journal
Volume 1 , 1854
Published under the auspices of the Cambrian Institute. London, Longmans & Co; Tenby, R Mason
The complete book can now (2007) be viewed in a variety of formats on Internet Archives
The first paragraph and a half of the Introduction reads;
"We doubt not that the natives of this Principality in general will hail with delight the appearance of the Cambrian Journal, a publication of a truly national character, being devoted , not only to the illustration of our ancient literature, but also to the development of the natural resources of the country, and the advancement of such arts and sciences as influence the duties , and promote the comfort and happiness, of domestic or social life.
These are important subjects, and they deserve to be handled and set forth with becoming learning, skill and judgment. There is hardly a country in Europe where there is a greater scope for treatment or exercise thereof, or where, we grieve to acknowledge, they have of late been more miserably neglected, than Wales. And yet the Welsh are by no means deficient in talent or good sense ; they are an intelligent as well as an industrious race of people."
Section headings (in the order they appear in the book)
- Philology - An Essay on the Celtic Languages.(Dr Carl Meyer)
- The Wand of Moses (George Beaumont)
- General Literature - Abergavenny Eisteddfod 1853
- Topography, Statistics &c - Notes about the Parish of Pentrevoelas and its vicinity
- Carnedd Enclosing a Cromlech at Capel Garmon
- Geology - Harmony of the Triads with the Discoveries of Geology
- Gold Mines in Wales
- History - The Traditional Annals of the Cymry, Chapter I
- Agricultural Prize Fund
- Miscellaneous Notices
- History - The Traditional Annals of the Cymry, Chapter II & III
- Bardism in the Sixth Century
- The Wand of Moses (George Beaumont) - continued
- Ancient Welsh Music
- Biography &c - Studies in British Biography - No 1 Dyvynwal Moelmud
- Agriculture - Agriculture of the Cymry
- Miscellaneous Notices
- The Cambrian Institute
- History - Moel Fenlli
- History - The Traditional Annals of the Cymry, Chapter IV & V
- Music - Ancient Welsh Music
- Topography, Statistics &c - Monmouthshire
- General Literature - Thoughts on the Primeval Literature of the Cymry
- Tales of Cuhelyn the Bard
- Ethnology - Remaks on the Ancient Sepulchres of the Celts etc
- Agriculture - Agriculture of the Cymry (Translation)
- Miscellaneous Notices
- Manufactures, Mines &c - The Industrial Capacities of South Wales (Jellinger Symons)
- Topography, Statistics &c - Pentrevoelas continued
- Ancient Welsh Music
- Genealogy continued
- Miscellaneous Notices
- Carnedd enclosing a Cromlech at Capel Garmon
- The Stone of Llewelyn
- Carnedd at Capel Garmon
- Plan of Cromlech at Capel Garmon
- Stone of Brochmael
- Turpillian Inscription
- Aberdare Iron Works
- Adornment of Houses
- Agricultural Prize Fund
- Agriculture of the Cymry
- Ancient Earthworks
- Anthracite Coal
- Armenian compared with Celtic
- Bardic Motto of Gwynedd
- Bardism in the Sixth Century
- Bears in Wales
- Beaumont's Suggestions on the Ancient Britons
- Beavers in Wales
- Bellot on the Application of Sanscrit to the Cymric Branch of the Celtic Language
- Betti Brown, Air of
- Blue Knight of Gwent
- Boats, Primitive
- Bopp on Celtic Languages
- Botany, Ancient,
- Briscoe's Prophet Isaiah and Book of Job
- British Alphabet
- Britons and Hindus Intercourse between
- Brychan's Queries
- Bryniau'r Iwerddon, Air of
- Caer Ddynod
- Caer Droia, Air of
- Cambrian Institute
- Cambro-British Saints, by Rev. W. J. Rees
- Carnedd enclosing a Cromlech at Capel Garmon
- Carnhuanawc, Literary Remains of
- Celtic Languages, an Essay on the, by Dr. Meyer
- Chambers on the Welsh Coal Field
- Characters, Ancient
- Circassian compared with Celtic
- Clas Meitin
- Coal Beds of South Wales
- Coelbren y Beirdd
- Copper Works of South Wales
- Corn Mills
- Creation, Tradition of the
- Cuhelyn the Bard
- Cymry, Primeval Literature of the
- Cymry, Traditionary Annals of the
- Cywydd Cynhafal
- Dagin Tin Works
- Dale Point
- Davydd ab Gwilym's Grammar
- Deluge, Tradition of the
- Denbigh, Ancient and Modern
- Duw Gadwo'r Brenhin, Air of
- Dyvynwal Moelmud
- Egyptian, Ancient compared with the Celtic
- Einigan Gawr
- Eisteddfod at Abergavenny
- Eisteddfodau, History of
- Eiliseg, Pillar of
- Encyclopaedia Cambrensis
- Evans' Welsh Dictionary
- Ffestiniog Eisteddfod
- Fountains of British History Explored
- Frankland's, Dr., Analysis of Anthracite
- Gems of English verse with translations into Welsh
- Geoffrey of Monmouth
- Geological Features of South Wales
- Georgian compared with Celtic
- Glaciers, Ancient of North Wales
- Gold Mines in Wales
- Gomer, by Archdeacon Williams
- Governors of the Cambrian Institute
- Harmony of the Triads, with the discoveries of Geology
- Hebrew compared with the Celtic
- Herberts, family of
- Hil, Joan
- Hiraithog Range
- Hissitio or Huysgwn
- Howel Dda
- Hud y Frwynen Neu Frwynen Las, Air of
- Hu Gadarn
- Idris Gawr[Enoch]
- Iestyn ab Gwrgant
- Ieuan Vawr
- Industrial Capacities of South Wales
- Inscribed Stones
- Iolo Goch
- Iolo Morganwg, Life of, by Waring
- Irish compared with the Sancsrit
- Iron Smelted by Anthracite
- Iron Works in South Wales
- Jones, A J, on Celtic Languages
- Jones, John, Gelli Lyvdy
- Laws', Captain John, Evidence in favour of Milford Haven
- Leek, the , Origin of Wearing
- Lewys Dwnn
- Llanelly Tin Works
- Llewelyn Sion
- Lleyn, William
- Llyfr Twrog
- Mackworth's Opinion of the Collieries in South Wales
- Maen-hir, at Garneddwen
- Marl, Antiquity of its use
- Mellin Griffith Tin Works
- Members of the Cambrian Institute
- Mentra Gwen, Air of
- Mildness of the Climate of South Pembrokeshire
- Milford Haven
- Moel Fenlli
- Monmouthshire a Welsh County
- Music, Myvyrian
- Music, Welsh
- Mwynen Mai, Air of
- Nangle Blockhouse, East
- Oakley Mine
- Olen or Alon
- On Improving the Condition of the Working Classes
- Owen, George, Extracts from
- Pater Dockyard
- Pennar Mouth
- Pentyrch Iron Works
- Pictet on the Celtic Language
- Poetry, by W Pugh
- Pont-y-pridd Iron Works
- Pottery at Llanelly
- Process of Smelting Copper
- Progress of the Trade in Iron and Coal in South Wales
- Proverbs, Agricultural
- Pugh Genealogy
- Registration of Bards
- Rhiwallon's Botanical MS
- Rules of the Cambrian Institute
- St Marywell Roade
- Samuel, Rev., Edward
- Sancsrit compared with Celtic
- Sepulchres of the Ancient Celts, Caucasians and Indians
- Sion Davydd
- Stackpole Court
- Stack Rock
- Stalactite Cave
- Stone of Brochmael
- Stone of Llewelyn
- Studies in British Biography
- Three Primary Bards
- Tir yr Abad
- Traditionary Annals of the Cymry
- Tradition of the Creation
- Tradition of the Deluge
- Treforest Tin and Iron Works
- Tri Tharawiad, Air of
- Tumuli on Ashy Down
- Turpillian Inscription
- Wand of Moses
- Waring's Life of Iolo Morganwg, Review of
- Welsh Classics
- Welsh Fusileers
- Welsh Language
- Welsh Literature in Germany
- Welshmen and Bretons, can they converse together ?
- Welsh MSS
- Welsh Orthography
- Welsh Uniforms
- Wheat and Barley introduced
- Wolves in Wales
- Wynne, Captain
- Ych Bannog
- Y Galon Lawen , Air of
- Ynys Prydain
- Y Vel Ynys
- Zeuss' Grammatics Celtica
MANUFACTURES, MINES, &c.
THE INDUSTRIAL CAPACITIES OF SOUTH WALES.
By JELINGER SYMONS,
The Coal Bed ; its chief divisions. Estimate of its extent and bulk. Anthracite; its qualities : Iron smelted by it : Iron works in the district: geological features of it. Mr. Mackworth's opinion of the pits there.
THE future of South Wales, in the industrial and commercial history of this kingdom, bids fair to eclipse the like development of its Australian namesake, and even that of the sister colonies. This will arise not only from the wonderful amount of its mineral wealth, but from the opening of Milford Haven,---less even from the enormous germs of metallic manufacture, with which the whole .................
.............. district is in labour, than from the new channel of traffic which is about, not only to put its dormant wealth in motion, but to attract and facilitate no small part of the commerce of the world.
It is well to bring into more permanent notice these elements of legitimate wealth and wholesome enterprize at home, when the tendencies of emigration and the regards of speculative industry are so much misdirected by the fascination of the gold fields. Wisdom, apt for present example, may be found on this subject in Funjas St. Fond's Travels in England and Scotland:
"The English," he says, "providentially disappointed in their hopes of finding very productive Mines of Gold and Silver, the nurses of national lethargy and ostentatious poverty, had begun now, and perhaps long before, to work the infinitely more valuable mines of Coal, the possession of which, together with the knowledge of the many important manufactures dependent upon them, have in later times raised the natives in Great Britain to the rank of the first manufacturing nation in the world, and given them a sufficient command of the mines of gold and silver, wrought by the slaves of those who pride themselves on being lords of the most copious mines of the precious metals, by which industry and enterprize have been banished from among themselves, while they have been animated by them among those nations who are under the happy necessity of giving valuable commodities in exchange for them."
The past progress of South Wales, even during the last ten years, has been wonderfully great, and affords some earnest of the future. Its natural riches consist entirely in its minerals and its harbours ; nature has done little for its soil, and education still less for its people; whilst art is only beginning to give activity to its resources, and importance to its topographical position.
The source of its productive power is its coal. The beds extend from St. Bride's Bay on the west, to Pontypool on the east, reposing chiefly on strata of carboniferous limestone.
