Slaters Commercial Directory, 1871


Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley

Transcribed by Phil Mustoe

Pontardawe, a populous village, the greater portion of which is in Llanguick parish, is very prettily situated in the Valley of Swansea, 7 miles from the town of Swansea. The church of St. Peter (a chapel of ease to the parish church) is a very handsome Gothic building, erected in 1862 at a cost of about £10,000; it is of Welsh sandstone, with Bath dressings, and consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and embattled tower, 180 feet in height, and is an object of notice for many miles: there are two rounded columns at the outside corners of the tower, which are most elaborately sculptured, and were erected at the expense of the late W. Parsons, esq., of Pontardawe. St Peter's is endowed with £70 per annum by Mrs. J. S. Davies, late Miss Parsons; English morning and Welsh evening services are held here. There is also a reading room, licensed for Divine service, at which an English service is held every Sunday evening; this was built at the expense of the firm of W. Gilbertson and Co., who pay for the services of the officiating clergymaan; Arthur Gilbertson esq., has also given a handsome organ. There are handsome Gothic National Schools for boys, girls, and infants: average attendance, 180. There are chapels also for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. A magistrates' meeting is held at the Police station the last Friday in every month. Here are situated extensive Tin Plate Works of Messrs. Gilbertson and Co., giving employment to a great number of hands, and the chemical works of Jacob Lewis and Son. The new vicarage, built in 1870 by the Rev. David Jones, is a very handsome residence, the architect of which was J. B. Rees, esq.; builders Messrs. Williams and Bolton, Swansea: it is situated on an elevation to the left of the high road through the valley itself, half a mile from St. Peter's, and commanding extensive views up and down the valley, the hills opposite, and looking down on the handsome church and schools. Alltycham, the residence of Griffiths Lewis, esq., J. P., is placed on an eminence in its own grounds: the views from here are most romantic, including scenery of all kinds - the hills on the opposite side from here form a great panoramic view. Brynheulog, the residence of Lewis Lewis, esq., is situated on a hill on the north-west side of the Swansea vale, with beautiful sloping grounds, and commands views of nearly the whole length of the valley, and also of the opposite side, and above the lovely dingle rise the Gellyonen mountains, and the whole of the village of Pontawdawe is seen at once. Ynis-y-derw, the seat of W. Gilbertson, esq., J. P., is also beautifully placed on a hill overlooking his extensive works, and commanding lovely views. The Herbert Charity of £2 10s. is distributed yearly at Christmas amongst the poorest, not in receipt of parochial relief. The Swansea Canal runs through, and the Swansea Vale Railway has a station here. The Population of this hamlet in 1861 was 1,500

  • Parish Clerk, Joseph Morgan.

Post & Money Order Office, Post Office Savings Bank & Telegraph Office, Pontardawe. - Zephaniah Evans, postmaster. Letters arrive from Swansea at 6.40 a.m.; dispatched thereto at 5.8 p.m.

Public Officers :-
Poor Law Guardians for Llanguick, Neath Union - Robert Clarke Fisher, esq. Ystalyfera; John Morgan, esq. Ystalyfera; Mr. William Griffith, Cwmllynfell
For Rhyndwyglydach, Swansea Union - Isaac Jones esq. Glyn Meirch; Mr. Zephaniah Evans, Pontardawe
Inspector of Police, Thomas Thomas
Registrar of Births & Deaths, Richard Lewis, Ystragundlais
Relieving Officer, Jenkin Morgan
Stamp Distributor, Zephaniah Evans

National School (boys, girls and infants), Henry Woodman, master; Miss Lewis, mistress

Swansea Vale Railway Station, James Jones, station master

Places of Worship

St. Peter (Chapel of Ease to Parish Church), Pontardawe, Rev. David Jones

Pontadawe, ministers various [Baptist]
Pontardawe, ministers various [Calvinistic Methodist]
Pontardawe, Rev. Phillip Griffiths, minster [Independent]

Private Residents

Gilbertson William, J. P., Ynis-y-derw
Griffiths Rev. Philip [Independent]
Griffiths Griffiths
Jones Rev. David [vicar]
Jones Isaac, Glyn meirch
Lewis Griffiths, Alltycham
Lewis Jacob, Ynis-y-gelen
Lewis Lewis, Brynheulog
Morgan Mrs. Gelly Grou house
Samuel William, Tanyralt


Auckland Samuel, shopkeeper
Baker Thomas, Carpenters Arms
Cooper James, earthenware dealer
Davies & Co. (later, David Smith), furnishing & general ironmongers & seedsmen; crown, sheet, plate & ornamental window glass, paper hangings & machines of every description procured on the shortest notice at makers' prices
Davies David, boot & shoe maker
Davies David, Coopers' Arms
Davies John, Dynevor Arms
Davies Margaret (Miss), linen draper
Davies William, harness maker
Evans Elizabeth (Mrs.), shopkeeper
Evans William, draper & outfitter
Evans Zephaniah, corn & flour merchant, grocer, draper, & post master
Evans's Vale of Neath Brewery (John Evans, man), beer retailer, & at Neath
Gape David, beer retailer & butcher
Gilbertson William & Co. manufacturers of tin & terne plates, black plates, canada plates, sheet iron & c.; & 155 Fenchurch street, London e.c.
Gittens Edward, beer retailer
Griffiths Griffiths, surgeon
Griffiths John, timber & slate merchant
Griffiths Mary Ann (Mrs.), earthenware dealer
Griffiths Peter, tailor
Griffiths William, draper
Harris John, Castle Hotel
Harris John, Cross inn
Hopkin David, Rock
Howells & Stephens, iron founders
Howells William, beer retailer
Humphreys Thomas, beer retailer & woollen manufacturing
Jenkins John, beer retailer
Jenkins T. J., maltster
Jones Isaac, farmer, Glyn-meirch
Jones John, Crown
Jones John, farmer, Ynismudw Garrol
Jordan Esaiah, chemist & stationer
Lewis Jacob & Son, manufacturers of vitriol, charcoal, naphtha, acetate soda &c
Lewis & Morgan, manufacturers of saltware, stoneware, pipes, dinas. fire & other bricks, terra cotta &c. Ynismudw pottery
Lewis Sarah (Mrs.) & Jane (Miss), tallow chandlers & grocers
Morgan Jenkinm, relieving officer
Morgan John, Cross Hands
Morgan J. B., Castle
Phillips John, saddler
Phillips Thomas, Farmers' Arms
Powell Moses, woollen manufacturer
Primrose Coal Company, (Griffiths Lewis, managing partner; Harry Bowen, cashier), colliery proprietors & coal exporters
Puntan William, grocer
Reading Room (A Gilbertson, hon. sec.)
Rees David, beer retailer
Rees Jeremiah, boot & shoe maker
Rees Rees, beer retailer
Rees William, tailor & draper
Samuel William, boarding school for gentlemen, Tanyralt
Samuel William, Ivy Bush Inn
Smith David, grocer
Taylor & Co., grocers, & at Swansea
Thomas David, grocer
Thomas David, woollen manufacturer
Thomas Jno., farmer, Gwernllwyn farm
Thomas Ruth (Mrs.), grocer
Williams John, shopkeeper

Slaters Commercial Directory Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, 1871 [Last Updated : 19 Sept 2002 - Gareth Hicks]