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ABERAVON

In 1868, the parish of Aberavon contained the following places:

"ABERAVON, a parish in the hundred and union of Neath, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales. It lies on the road from Swansea to Cardiff, and is half-a-mile from Port Talbot station on the South Wales Railway, and 196 miles from London. It is a place of very great antiquity, having at one time some peculiar privileges, which have long fallen into disuse. The Norman chieftain Fitzhamon conferred it, along with other territories, on Caradoc-ab-Jestyn, who is said to have erected the castle, the foundations of which are still discernable in a field near the churchyard. The castle was laid in rains in the middle of the 12th century, by Madoc-ab-Meredydd, Prince of Powys. The town is situated about 1 mile above the mouth of the Avon, on the shore of Swansea bay, and is protected on the north by lofty hills. The port has been very greatly improved by the construction of a floating harbour, in the year 1838. In former times, the town suffered from frequent inundations. A very destructive one occurred in 1768. The late increase and present importance of the place is almost entirely owing to the great works at Cwm Avon, which are among the most extensive in Wales. They include collieries, iron-works, copper-smelting, tin-plate, and charcoal-works, and are under the management of the governor and company of Copper Miners in England. The town is a borough by prescription. By the Reform Bill of 1832 it was made contributory to Swansea, in returning a member to parliament. It was formerly governed by a portreeve, 2 aldermen, burgesses, &c. Under a charter of incorporation granted in July, 1861, it is now governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and a body of councillors. There is a town-hall, and a bridge over the Avon. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Llandaff, with Baglan annexed, value £154, in the patronage of G. Llewellyn, Esq. The church, a handsome Gothic edifice lately rebuilt, is dedicated to St. Mary. The Baptists, Independents, Roman Catholics, Bible Christians, Primitive and Calvinistic Methodists have chapels."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018