The whole formation takes the form of a vast basin, of which the bowl runs longitudinally in a curve, rising alike to the north and to the south, and also to the east,...............
................. at that extremity of the basin in Monmouthshire. Each bed of coal, on the north and on the south, crops out at distances proportionate to its depth beneath the surface ; the inclination of the strata being much more rapid on the south than on the north, the difference amounting, in many parts of the basin, to from 45 to 10 degrees.
This immense bed is divided into two parts by Carmarthen Bay. Its average breadth, north and south, is about 15 miles, and its length about 80. Its area has been variously calculated at from 1045 square miles, according to Mr. Richardson's estimate, from Knapp's and the Ordnance maps, down to 750 square miles, which is undoubtedly too little.
The coal consists first of two main series or veins, the first called the upper or rock veins, the latter and lower the lime veins, separated by a band of " Pennant Rock," a coarse gritstone, usually schistose.
These are its great vertical divisions. Longitudinally it is divided into anthracite or stone coal on the northwest, and bituminous or free burning on the south-east. The quantities of each of these qualities of coal are thus divided by Mr. Richardson.:
Total Square Miles
A general description of the great Welsh coal field will be found in the following memoranda, recently furnished to me by William Chambers, jun., Esq., of Llanelly House :
"The Welsh coal field contains sixty seams of coal. It is probable that a great portion of that which is obtainable by level has been worked, and pits varying from 50 to 200 fathoms are now..........
............ in operation ; there is no doubt that this second series of working supplies the demand for coal at a cheaper rate than the first, and as discoveries in science become applicable to the steam engine or other motive power, it is not too much to predict that each succeeding series will contribute its supply at a rate cheaper, or at any rate as cheap, as that which preceded it. The districts near the mountains, the very outbreak or crop of the veins, have been worked long ago, beyond the memory of man, by diverting rivers to assist in removing the surface, and denuding them. As steam is daily becoming a more important element in our commercial navy, attention is naturally turned to that fuel which will perform the greatest work and occupy the least space in stowage. Anthracite is admitted by all to fulfil these requirements, and needs but some modification in its use to rectify the defect of slow combustion, that is, if it really be a defect to possess that quality naturally, and by its peculiar over-charge of the essential element of combustion, carbon. It is so formed as to prevent the waste occasioned by ignorant and prejudiced stokers, and brings about that condition in the engine-room, ash-pit and fire, which all who endeavour to emulate the good example of the Cornishmen are anxious to establish. If perfect combustion, no resistance, absence of smoke, and one-eighth or one-tenth more water evaporated are not sufficient inducements, it is still competent to us to make anthracite burn faster by artificial means.
" Welsh coal is all more or less anthracitic, and the predilection for the quality which approaches to anthracite, is evidenced by the demand and the price obtained for what is known in the market as 'free burning' or 'steam coal.' The excellence of " Welsh coal is all more or less anthracitic, and the predilection for the quality which approaches to anthracite, is evidenced by the demand and the price obtained for what is known in the market as 'free burning' or 'steam coal.' The excellence of iron made with anthracite ensures a ready sale at the highest rates. Manufacturers of rails know well its value, and how to economize its use by rolling it into that part which requires the greatest strength. One tin-plate worker has become a manufacturer of anthracite iron, that he may ensure an article wholly pure, without the mixture of inferior iron."
The anthracite is hardest at the western and softens as it approaches its eastern limit, near the valley of Neath, where the basin itself attains its greatest depth of 700 fathoms.
It is a singular fact, lately discovered, that the same vein is often anthracitic to the north and bituminous to the south ; the identity of such veins being fully established both by their dimensions and relative positions to the adjacent strata. The
It is a singular fact, lately discovered, that the same vein is often anthracitic to the north and bituminous to the south ; the identity of such veins being fully established both by their dimensions and relative positions to the adjacent strata. The transition must take place in ...............
...................the depth of the basin, below the reach of all existing shafts. It is also held, with every probability, that a metamorphic process is still converting the one quality into the other. In fact the entire difference is chemically constituted by the different heat to which each side of the basin has been exposed, and the relative degree of gaseous matter each portion of the coal contains.
George Owen, the antiquarian of Pembrokeshire, who in 1595 wrote a history of his county, long afterwards published in the Cambrian Register, gives a minute description of anthracite, of which this is an extract :
" It is called stone cole, for the hardness thereof, and is burned in chimnies and grates of iron; and being once kindled, giveth a greater heate than light, and delighteth to burn in darke places; it servith alsoe for smithes to worke with, though not soe well as the other kinde of cole, called the running cole, for that, when it first kindleth, it melteth and runneth as wax, and groweth into one clodd, whereas this stone cole burneth aparte, and never clyngeth together. This kinde of cole is not noysome for the smoake, nor nothing soe lothsome for the smell, as the ring cole is, whose smoake annoyeth all things neare it, as fyne linen, men's handes that warm themselves by it; but this stone cole yieldeth in a manner noe smoake after it is kindled, and is soe pure, that fine camerick and lawne is usually dried by it, without any stayne or blemish, and is a most proved good dryer of malt, therein passing wood, ferne, or strawe. This cole for the rare properties thereof was carried out of this countrey, to the citie of London, to the late Lord Treasurer Burley, by a gentleman of experience, to shewe how farre the same excelled that of Newcastell, wherewith the citie of London is servid ; and I think if the passage were not soe tedious, there would trey, to the citie of London, to the late Lord Treasurer Burley, by a gentleman of experience, to shewe how farre the same excelled that of Newcastell, wherewith the citie of London is servid ; and I think if the passage were not soe tedious, there would be greate use made of it."
The qualities of anthracite, as a fuel, have thus been long known and appreciated. As the approaching demand for steam-ship coal at Milford Haven renders this subject of peculiarly great practical importance, I subjoin the results of a careful analysis of the coal near Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, made, in 1850, by Dr. Frankland : 1
" The sample of coal," he says, " sent to me for analysis and investigation is remarkably bright, breaks with an irregular, sometimes serrated, fracture, and often presents a beautifully..............
1. Printed by R. Mason, Tenby, 1850.
...................fibrous structure at the broken surfaces ; a large portion of it exhibits a stratified appearance, with thin irregular layers of soft and friable carbon, much resembling pounded wood charcoal. It is the most perfect anthracite
...................fibrous structure at the broken surfaces ; a large portion of it exhibits a stratified appearance, with thin irregular layers of soft and friable carbon, much resembling pounded wood charcoal. It is the most perfect anthracite with which we are acquainted, the per-centage of carbon being much higher, and that of hydrogen considerably lower, than has been observed in any coal hitherto examined; the specific gravity being also greater than that of any submitted to experiment in the recent researches connected with the Admiralty Coals Investigation; the mean of three experiments made with the coal in its natural condition giving the number 1.402, and when the air was extracted from its pores by allowing it to stand some time under water in vacuo, the specific gravity even reached 1.4119.
"The practical experiments on the evaporative power, &c., were conducted in exactly the same manner, and with the same apparatus, as the extensive series of observations on the principal coals of the United Kingdom, made at the command of the Admiralty."
After detailing minutely the results of the experiments made, Dr. Frankland gives a comparative summary of the four cardinal qualities which fit coal for steamers, applied to several kinds in the kingdom, from which I deduce the following striking contrast: -
Name of Coal
Lbs of Clinker
Dalkeith (Jewel Seam)
Haswell Coal Co.'s Steamboat Wallsend
Cowpen and Sydney Hartley
Bonville's Pembrokeshire Coal
"'There are four points," Dr. Frankland adds, "connected with this anthracite which particularly recommend it as a steam coal 1st,---Its high evaporative power; 2nd, ---The very small quantity of sulphur which it contains, and its entire freedom from iron ...................
..................pyrites (metallic cinder) ; 3rd, ---The very small amount of ash and clinker; and 4th,---Its requiring no stoking, and the entire absence of smoke during its combustion. These last are such important considerations, that although there are several bituminous coals which have, according to the Admiralty experiments, nearly the same evaporative power when well stoked, yet in practice would be found very greatly inferior, because it is impossible to get the stoker to take the requisite trouble ; this coal however places the manufacturer independent as it were of his stokers, who, even by the most careless firing, could scarcely perceptibly reduce its evaporative power.
" The constant increase of evaporative power with the increase of draught, as exhibited in the foregoing experiments, indicates that a still higher result would be obtained with a stronger draught, such as an ordinary steam shaft usually commands; but this is by no means the case with bituminous coals, which frequently give much better results with a slow than with a quick draught.
" In addition to these advantages are the economic weight, (space occupied by one ton,) and great cohesive power possessed by this coal, which renders it a very valuable fuel for sea-going vessels, whilst its composition and freedom from iron pyrites furnish a certain guarantee for its non-liability to spontaneous combustion.
"The non-adhesive nature of the little clinker formed, and the small amount of sulphur contained in this coal, seem to indicate that the bars of the furnace in which it is burnt will rarely require renewing. On this account it would probably be found an admirable substitute for coke in the locomotive department; my own experiments, made in a wind furnace, prove that the intensity of the heat produced by its combustion is much greater than that procured by coke under the same conditions, and its high specific gravity would prevent its being carried into and blocking up the tubes, as is the case with coke; whilst a comparison of its evaporative power with that of the only specimen of coke tested in the recent Admiralty Coals Investigation is greatly in its favour, for 1 ton 4 cwt. (nearly) of the coke would be required to do the work of 1 ton of this anthracite."
For further comparison of this anthracite with other coals analyzed by the Admiralty, and also with the south east Welsh coal afterwards stated, I extract the following results from Dr. Frankland's paper, from which the remarkable purity of this anthracite, and its comparative freedom from useless and noxious ingredients, is further seen :-
Table showing the per-centage composition of coals, as found by direct analysis.
The Coal types featured are the same as in the last Table above, the section headings are; Carbon; Hydrogen; Nitrogen; Sulphur; Ash.
" In conclusion," he says, " I should recommend this fuel in all cases where intense heat, high evaporative power, and freedom from sulphur, ash, clinker and smoke are required. It combines, in a high degree, all the conditions" In conclusion," he says, " I should recommend this fuel in all cases where intense heat, high evaporative power, and freedom from sulphur, ash, clinker and smoke are required. It combines, in a high degree, all the conditions (except the first) which render a coal valuable for the Navy, stated in the first Report ' On the Coals suited to the Steam Navy,' (p. 17,) viz.,
" ' 1. The fuel should burn so that steam may be raised in a short period ; in other words, it should be able to produce a quick action.
" '2. It should possess high evaporative power, that is, be capable of converting much water into steam with a small consumption of coal.
" '3. It should not be bituminous, lest so much smoke be generated as to betray the position of ships of war when it is desirable that this should be concealed.
"' 4. It should possess considerable cohesion of its particles, so that it may not be broken into too small fragments by the constant attrition which it may experience in the vessel.
" ' 5. It should combine a considerable density with such mechanical structure that it may easily be stowed away in small space; a condition which, in coals of equal evaporative values, often involves a difference of more than 20 per cent.
" ' 6. It should be free from any considerable amount of sulphur, and should not progressively decay ; both of which circumstances render it liable to spontaneous combustion.' "
It has been reserved, moreover, for the enterprize of our own times to apply anthracite, not only to the purposes of the steam-ship, but also to that of smelting iron. Mr. Booker, M. P. for Herefordshire, in his well-known speech................
....................at the Swansea Meeting of the British Association, thus records the first application of anthracite to this purpose :---
" In the anthracite districts of our mineral basin, the improvements effected by the late Mr. Crane, and the application by him of hot blast to the smelting of iron with anthracite coal, were acknowledged certainly not more gratefully than they deserved to be, by those who are interested in the mineral productions of the anthracite districts, wherein the deposit of iron-stone or ore is enormous, but its reduction with its accompanying fuel almost new."
In smelting iron, the disadvantages are its extreme density, and the necessity, in consequence, of using the hot blast, whereas the cold blast suffices with the bituminous coal. In 1835 there were only four blast furnaces in the anthracite district,---three at Yniscedwyn and one at Abercarne. The latter furnace was built several years previously, but the scheme failed, and the furnace was left idle till a recent period. The fuel used at Yniscedwyn, till 1836, was coke, imported. In that year anthracite coal was first successfully adopted at these works, since which time the anthracite iron works have increased according to the following table:
Name of Works
Furnaces at work
Make of Pig
Iron in 1849
of Pig Iron in 1853
Yniscedwyn Iron Works, Breconshire
Ystalyfera Works, Glamorganshire
Banwen Works, Ditto
Abernant,Vale of Neath, Glamorganshire
2 Coke is now used at these works milled with anthracite.
3 Preparing to go to work.
The geological features of the district are remarkable. The western or Pembrokeshire division, containing about 73 square miles, which, like the South Wales bed, preserves the basin character, but is of a more oblong shape; the southern boundary, towards which it dips, being formed for nearly 10 miles by trap dykes. It is not only intersected by numerous faults (three main ones dividing the winnings into as many chief classes), but the contortions of the whole bed are excessive in some places, entirely inverting the strata in the culm beds on the sea margins, so that the seams, which rarely exceed two feet, are dislocated and crumpled in all directions, bespeaking an unusual violence of disturbing forces. The whole bed is very shallow. The extreme thickness of the whole of the measures probably does not exceed 600 yards. They correspond with and belong to the lowest of the three great divisions of coal measures in South-west England, and are therefore of the oldest coal formations. They rest almost entirely on sandstone. All the adjacent and intervening strata, including the shale, are, like the coal, peculiarly hard and dense, and indicating intense pressure.
The working of the coal appears, by a very able lecture delivered by Mr. Mackworth, H. M. Mine Inspector, to have advanced very little since the end of the sixteenth century, when Mr. Owen so graphically described it. The workings are carried on by long wall, and the whole of the coal is brought out. Mr. Mackworth speaks of the shafts as shallow and square, and walled only at the top, the tackle insecure, the ventilation so imperfect, that
" there is hardly an instance of the employment of artificial ventilating power throughout the year; and in the collieries where he measured the quantities of air, it was, this summer, (1853,) less than half that required for the health and vigour of the miners."
Women, as is usual in Pembrokeshire, perform part of the severest labour, and land the coal at the pit's mouth.
The Eastern Coal Bed : Anthracite there. The yield of Coal. Analysis of the best veins. Characteristics of the seams. Progress of the trade in Iron and Coal. The Taff Valley district and the works there. The physical and moral condition of its inhabitants, and of Merthyr Tydvil, Aberdare and Tredegar.
Remedies. Progress of the Merthyr district trade.
THE characteristics of the eastern part of the South Wales coal field differ from the western division. It contains about 802 square miles ; its extreme thickness (near Llanelly) is 3400 yards ; it is about 54 by 20 miles in length and breadth. Nothing, however, can be more inaccurate than the estimates which have been so often made of the available coal the field contains. This cannot be estimated by a mere arithmetical sum of its cubic contents ; for the lower parts of the basin are from 2000 to 3000 yards below the sea-level, and the deepest coal now worked in England is at about one-half that depth.
The great geological boundaries and features of this immense basin may be thus described :---It is bounded on its northern edge by the upheaval of the great Silurian rocks, and by the old red sandstones on the south and west. A vast upheaval or anticlinal line runs through the coal field ; rising in Gower, passing near Cwmavon, Maesteg and Pont-y-pridd, it subsides at Risca. It divides the basin into a large northern and a small southern trough ; and minor anticlinar lines occur running east and west near Rhondda Valley and Llangefelach. There are three great divisions of the seams, which all thin out to the south and north.
The seams present endless variations as they are worked out. None of them preserve their character throughout; they continually change their roof-floor and quality, and are sometimes wholly lost. Nevertheless, the whole district is rich both in coal and ironstone ; one section contains no less than 106 feet of coal in 735 vertical yards. The central district contains, moreover, a valuable belt..............
.................of sandstone and grit rock. Intersecting the upper strata of the soil, run deep valleys from the northern boundary across the basin to the sea. These form the great conduits for both coal and ore to the ports which stand at their debouchures, and the railway, which now skirts the whole line of the coast. Either by tributary rails or canals, the produce of the great mines and works, which are usually at the head of these valleys, pour down to the great outlets at the south,---the chief chures, and the railway, which now skirts the whole line of the coast. Either by tributary rails or canals, the produce of the great mines and works, which are usually at the head of these valleys, pour down to the great outlets at the south,---the chief being the Swansea, Neath and Taff Vales. Besides these vast facilities to transit, the valleys intersect and combine with the anticlinal ridges, so as to facilitate the winning of the seams, by outcrops worked by levels, and by the elevation of the seams, with their accompanying ores, to accessible distances from the surface. These natural aids not only augment, pro tanto, the available quantity of coal in the field, but contribute largely to the admirable development of mineral wealth, which renders South Wales another Potosi.
The usual mode of working the coal is by pillar and stall ; and, unlike the anthracite, few seams of less thickness than three feet are worked at present. The less wasteful system of long and broad work is, however, gaining ground, especially in the iron mines.
The anthracite beds in this coal field sometimes reach even 18 feet in thickness ; nevertheless they are, comparatively to the free burning and bituminous, but little worked. The management, especially as regards ventilation, of the collieries of this
The anthracite beds in this coal field sometimes reach even 18 feet in thickness ; nevertheless they are, comparatively to the free burning and bituminous, but little worked. The management, especially as regards ventilation, of the collieries of this South Wales basin, appears to be still extremely defective. The distribution of air is of little else than mere leakage ; and a very moderate but well distributed ventilation, according to the opinion of the Inspector of Mines, would have prevented every South Wales basin, appears to be still extremely defective. The distribution of air is of little else than mere leakage ; and a very moderate but well distributed ventilation, according to the opinion of the Inspector of Mines, would have prevented every serious explosion which has taken place, owing, not to the excess of fire-damp, but to insufficient precaution. The Aberdare district affords ample instances of this.
The following results of a careful analysis of the best veins give these contents :
The gradual transition which takes place in the quality of the northern crop is thus well exhibited. It will be observed that, as the vein approaches the west, the carbon gradually increases, and the hydrogen and other gaseous products decrease.
The progress alike of the coal and iron trade of South Wales has perhaps no parallel for rapidity and extent in any other branch of industrial production,---that of cotton alone excepted. But, inasmuch as the growth of the cotton manufacture resulted from the combination of newly-discovered material and new mechanical invention, both in the appliance of steam power and the machinery adopted for its production, the progress of the South Wales mines may be properly accounted as unequalled sui generis. There is one, and one only respect, in which the strides of these great mineral and vegetable powers have arisen from analogous causes. About eighty or ninety years ago the only method practised of making iron was by charcoal. No mineral fuel for the purpose was used ; and the total amount of bar iron then made in the whole kingdom was probably under 20,000 tons. The physical difficulties of its introduction were, as usual, very formidable ; and these were increased by that bitter and al fuel for the purpose was used ; and the total amount of bar iron then made in the whole kingdom was probably under 20,000 tons. The physical difficulties of its introduction were, as usual, very formidable ; and these were increased by that bitter and bigotted prejudice which at that time beset every "innovation" of science into the domains of custom. Mr. Baker established, I believe, the first successful pit coal furnace at Cyfarthfa. Very early in this century, according to an able pamphlet then published by Mr. Blakemore, M.P. for Wells, all obstacles had been so far sur-.............
..................... mounted, that 249,500 tons were produced in a single year from 169 blast furnaces. In 1823 the make was about 452,000, of which South Wales contributed 182,000 tons ; and in 1830 it rose to 681,000 tons, of which South Wales contributed 270,000 tons. In 1839 Sir Thomas Phillipps, in an instructive lecture at Abergavenny, makes the quantity, in South Wales alone, 453,800 tons ; the total being 1,248,781.
It was about forty years ago that most of the acts were obtained for the canals and tramways, which then, for the first time, brought the iron down the valleys to the sea. Up to this time nearly all of it was carried over the trackless hills upon mules ; and many an old pig of iron has been found on them in later times, which had been dropped on the way. These better means of transit gave a great impetus to the trade ; and though, as the following figures show, a great increase took place long before the railways (crowned by the South Wales) came in aid, it will also be observed how fast the ratio of increase advanced afterwards.
The quantity of coal shipped at the four principal ports of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Llanelly, in 1833, was 944,498 tons. In 1852, it was 1,976,156.
The chief industry is seated in the Taff Valley, commencing at Dowlais and Aberdare, and descending to the vicinity of Cardiff.
So singular and instructive is the history and condition of this district of the vast hive of mineral wealth, that its chief features deserve something more than general notice.
The first manufactory on the road from Cardiff to Merthyr is the Mellin Griffith Tin Works. About fifty or sixty years ago these works were small, now they are among the largest in the kingdom. There are a great many hands employed here, who reside at
The first manufactory on the road from Cardiff to Merthyr is the Mellin Griffith Tin Works. About fifty or sixty years ago these works were small, now they are among the largest in the kingdom. There are a great many hands employed here, who reside at or near the works. The workmen are among the best conditioned, morally and physically, in the whole of South Wales. About two miles higher up are the Pentyrch Iron Works. These works have increased amazingly of late years. They belong to the same proprietor as the ..................
.................Mellin Griffith Works, ---viz., T. W. Booker, Esq., M.P. Consequent upon the increase of these latter works there have sprung up three large villages, containing at least 1000 inhabitants. Twenty years ago the population of one of these villages would not have exceeded thirty or forty souls; the other two were not then in existence About one mile higher up is the village of Nantgurw. Here there is a population of from four to five hundred souls. Twenty years ago it did not contain more than thirty persons. The inhabitants are boatmen, pipemakers (of which article there is a manufactory), and colliers. Notwithstanding the people are of a reckless sort, every village has its dissenting chapel.
Few of the houses have necessary out-buildings attached to them ; and where there happen to be any erected, there is but one for the inhabitants of five or six. A supply of good wholesome water is hardly ever thought of, and drainage is out of the question. These dwellings are chiefly built by persons who have managed to scrape together a little money, with which they commence building; and when this is exhausted they resort to some money-lender for the remainder : no wonder, therefore, that comforts and even decencies were neglected. These evils would be easily avoided by the landlords' insisting, before granting a lease to build, that a supply of water, drainage, privies, &c., should be attended to in every instance.
The next villages or towns (for they are large enough to be called so) are Treforst and Pont-y-pridd. In the former there is a tin and iron manufactory built by the Messrs. Crawshay, at an outlay of £100,000. In the latter there are an iron-rail manufactory in the occupation of Messrs. Fothergill, and large chain-cable works, the proprietors of which are the Messrs. Brown, Lennox, & Co. The tin and rail works are of recent date. Several very large collieries and extensive stone quarries have been recently opened here. One of these collieries supplies the Great Western Railway with upwards of 50,000 tons of coke annually. Treforst is a tolerably clean town: ...................
........... Pont-y-pridd is not so; and the drainage is very defective. Population about thirty years ago was not 1000, it is now about 10,000. In a north-west direction from Pontypridd there is a branch railway leading from the Taff Vale Railway, through the Rhondda Valley, to a place called Dinas. Along the whole of this branch there are several collieries, coke ovens, one chemical works, and five brick manufactories ; and where recently the inhabitants of this valley might be reckoned by hundreds, you may now count them by thousands. There is a church, recently opened for Divine service, in the lower part of the valley ; some meeting-houses, and a great many beershops. Drainage and a supply of water are left to nature. Following the Taff Vale Railway from Pont-y-pridd, you come to a place called the Basin. From this there is a branch railway leading to Aberdare ; and there is also a branch canal leading to the same place. At Aberdare and the neighbourhood there are several large iron works and collieries. Twenty years ago Aberdare was a small village, containing a few hundred inhabitants ; and the population now amounts to 13,000. There is always visible in these large manufacturing places a fearful amount of drunkenness, improvidence, and recklessness. Drainage and a supply of good water are seldom thought of, until a threatened visitation of cholera, or some such fearful calamity, arouses men to a sense of their duty; and even then, when the alarm has subsided, or the disease seems to have left the neighbourhood, things are allowed to remain in their former state. At the head of the Glamorganshire Canal and of the Taff Vale Railway stands Merthyr.
The annals of human filth and grime,---for mineral industry seems invariably to clothe its people with the swarthy features of its own materials,---nowhere present anything worse than Merthyr. The report, recently published, of the inspector sent to examine into its sanitary condition, is beyond all comparison the most sickening ever published. Its details are infinitely too disgusting for repetition here.
It appears that nothing but the fine mountain air, which the perversity of pestilential ingenuity and recklessness, has been unable wholly to counteract, has preserved this entire district from being devastated by typhus and cholera. Not only is it devoid of drainage, or any possible means of removing filth from the immediate vicinity of the dwellings, but no supply of water is provided, and nearly all that comes into the place is brought on the heads of women in pitchers. This applies equally to Tredegar. The improvement of Merthyr has been long talked of. Its wealth might afford the means of effecting a little more care of those who produce it. It contains four of the largest iron works in the world,Dowlais, Cyfarthfa, Pen-y-daran, and the Plymouth Works. Formerly the Glamorganshire Canal was the only means of transit ; but such was the increase in these works, that the canal was not found sufficient for this purpose,---hence arose the necessity for the formation and completion of the Taff Vale Railway,---and now both the canal and railway are fully occupied.
The " Blue Books," which in 1848 caused so angry an excitement in parts of the Principality,---but whose substantial truthfulness has been generally recognized, and of which the utility has been evidenced by vastly increased educational exertion,---gave the following tableau of the popular features of this district; and there seems but too much reason to fear that its colours and general outline are still vividly apparent in this singular commixture of physical wealth and moral debasement:
"This community has arisen chiefly by immigration from most parts of Wales and England. Whatever is unsettled, or lawless, or roving, or characterless among working men, as long as bodily strength subsists, has felt an attraction to this district, and a surety of ready acceptance and good wages, which very few other districts have afforded in so great a degree. It therefore contains a larger proportion of escaped criminals and dissolute people of both sexes than almost any other populace; I know of none which, from what I could gather, contain so many. If the people have few virtues, they have great strength ; if they have dark minds, they have strong passions and vigorous vices. They are...........
................so lawless and insubordinate, that the truck system has been defended more than once to me on this very ground :--- 'If the masters had not some hold over such a set of men, and were to make them entirely independent, by giving them complete control over their high wages, they would work just when and how they liked, and the capital embarked in the works would be at their mercy. It is difficult enough to manage them as it is.' Such is the substance of the answers I have more than once received on this subject from men well acquainted with the facts.
" The masters are looked upon generally as the natural enemies of the men."
This frightful fact, founded on a disbelief of the inseparable identity of the permanent interests of labour and capital, is not less prevalent than pernicious. Perhaps it is nurtured and kept alive by the remissness and neglect of the masters to take
This frightful fact, founded on a disbelief of the inseparable identity of the permanent interests of labour and capital, is not less prevalent than pernicious. Perhaps it is nurtured and kept alive by the remissness and neglect of the masters to take any means to remove it. No doubt the moral and mental appliances requisite for informing a community of working men like that of the Merthyr district are not easily matured ; but the good effect of giving them juster notions of the great laws which regulate wages, and of their own and their masters' indefeasible interest in their order, morality, and decency, is sufficiently fruitful and important to repay the trouble were it tenfold greater. The following is a painful illustration of the degree in which te wages, and of their own and their masters' indefeasible interest in their order, morality, and decency, is sufficiently fruitful and important to repay the trouble were it tenfold greater. The following is a painful illustration of the degree in which the policy of hoodwinks and gocarts has hitherto been the rule of action. It is no unique case : ---
" Physical means are the only ones these people are taught to use or to appreciate. They are the chief resources used against them by their employers, and are naturally the first they resort to for the purpose of retaliation. Moral influences are well-nigh unknown. Something is done indeed for schooling the children in the elements or mechanics of instruction ; but I have failed to find adequate efforts made by any of the employers of labour in this district to moralise or improve the hearts are well-nigh unknown. Something is done indeed for schooling the children in the elements or mechanics of instruction ; but I have failed to find adequate efforts made by any of the employers of labour in this district to moralise or improve the hearts and habits of their work-people ; and the large majority utterly neglect any such duty. To employ a clergyman at a very insufficient salary, and to place him single-handed among a population so thoroughly unprepared for the approaches of civilization and and habits of their work-people ; and the large majority utterly neglect any such duty. To employ a clergyman at a very insufficient salary, and to place him single-handed among a population so thoroughly unprepared for the approaches of civilization and spiritual culture, is almost wholly ineffective. I know of few other means taken to reform them, but I met with more than one to keep them ......
...........debased. I will give an instance :---A respectable inhabitant of one of the mining parishes told me that one or two benevolent ladies exerted themselves to establish a provident society, for the purpose of encouraging the men to rescue something from the spirit and beer-house, and lay it by for the day of want or sickness. They applied to the proprietor of large mines in the place, who employed a number of these men, for his contribution and patronage. ' Indeed,' he said, ' I cannot give you either, for if I did I should be arming the men against myself, and enabling them to strike for wages. I want them to spend their earnings, and not to hoard them.' This was an unusual case of candour, but by no means unusual policy. I mentioned it to a neighbouring magistrate, who told me he firmly believed it; and I heard from others, in whom I can place confidence, that the desire to deprive the men of the means of striking for wages, and to subjugate them to their employers, is said to animate their conduct, and it appears to be even more at the root of the truck system than the immediate gain which springs from it.
"After considerable inquiry, and much conversation on the subject, I am persuaded that the same motive in effect protects the spirit-shops. In one part of my district alone, I was informed that there were above eighty private houses where spirits
"After considerable inquiry, and much conversation on the subject, I am persuaded that the same motive in effect protects the spirit-shops. In one part of my district alone, I was informed that there were above eighty private houses where spirits are sold without a licence ! The public-houses swarm; and it is not easy to ascribe the extent to which these outrageous temptations to drink are allowed to multiply with impunity to any other cause than a wilful connivance on the part of those who are morally bound to check them."--- Welsh Education Inquiry, vol. ii.
The benevolent efforts made by Lady Guest to aid the civilization of the working classes, by various judicious efforts, have been too recently commenced to enable me to report their success, or prophesy their result.
I need hardly remark how largely moral elevation and social decencies contribute to industrial vigour and the value of skilled labour. Hence the relevancy of this episode, to the subject of this paper.
Every kind of physical cleansing and ventilation, better dwellings for the people, evening resorts, including refreshments, without intoxicating drinks, for the men, lending libraries, a full staff of lay Scripture readers qualified to evoke the affections and gain the confidence of the people, industrial schools of a practical kind, and prizes on Mr. Norris' plan, mine schools on Mr. Mack-...................
.................. worth's,---are all vital necessities in that district to avert disaster and disease, both temporal and moral. Let the wealthy owners of this district be timely wise !
Twenty years ago there were 200 barges engaged in conveying iron and coal from Merthyr and the neighbourhood to Cardiff; now there are 450. The revenue derived from tonnage on the canal for the last year amounted to £150,000 ! The amount of revenue from tonnage on the Taff Vale Railway is somewhat under £3000 per week. The amount of capital employed in the collieries, iron manufactories, &c., with which this district abounds, is not far short of £5,000,000.
I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Shepherd, Mr. Bushell, and Mr. Fisher, 4 for the following returns of the mineral traffic of the canal and railway---the best means of testing the progress or the industry of the Merthyr district:---
4 A courtesy, I regret to say, by no means shown by others, from
whom equally useful information was sought, and by whom it was
An account of Coal, Iron, and Iron Ore, sent by the Glamorgan
Canal and Taff Vale Railway in the undermentioned years.
CHAPTER III.The Copper Works. Quantity of Ore used: the process of smelting
it. The works in South Wales.
NEXT to the iron works, the most important establishments for metallurgical operations in South Wales, are the copper works of the district of which Swansea is the centre. These extend from Margam on the east, to Pembrey on the west, and consist of two works in the neighbourhood of Aberavon, two at Neath, eight at Swansea, and three at Llanelly and Pembrey. They are the only works in Great Britain except two small establishments at St. Helen's, near Liverpool, one at Amlwch, in Anglesey, and one in Staffordshire.
The total quantity of copper made in Great Britain in 1853, was about 22,000 tons, which was smelted in the several districts above mentioned in about the following proportions:---
- Swansea 50 per cent.
- Neath and Aberavon 20 per cent
- Llanelly 20 per cent
- St. Helen's 10 per cent
The quantity of ore from which the copper above mentioned was obtained would amount to about 220,000 tons, the whole of which was imported by sea to the several districts where it was smelted, except the small quantity raised in Anglesey.
The greater part of the ore is brought down from Cornwall, and the carrying trade between Cornwall and the Welsh smelting districts must require upwards of 150 vessels of from 80 to 150 tons burthen, and find employment for from 600 to 800 seamen. These vessels take back coal for the mines, and the average freight of both cargoes amounts from 7s. 6d. to 8s. 6d. per ton. Owing, however, to the demand for shipping, the freight is now from 11s. to 12s. per ton.
About one-half of the copper produced is smelted from foreign ore imported from Cuba, Australia, and Chili.
The Chilian and Australian ore are principally imported into Liverpool and London, and thence transhipped to Swansea, but a good deal is received there direct, as well as all the Cuba ore. There is also a considerable quantity of ore imported from Ireland, and some from North Wales.
The Cornish ores are sold in Cornwall, the others at Swansea, in both instances by a species of auction called "Ticketing," in which the purchasers meet and write their offers for each parcel of ore on slips of paper called "Tickets," which are then read out by the chairman (the agent for the principal mines), and the highest bidder becomes the purchaser.
The following table shows the quantity of copper contained in ore sold at various periods during the last thirty years:---
Year ending 30th June
Cornish Ore sold at Ticketing
Welsh and Foreign do. at Swansea
Ore sold by Contract
Other Ore, do. do
Since 1850 the copper smelted in Great Britain is considerably reduced, owing principally to the increase of copper smelting abroad, and the consequent diminution of imports of foreign ore.
The process of copper smelting is costly and tedious, and the quantity of coal required in it has led to the erection of works in the coal districts of Wales, instead of the neighbourhood of the mines where they were first established. The total quantity of coal used in the smelting and manufacture of copper in South Wales cannot be less than 400,000 tons annually, and the payments in wages must amount to £90,000 or £ 100,000 per annum.
The process of smelting is briefly as follows:---The..............
.............ore, consisting of sulphurets of iron and copper, is first roasted in large reverberatory furnaces, and then melted to separate the earthy matters from the regulus or sulphurets of the metals.
These earths, from their lighter specific gravity, swim on the surface of the fused regulus, in a half melted state, and are skimmed off by the workmen as slag. The regulus is then tapped out and granulated by running into a pit of water. It is in this state calcined, or roasted again, in order to separate the iron from the sulphur with which it is combined, and again melted, when the oxide of iron, formed during the calcination, combines with silica and swims on the surface of the heavier sulphuret of copper, forming a slag which is removed as in the first melting. This roasting and melting is continued until the sulphuret of copper is obtained free from iron. It is then decomposed by exposing it in the melted state to a current of air; the sulphur escapes, and the copper becomes metallic, and is afterwards refined and cast into the various forms required by consumers.
The process of smelting just described is, with a few trifling alterations, the same that has been used for many years. There have been several projects of improvements, and some of them have been carried partially into effect; but the principle of the processes remains the same, and the improvements and alterations are neither striking nor important. The cost and length of the operations arises principally from the value of the metal, and the importance of avoiding loss in the slag.
Of the produce of the copper mines in Great Britain, about one-third is rolled and hammered into sheets, plates, and sheathing for bottoms of ships, construction of locomotive engines, and the supply of various vessels for breweries, sugar refineries,
Of the produce of the copper mines in Great Britain, about one-third is rolled and hammered into sheets, plates, and sheathing for bottoms of ships, construction of locomotive engines, and the supply of various vessels for breweries, sugar refineries, &c. About one-fifth is exported for rolling abroad, and the remainder is sold for the making of different descriptions of brass.
Of the three works in the district of Llanelly, the Llanelly Copper Works were built in 1805, and have been working ever since.
The works of the English and Australian Company, near Lloughor, were erected in 1808, and worked for about three years. They were again lighted in 1847. The Burry Port Copper Works commenced working in 1849. One of the works has mills for the rolling of sheets and bars.
The number of men employed at these works directly in the processes of copper smelting, amounts to about 500. The wages vary from 15s. to 25s. per week.
CHAPTER IV.The industry of the Llanelly district. Lead and Silver Works.
Pottery and Farm of the Messrs. Chambers. Population,
Schools, &c. Coal Basin : the Anthracite there.
LLANELLY affords in itself a wonderful instance of the elasticity of industrial progress in South Wales, and of the facilities afforded to it, even in places nowise remarkably adapted to the works planted there. In addition to the copper works, there are extensive silver and lead smelting works, a pottery, and two zinc plate works in full operation.
The Dagin Tin Works commenced working in 1848, and produced about 800 boxes weekly, and employed about 240 people.
The Llanelly Tin Works commenced in 1852; they make 500 boxes, about 30 tons, per week, and employ about 110 people. Several of those employed in these works are children.
The smelting of lead and silver is a new branch of industry in the South Wales district. Not requiring such a large consumption of coal as other smelting operations, the processes are generally carried through in the neighbourhood of the mines.
There are two works of this description in the neighbourhood of Llanelly. Those of Messrs. Sims & Co. are on a large scale, and employ about 150 people. The .......
........lead ores are obtained from Cornwall, Cardiganshire, the Isle of Man, and from Ireland ; and the silver ores from Chili and Peru.
These latter ores are treated in various ways,---by amalgamation, by smelting with lead ore, and lately by a new process, adopted at the works of Messrs. Mason & Elkington, at Pembrey, recently patented by Mr. A. Parker.
The second of these is the process adopted at the Llanelly Works. The lead and silver ores are smelted together in different proportions, according to the richness; and the lead produced (containing the silver of the silver ores) is treated either by cupellation, or by a new process also patented by Mr. Parker. In the former the silver lead is melted, and exposed to a current of air which blows off the litharge or oxide of lead as it is formed, until the silver is obtained perfectly pure. In the latter process advantage is taken of the superior affinity of silver for zinc, than for lead. The melted silver lead is mixed with zinc, also in a state of fusion. The alloy of zinc and silver on cooling rises to the surface, and is skimmed off, and the separation of the silver from the lead is found to be very completely effected. The zinc is afterwards separated from the silver by distillation.
The smelting of silver ores has not been carried on to any great extent in Great Britain until within the last two or three years, previous to which the Chilian and Peruvian ores were amalgamated in their own countries. The advantage to England is considerable from the carriage of the ore, and the profit on smelting, and also from the return afforded to England's merchants for produce exported.
There are two iron foundries at Llanelly, with extensive premises and conveniences for the erection of steam engines, employing together about 100 people ; and an extensive work for the rolling of sheet and plate iron is in course of erection.
The pottery, which owes its establishment to the enter...................
............. prize and energy of W. Chambers, Esq., jun., of Llanelly House, was erected in 1840, and commenced working in 1841 ; employment was then and has since been given to about 100 persons.
The consumption of material averages 1000 tons per annum:
Clay of several varieties from Cornwall, Dorset and Devonshire, about 550 Tons
Flint from Kent 350 ''
Granite from Cornwall, had there in a partially decomposed slate 100 ''
Other materials, such as carbonate of lead, borax,
soda, and other chemicals, in variety, say 50 ''
(Total) 1050 Tons
The coal of this locality is well adapted for pottery purposes; the quantity used is about 2500 tons per annum.
The ware produced (which is equal in quality to the average Staffordshire make) may be estimated at 2000 dozens per week ; it is sold principally in the west of England ; considerable quantities have been shipped for Australia, the United States of America, and the continent of Europe.
The produce of this pottery is rapidly attaining celebrity. Beautiful dinner services of crockery, jugs, &c., and transparent tableaus of imitation Parian, are beautifully executed, and perfected at a trifling cost.
Mr. Chambers, sen., has also established a farm on his estate, which exhibits a useful model of various scientific improvements, alike in the chemistry and mechanics of agriculture.
The population of the parish of Llanelly in
- 1891 was 2,072
- 1831 '' 7,649
- 1841 '' 11,155
- 1851 '' 13,516
The population of the borough of Llanelly in
- 1831 was 4,173
- 1841 '' 7,123
- 1851 '' 8,566
In 1848 the parish was divided for ecclesiastical purposes. A new district was formed and endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, containing, in 1851, 3059 inhabitants. A church for the same district was begun in 1849, and finished in the next year, and a parsonage house is erected.
There have been established within the last few years a large day school, and an infant school, supported by voluntary subscriptions, besides two schools maintained by the proprietors of the Llanelly Copper Works, and Dagin Tin Works, respectively ; a
There have been established within the last few years a large day school, and an infant school, supported by voluntary subscriptions, besides two schools maintained by the proprietors of the Llanelly Copper Works, and Dagin Tin Works, respectively ; a savings bank, a mechanics' institute, and chamber of commerce, and, lately, a school of design.
For the accommodation of the three last institutions a large building is projected, and a considerable sum has been subscribed for its erection.
The coal district of Llanelly is situated at the extreme western end of the eastern basin of South Wales. It produces coal of every quality, from good bituminous house coal to anthracite.
The saddle or lowest part of the basin runs nearly parallel with the sea coast, and at a short distance only from it; and the southern acclivity or south crop of these veins is worked in some instances under the sea. This south crop produces generally
The saddle or lowest part of the basin runs nearly parallel with the sea coast, and at a short distance only from it; and the southern acclivity or south crop of these veins is worked in some instances under the sea. This south crop produces generally bituminous coal of good quality ; while on the northern rise the same veins produce the coal called free burning, similar to that of Merthyr, which is now so largely used for steam engines and steam vessels. This description extends for a distance varying from half a mile to two miles from the saddle. The deeper veins which rise to the surface beyond these produce the inferior coal called culm, which is of intermediate quality between the free burning and anthracite; while the lowest veins of all, which appear still farther north, produce the true anthracite.
The bituminous coal lying contiguous to the sea has, owing to the convenience of carriage, which was in former times of much greater importance than at present, been worked for many years, and the upper vein has been in a great measure exhausted, though there is still a considerable quantity worked, principally for export to Ireland.
The quantity of free burning coal remaining unworked is much larger, and the demand for steam engines and steam vessels is great and increasing. The Baltic and Mediterranean fleets have been now supplied with it, the contract amounting to many thousand tons. But the supply to be looked for from this district is trifling, compared with that from the large tract of country lying north-west of Cardiff, and more in the centre of the basin.
The anthracite district has been comparatively but little worked, and the demand is rapidly increasing. The quantities of this description of coal which remain to be brought to Llanelly and Pembrey are very large ; and this circumstance may be considered as the chief guarantee for the permanence of the prosperity of those ports. It has hitherto been used principally for malt and corn drying, and for the supply of close stoves; but a demand has lately sprung up for steamers, which will probably increase to an enormous extent.
Forty years ago the number of steam engines working in collieries near Llanelly was eleven. There are now, exclusive of those in the anthracite districts, about thirty-five. The depth of the deepest pits is from 115 to 155 fathoms.
General Summary of Industrial Produce.
THE annual value of the remaining minerals and metallic products, exclusive of the Merthyr and Aberdare district, and lying so as to pour entirely into the South Wales Railway, were thus estimated in 1851:---
Manufactured Copper in all its stages
Charcoal and Coke Tin Plates
Manufactured Iron in all its stages
Steam and other Coal
Native Iron Ore
In this estimate coal is taken at an average of 10s. per ton; iron at £8.; tin plates at £22.10s.; copper at £120.
This in all probability falls far short of the present actual yield, and at any rate may be safely taken as a mere germ of what is to come.
I have now summarily sketched the great physical features and materials of South Wales' wealth. It is time to turn to an advantage to which it will probably owe nine-tenths of its future prosperity and importance. I allude to its geographical position
I have now summarily sketched the great physical features and materials of South Wales' wealth. It is time to turn to an advantage to which it will probably owe nine-tenths of its future prosperity and importance. I allude to its geographical position and harbours ; and, above all others, to Milford Haven.
Suffice it to mention the growing capacities of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelly, Pembrey, Tenby, and Saundersfoot, all tidal harbours, capable of an enormous export and traffic, and all lying within 60 miles, studding the coast which fringes the great mineral basin.
I will not dwell on the advantage presented by this singular adaptation of sea transit and terrene produce,---this peculiar combination of land and water wealth, unequalled, as I believe it to be, in Europe. The koh-i-noor of the diadem is yet to be disclosed.
Milford Haven. Shakspeare's and Drayton's description of it. Its maritime capacities. Its peculiar features as a haven. Nangle Bay. Unpublished MS. account of it, by Mr. Owen, in 1595. Objections to Milford as a safe harbour of access. Evidence of Captain Laws on its capacities. Pennar Bay. Neyland. General advantages and future prospects of Milford Haven. New Railways looming in the distance. Capacities of the Milford district for the Cotton Manufacture, and table of its temperature. Conclusion.
SHAKSPEARE makes Milford Haven partly the scene of his play of " Cymbeline," where Imogen, hearing that Posthumous is there, inquires,
" How far it is
To this blessed Milford ? and, by the way,
Tell me how Wales was made so happy as
To inherit such a haven."
In this same play Shakspeare makes Milford the rendezvous of foreign invaders, and there embarks and lands ambassadors. Nor is he the only English poet who has signalized the merits of Milford. It is well described and lauded by quaint old Drayton, who flourished in the reign of James I., in his Polyolbion, of which this extract may suffice:
So highly Milford is in every mouth renown'd
Noe haven hath ought good, in her that is not found
Whereas the swelling surge, that with his fomie head,
The gentler looking land with furie menaced ;
With his encount'ring wave no longer there contends;
But sitting mildly downe like perfect ancient friends
Unmov'd of any wind, which way so e'er it blow,
And rather seem to smile than knit an angry brow.
The ships with shattred ribs, scarce creeping from the seas
On her sleeke bosom ride with such deliberate ease,
As all her passed stormes shee holds but cheap and base
So shee may reach at last this most delightful place
By nature with proud cleeves invironed round,
To crown the goodlie road." . . .
Milford is a phenomenon in English enterprize and civilization. It is the attribute of these elements to im.....
............prove natural resources to their use, as they themselves grow in maturity and development. With Milford the exact reverse has happened,---it has fallen into disuse as the means, skill and requirements which rendered its qualities more desirable and more available, have increased. With the exception of the dockyard at Pater, almost its entire utility for the purposes of navigation or war live in the history of the past. Four centuries ago Henry VII. entered Milford on his way to the throne; able and more available, have increased. With the exception of the dockyard at Pater, almost its entire utility for the purposes of navigation or war live in the history of the past. Four centuries ago Henry VII. entered Milford on his way to the throne; our chief poets record its activity in subsequent centuries; and Cromwell not only embarked there for Ireland with 15,000 men, but made it his chief war station and channel of communication with Ireland and France. At the beginning of this century Nelson our chief poets record its activity in subsequent centuries; and Cromwell not only embarked there for Ireland with 15,000 men, but made it his chief war station and channel of communication with Ireland and France. At the beginning of this century Nelson pointed out its peculiar advantages as a great naval depot, and the fact that during winds favourable for the egress of ships from Brest and Rochefort, it was the only harbour from which a fleet could sail to meet them from the south-western coast of England. Yet of so little avail was his advice, that since then Milford and its vast capacities have been gradually neglected and disused, and six or seven years ago even the mail packets between Waterford and Milford stopped running, and all communication between South Wales and Ireland entirely ceased ! Although it is no unusual thing for hundreds of vessels of all kinds of tonnage to put in to Milford in stress of weather, and there to lie at anchor in perfect safety till storms subside, scarcely a single tween South Wales and Ireland entirely ceased ! Although it is no unusual thing for hundreds of vessels of all kinds of tonnage to put in to Milford in stress of weather, and there to lie at anchor in perfect safety till storms subside, scarcely a single cargo is ever landed, so utterly barren is the haven of docks, quays, means of transit, and the ordinary appurtenances of a sea-port. As regards its military defences, so grossly have these been neglected that, until lately a foreign fleet might have entered and sailed up the haven, set fire to Pater dockyard, and landed any number of troops with scarcely any possibility of molestation from the existing means of resistance.
Of the peculiar mercantile and military capacities of Milford Haven it may be said, without fear of contradiction from any person competent to judge of either, that no such harbours exist, nor do any approach their merits,..................
......................in the old world. Rio and St. Francisco may rival, but do not surpass it ; Cork and Naples are no more to be compared to it than the Wye with the Thames, as a navigable river.
I will very briefly describe the peculiar features which constitute the superiority of Milford. The entrance is nearly due south. From the mouth of the haven, lying between St. Ann's Head on the west, to Sheep Island on the east, the width is two miles and a furlong, which decreases to one mile and three furlongs at the narrowest part, between the east and west blockhouses.
To stand at the eastern point of the blockhouse is to enjoy one of those magnificent scenes of which we carry the image through life. The blockhouse is built on the bluff summit of a rocky cliff. Immediately before you lies the splendid mouth of this gigantic harbour, with the bold promontory of Dale and St. Ann's lighthouses immediately opposite. To the right the view extends over the whole area facing the entrance of the haven before it turns eastward, and comprises an extent of some fourteen or fifteen square miles. Immediately on the right hand, and just within the entrance, stands Thorn Island, a towering and isolated rock, now being for the first time fortified. To the left is Sheep Island, which forms a bold feature at the eastern extremity of the same rockbound coast. Seaward looms the Atlantic, and the broad expanse of ocean in the foreground of the landscape formed by the confluence of St. George's and the Bristol Channels.
Few sea views ever impressed me more intensely with depth, magnitude, beauty, and repose. May its last attribute soon pass away, and the fleets of the civilized world give life and animation to this stupendous work of nature!
Over three-fourths of the entrance, (with the exception of a few rocks easily blasted or buoyed), there is water enough to float the largest vessel at the lowest point of spring tides, varying in depth from fifteen fathoms at the west to seven fathoms
Over three-fourths of the entrance, (with the exception of a few rocks easily blasted or buoyed), there is water enough to float the largest vessel at the lowest point of spring tides, varying in depth from fifteen fathoms at the west to seven fathoms at the east side ; and the depth of...............
................the main channel, and of the greater part of the entire width from shore to shore, continues up the whole course of the haven, ranging from sixteen to nine fathoms up to Weare Point, where it shallows to five fathoms, thus affording an
................the main channel, and of the greater part of the entire width from shore to shore, continues up the whole course of the haven, ranging from sixteen to nine fathoms up to Weare Point, where it shallows to five fathoms, thus affording an area of no less than eight miles in length, and ranging from one mile and a half to two and a half in breadth, deep enough and large enough to contain nearly all the fleets in the world, with a good bottom for anchorage throughout.
Within a mile of the opening of the inner haven, on its southern side, and sheltered from every wind that blows, there is a spacious bay called Nangle, left dry at low water, but with sufficient depth at high water to float large vessels, over the whole extent of which there is a soft bottom. Into this bay ships which have lost their anchors are accustomed to run and take the ground with perfect safety, an advantage of no slight moment on a rock-bound coast like that of Pembrokeshire. The haven at this point turns to the north-east, so that not only Nangle Bay, but up the whole length of the haven, the shelter is perfect from winds at all points of the compass. This immense advantage is enhanced by the nature of the shores, which rise sufficiently high on all sides to protect the loftiest ships, while the haven is peculiarly free from gullies and eddies, which could destroy the lake-like calm which reigns perpetually on its deep and placid water.
Amongst the papers of the late Lord Ellesmere was discovered an old MS. never yet printed, and for a copy of which I am indebted to the kindness of Earl Cawdor. It is entitled, " A pamphlet conteyning the definition of Milford Haven wherein is particularlie sett forth all or most of the Roades Creeks Points Harborowes Riding Places daungers and other matters of worth within and neere unto the said Haven searving chiefly for the explaining and right understanding of a Mapp made of the said Haven of Milford by George Owen of the Countie of Pembroke Esqre. A.D. 1595." This Mr Owen was a man evidently born at least 250 years before his time,..............
...................... for he points out and advocates the precise measures now for the first time commenced for the fortification and defence of Milford Haven, a place very much more appreciated in his time that it has ever been since. Mr. Owen was also the author of a very able though brief History of Pembrokeshire, written probably earlier, and published by his great-grandson, and afterwards printed in the Cambrian Register of 1796. This Mr. Owen was called Lord of Kemeys.
His general description of the haven is a most correct one:---
"It is," he says, " a lardg and spatious harborough entering into the main land by estimation sixteen miles long or more having all that space sufficient water to receive shipps of 60 or 600 Tons and in many places thereof the greatest vessell of whatever burthen that it on the seas may safely ride and harborow itself. The Haven after the entrance bendeth diverse waies making good land suckers over every Roade of the same and shooteth forth on everie side divers large and spatious creeks making diverse landing places and safe harborowes from all winds and is of itself calm and gentle having within the same many good roades and cages &c. and for form it may be likened to the picture of some greate crooked and forked Tree having many boughs and branches some greate some little growing even up from the Butt to the Topp and the same branches being lopped and cutt off some nere and some farr from the bodie of the tree &c.
" Depth of water.---Att the entrance of the harborrowe or the Haven's mouth and soe up very farr there is 16 fathom water and more at low ebb and at the ferry it is 8 or 10 fathom deepe att low water and as far up as Llangorne it is alwaies 6 fathom Depth of water.---Att the entrance of the harborrowe or the Haven's mouth and soe up very farr there is 16 fathom water and more at low ebb and at the ferry it is 8 or 10 fathom deepe att low water and as far up as Llangorne it is alwaies 6 fathom and good riding all along the channel.
"The water within Milford Haven riseth att full sea in a springe tide ffower fathome high and at ebb tide two fathome and between both according to the date."
He points out three places for fortification, viz., Ratt (Thorn) Island, the Stack, and Dale Point. The first is being constructed ; the Stack has been recently accomplished, 5 and Dale Point is about to be begun. Mr.Owen gives the dimensions of each of these islands, and recommends that the high ground in the centre of each.................
5 It is at present garrisoned with two men ! December, 1853.
...................should be hewn down. This has been done. Thorn Island, which he erroneously calls also Ratt Island, measured 18 perches (of 16 1/2 feet) in length, and 12 in breadth. It is about half a mile from the blockhouse on the east side of the haven, farther in. A fort here, and at Dale Point opposite, he rightly says, would, " if not utterly defend it, yet would greatly annoy any shipp that should offer to enter the Haven, and also the fort would annoy and defend both the rodes of St. Marywell and Dale being the two cheafest rodes of Milford so that no shipps of the ennemies's should ride there without annoyance."
He describes the Stack Rock as a low ridge of stones running east and west. He makes it at the foundation 43 perches or 693 feet in length from east to west, and 12 wide, or 198 feet. " It was," he says, " so much covered at high water that only the ' Mount' and a few points remain dry, the Mount being 48 feet by 24. This," he adds, " may be hewn so as to be three score square feet for a fort above high water. It is of a red sandstone easily hewn. There hat only the ' Mount' and a few points remain dry, the Mount being 48 feet by 24. This," he adds, " may be hewn so as to be three score square feet for a fort above high water. It is of a red sandstone easily hewn. There is a passage right through the rock. There was then plenty of water," he says, " for ships to pass between the Stack Rock and the shore."
The Dale Point.---" This," Mr. Owen says, " was the terminus of an old mound, probably Danish, which with little labour would be repaired and made a stronghold and it is thought that if ennemies should land thereabouts that it weare one of the likeliest places they would first fortifie." It was 51 perches west and east longitude, and 21 broad north and south, the trench was 18 perches over.
" Nangle Blockhouse, East," he says, " never was finished and was begun in temp. Henry VIII. for to ympeach the entrance into the Haven but for no good purpose for that stood too high." It is now a small ruin.
" St. Marywell Roade," he terms " the chiefest roade of Milford and safest upon most winds large and good anker hold and is about 16 fathoms."
It is well worthy of note that Mr. Owen gives a greater depth to the Haven in some parts than that of the recent soundings in the Admiralty Chart, but an old, map, pub-......................
...............lished subsequently to Mr. Owen's, makes them much the same, showing that the water is not decreasing.
" Pennar Mouth is the creek that cometh upp to Pembroke towne. This is the largest and greatest creek of all Milford. It passeth up into the land 3 miles and more and at the upper end it parteth itself into 2 branches and compasseth about the Towne and castle of Pembroke serving the said Towne for a moate or strong ditch on every side thereof; a bark of 40 or 50 tons may enter this creek at low water and ride at ankher att Crowpoole but noe further without helpe of the tyde. The Crow is a shallow or nd castle of Pembroke serving the said Towne for a moate or strong ditch on every side thereof; a bark of 40 or 50 tons may enter this creek at low water and ride at ankher att Crowpoole but noe further without helpe of the tyde. The Crow is a shallow or shelf a pretty way within the entrance of Pennar and is neere right against the very entrance and it is an oyster bedd, on the Crowe groweth the best oysters of Milford."
He mentions that the poor people gathered them there without dredging. "It is a bigg and sweete oyster."
Of Milford itself Mr. Owen little dreamt when he thus dispatched its site, " Hubberston Point is the point next by west of Priory Pill the description whereof serveth to small use."
" St. Anne's Chapel," he says, " forms after Precelly the only landmark to steer for as there appears to be no haven to all appearance at sea owing to the turn to the east which the Haven takes and which hides it from sight till it be entered." He recommends as a good policy that " if the enemy were on a sudden known to be at sea it would be a good plan to deface this landmark and erect it somewhere else to cause their shipwreck ! "
Dangers. --- He mentions a strong current between Stokholme Scaldey and the mainland beyond the mouth of the Haven.
" Dangers in Milford there are none,
Save the Crowe & the Carre & the Castlestone."
Old Adage in 1595.
In answer to the absurd objections sometimes raised by interested parties, that Milford has a rock-bound coast, and a bank six miles distant, it may be simply stated that shoals of vessels make the haven often in violent storms, and frequently without
In answer to the absurd objections sometimes raised by interested parties, that Milford has a rock-bound coast, and a bank six miles distant, it may be simply stated that shoals of vessels make the haven often in violent storms, and frequently without pilots, in perfect safety,.............
................and have done so for ages past. A shipwreck there is a rare event. It may also be stated that, with the exception of six points of the compass only, ships can weigh anchor and sail out of the haven in any wind without towing ; and as a
................and have done so for ages past. A shipwreck there is a rare event. It may also be stated that, with the exception of six points of the compass only, ships can weigh anchor and sail out of the haven in any wind without towing ; and as a glance at the map shows, they are then in the open sea, and are quickly in the Atlantic, if outward bound, without encountering any of the perils which beset the voyage either westward to Liverpool, or eastward to London. In fact, it is only when vessels glance at the map shows, they are then in the open sea, and are quickly in the Atlantic, if outward bound, without encountering any of the perils which beset the voyage either westward to Liverpool, or eastward to London. In fact, it is only when vessels are past Milford, on their way to Liverpool, that danger begins.
Captain John Laws, who knows the capacities of the south-western coast, and was examined by a Select Committee of the House of Commons, in 1853, on the Milford Haven Docks Bill, gave the following important evidence on these points :-
Question. Do you know Pennar Pill ?--- Answer. Yes.
Q. In your judgment is that situation suitable for the construction of commercial docks?--- A. I think for about £400,000 you might make a floating dock at Pennar Pill that would answer every purpose better than that at Liverpool does, upon which six millions of money have been spent.
Q. You may effect for £400,000 what it has cost Liverpool as many millions to effect?--- A. It has cost between five and six millions, and must cost a good deal more, and then they will have nothing like so efficient a floating dock as may be formed at Milford Haven for £300,000 or £400,000.
Q. As to the nature of the estuary or creek itself and the neighbouring land it enables that to be done ?--- A. Yes.
Q. What is the rise of the tides ?--- A. The ordinary tides are from 22 to 23 feet.
Q. Is there any harbour in South Wales to which any of the very large steamers could come with security?--- A. No ; there is not a harbour in South Wales that a ship of 200 feet in length would get into safely.
Q. That is excepting Milford Haven ?--- A. Of course any fleet could get into Milford Haven, but the other ports are all tidal ports with the exception of Bute Dock--- a vessel of great burthen could not get in safely.
Q. At Milford Haven they can be got in at all times of the tide?--- A. Yes; a fleet can get in.
Q. Is it not the fact that the commercial steamers and the commercial ships are being made of much larger dimensions than.................
.......... formerly ?---- A. Yes; I have two or three friends who told me that if they could send their ships to take their coal in screw steamers to South Wales, they would send them just coal enough to London, then take in their cargo---and on the coast of South Wales take in their coal and go on to China, Australia, and long ocean voyages ; but they cannot do it now because there is no harbour.
Q. I understand you to say that the construction of docks where they are proposed to be made would, in the cases you mention, save the voyage ?--- A. It would not only save the voyage---but more than that : take the case of corn. The clipper ships now
Q. I understand you to say that the construction of docks where they are proposed to be made would, in the cases you mention, save the voyage ?--- A. It would not only save the voyage---but more than that : take the case of corn. The clipper ships now going out have all small auxiliary steam power in them, besides their sailing requisites; these vessels would go into any harbour on the coast of South Wales, if there were a harbour that could take them---they would take in probably 2000 tons of coal---that would be the very best freight they could take to Calcutta, Canton, or Australia---it would be the best cargo they could take, if it was only to take them there and back; coals fit for ocean steamers cannot be bought at any of those distant parts under £5 a ton.
Q. Let me distinctly understand you : at present there are no ports in South Wales which would admit vessels of this kind ?--- A. There are not.
Q. You cannot take in coal there?---A. No.
Q. How do they get their coal now ?---A. The Liverpool steamers and all the American and New York steamers get their coal in this way. I am connected myself with a railway. It takes coal from the coal pit not more than 12 miles from Liverpool, which is of first-rate quality for all general purposes, but these ocean steamers; although they can put them on board at from 6s. to 7s. a ton, they send round to Cardiff and Newport for the coal which costs them 22s. and 23s. a ton before they are on board. The only coals now fit for ocean steamers are those of Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire.
Q. Not the anthracite?---A. Not anthracite, it is semi-anthracite.
Q. Is it not the fact that the same kind of coal is sent for as well to London for steam vessels ?---A. There is not a little vessel in this river but would give 35s. a ton to avoid the smoke and dirt of the ordinary Newcastle coal.
Q. Have you any doubt whatever that if proper docks were made at Milford Haven they would be of great public importance? --- A. I have no doubt whatever in a national point of view ; for the supply of the fleet there can be no better place than the coast of South Wales. In the ordinary contingency of supplying the fleet with coals, it would become one of the most important arms of defence for the country. It takes almost double the quantity of Newcastle and Lancashire coal to produce the same amount of steam. Opposite to the Weare Point, where the channel becomes narrower, there exists a natural dock, entered by a narrow neck of water, called Pennar Mouth, which seems specially intended for the purpose to which it is at length happily about to be put, steam. Opposite to the Weare Point, where the channel becomes narrower, there exists a natural dock, entered by a narrow neck of water, called Pennar Mouth, which seems specially intended for the purpose to which it is at length happily about to be put, Milford being far less well placed for such an object, and, owing to the nature of the marginal bank, is a less convenient place for the formation even of landing docks.
Pennar Bay is entered by a narrow mouth, through which the little tributary river from Pembroke flows. It is scarcely a furlong in width, immediately expanding on either side into a capacious creek. The entrance is two fathoms deep at the lowest water, and it is capable of being greatly deepened. It appears as if designed expressly for the construction of dry and floating docks of any requisite size. With reference to this gigantic basin, the docks now about to be constructed there, and the traffic in and it is capable of being greatly deepened. It appears as if designed expressly for the construction of dry and floating docks of any requisite size. With reference to this gigantic basin, the docks now about to be constructed there, and the traffic in coal likely to be exported thence, we must again have recourse to Captain Laws' evidence.
Question. Is it not a fact that the south-west wind prevails a good deal on that coast?--- Answer. It does throughout the island.
Q. Is that a wind that offers any obstacles to vessels comingto Cardiff?--- A. The whole Bristol Channel is a lee shore with a south-west wind.
Q. Is that an obstacle that does not apply to Milford Haven? ---A. No; it does not. I have come out of Milford Haven in a frigate when a heavy gale of wind has been blowing from the south-west, carrying away our fore-yard when we were about half channel over, and clawed off the shore notwithstanding.
Q. Is not a part of the steam fleet in the Mediterranean?--- A. Yes.
Q. Is that supplied with the same kind of coal?--- A. With Welsh coal.
Q. This would be the port from which the coal would come, if it could be brought?--- A. I have no doubt that, with the aid of the railway, coals may be shipped at this dock to a greater extent than any in England, notwithstanding that we hear that on the Tees and the Tyne they are shipping ten million tons of coal in the year. I think some of the young men in the room will live to see as much shipped in that dock, if it is made, as ever was shipped at the Tees or the Tyne.
Nearly opposite to Pater, where the navy yard is situated, is a point called Neyland, where there are great natural capacities and sufficient depth of water along the shore for landing quays, and where lines of packet ships will doubtless shortly run.
Nearly opposite to Pater, where the navy yard is situated, is a point called Neyland, where there are great natural capacities and sufficient depth of water along the shore for landing quays, and where lines of packet ships will doubtless shortly run. It will be the terminus of the South Wales Railway, until the other spur line is made from Carmarthen to Pennar Dock.
One word as to the topographical position of Milford Haven. It is more than a day's sail, even in ordinary winds, nearer to America and most of our colonies than Liverpool, with which it is impossible to avoid comparing it. Without exaggerating the difficulties of the navigation up St. George's Channel, and round Anglesey, and up the Mersey, it will not be denied that they are formidable, both as regards time, cost, and actual danger. There are, moreover, peculiarities in the bed and channel of the Mersey, which, under the influence of a certain concurrence of wind and tides, may at any time render the navigation of that river, for vessels of heavy draught, no longer possible. As regards internal transit, Milford is but about 15 miles further from London than Liverpool, and it is for all England incomparably the best starting point for the entire western hemisphere. In February last storms from the west caused several disastrous wrecks of vessels leaving and entering the Mersey ; whilst not the slightest danger attended the entry into Milford Haven, or departure from it.
Such are among the chief claims and capacities of Milford Haven. There is not a little, paltry, muddy inlet on the shores of the three kingdoms, with any pretence to be called a port, on which more money and labour have not been expended than on this matchless haven, whose vast advantages have stared us in the face for centuries of neglect, until its very name has sounded strange in our ears, and its position and qualities are a profound secret to three-fourths of the population; whilst the Commissioners appointed in 1845, to report, at the public expense (and of course for national objects, on tidal harbours, do not once even mention Milford in their report ! From its long and dead repose, the time is.............
............ come when Milford will pass into mercantile and naval life. Its quiescence is just over,--- its activity about to begin. From what has been said, it is evident that Milford has been hitherto locked up from two causes,--- want of docks, and want of inland transit. Both are about to be supplied. A company is already formed, and the Act obtained, for turning Pennar Bay into spacious and splendid docks. The South Wales Railway will, in a short time, carry a branch to Pembroke, and round the new dock. The dock will be actually completed (so great is the natural capacity of the place) for a sum little exceeding that which has been recently given for one neighbouring estate!
Let us now glance at the probable future which this prospect opens to South Wales and this district. The Atlantic navigation which will pour into Milford. is scarcely a matter of doubt ; and the first course it will probably take will be the creation of an entirely new traffic direct to London. The journey and voyage to the United States will be so much shortened that this is almost a certainty. I am inclined to think that the existing South Wales line could not, even if it were a direct line, accommodate this extra traffic, together with the increase inevitably arising in the intermediate traffic between adjacent towns on that line. A glance at the enormous increase in the recent traffic of that railway already arising, will not only corroborate this ate this extra traffic, together with the increase inevitably arising in the intermediate traffic between adjacent towns on that line. A glance at the enormous increase in the recent traffic of that railway already arising, will not only corroborate this view, but will also help to illustrate the immense wealth and industrial capacities of the district which the South Wales Railway skirts on its southern border.
Comparing the second with the first half of the year 1852, the total receipts of this line increased from £45,653, to £65,290, the mileage in both periods being 99 1/4. In the first half of 1853, the receipts increased to £95,548, the mileage open being 131 ; and it is worthy of remark that of this amount the merchandise traffic alone increased from £15,544, to £26,941, in the last half year, owing, I believe, chiefly to the dispatch of coal to Basingstoke for the Southampton steamers.
I have said enough to show that, even if not a single bale of cotton for the manufacturing market ever finds its way through Milford Haven, there are the germs of a vast commerce and traffic flowing eastward from this noble harbour, and giving an equal outlet to the produce of our western counties, and the vast mineral wealth through which this traffic must necessarily pass.
Let me briefly call attention to the lines which new railways for effecting this communication would probably take, and, in pointing to these, I beg to be understood as regarding the matter purely with a view to broad and national interests. If Parliament had long ago legislated for railway lines on the same principle, and checked the atrocious absurdities which local interests have perpetrated, the country at large might have reaped double the present accommodation its railways afford, and at half their cost.
A new line from Milford to London, avoiding the sinuosities of the South Wales line, will probably form the northern border of the great mineral basin, of which the South Wales Railway forms the southern border, and keeping nearly to the line of the level coach road, through Carmarthen, Brecon, and Abergavenny, cross the Severn, either at Gloucester, or the Lock Crib, two miles below Newnham.
From the latter place it might join the Great Western at the Standish Junction, near Stonehouse, and so proceed, via Swindon, to London: the traffic thus feeding the Oxford, Basingstoke, Newbury, and South-Eastern lines on its way. Or, another and more independent line would be that of a new railway the whole way through Gloucester and Oxford, and thence direct through Wycombe to London. Along either line powerful local interests, as well as great national ones, would be served. A still more direct line (one nearly straight) might possibly be formed to Merthyr, across the Severn at the Aust Ferry (if Mr. Brunel has still the enterprize and pluck to undertake it), to a few miles below Swindon, and thence, using the Great Western, or making an independent line, via Farringdon. This would be the ...................
.................shortest line, and would, save at the Aust Ferry, be attended by few formidable engineering difficulties.
Such considerations and future requirements may be well postponed until a nearer approach to the time when they shall arise and force themselves on public attention. Even when they do, the South Wales line, connecting as it does most important towns and debouchures of several prolific mineral valleys, has nothing to fear from a rival, and would benefit by such an ally. It could not possibly carry the whole traffic of the Atlantic to London through Milford.
One great object in bringing these various features of the industrial position of South Wales into notice, is to direct immediate attention to the certain revolution about to take place in the present topographical distribution of our maritime traffic.
So far from exhausting the materials of the topic, I have simply endeavoured to show where they lie, together with the great germs of our future commercial greatness.
The enormous mass of coal which every bale of cotton landed at Milford Haven must cross on the very outset of its long journey to the Lancashire factories, suggests the possibility that another fifty years may see a Pembrokeshire Manchester, as well as a successor to Liverpool, on this doubly gifted coast. The transition of a specific branch of industry is not a matter of very protracted or difficult accomplishment where several natural elements of its success exist in the new field. In this district four are combined :
1. Accessibility for the raw material, &c., and the reshipment or transit of the manufactured article.
2. Abundance and cheapness of fuel for its manufacture.
3. Cheapness of labour.
4. An atmosphere peculiarly suited to this special manufacture prevails in this part of Pembrokeshire. It is well known that the highest numbers (that is, the finest qualities) of cotton yarn can only be spun in peculiar temperatures, and that many of
4. An atmosphere peculiarly suited to this special manufacture prevails in this part of Pembrokeshire. It is well known that the highest numbers (that is, the finest qualities) of cotton yarn can only be spun in peculiar temperatures, and that many of the finer fabrics cannot be woven or even manipulated in cold and exposed places.
So mild is the climate of South Pembrokeshire that in some parts, as for instance in the enclosed grounds at Stackpole Court, there is almost a tropical vegetation, and plants thrive in the open air which would require the protection of a greenhouse in most other parts of England.
The following table gives the result of a careful analysis of the temperature of Milford Haven, kept by Sir Thomas Pasley, at the Dockyard, and which, lying exposed to the breezes from the Atlantic on the east, and the keen winds from the Presely mountains on the north, is by no means the warmest locality in the district:
Mean of Seasons.
Mean of Maximum and Minimum, 1850-53.
Difference between Mean Summer and Winter 16.77
Mean total rain of four years 32.761.
The merchant, manufacturer, navigator, and general capitalist, as well as all those who are interested in the future industrial destiny of the country, and its commercial progress, may perchance derive, from the foregoing facts, some slight notion of the degree in which South Wales is likely to minister to it.