The Swansea and Gower Coalfield 1301-1968 : an extended gazetteer

The Society is pleased to announce the publication of The Swansea and Gower Coalfield 1301-1968 : an extended gazetteer by Paul Reynolds. Please see below a description of the book’s contents along with details of how to purchase a copy.

The cover of the Swansea and Gower Coalfield 1301-1968 by Paul Reynolds, depicting a recent colour photo of Scott's Pit, Llansamlet, set against a background of a section of an old map of Swansea in grey monochrome
The book’s cover, depicting Scott’s Pit, Llansamlet, photographed in 2015

The Swansea and Gower Coalfield 1301-1968 : an extended gazetteer

By Paul Reynolds

Swansea has come to be known as ‘Copperopolis’ and for many years it was indeed the centre of the copper-smelting industry in the United Kingdom.  But long before the copper industry arrived Swansea had a flourishing coal mining industry which can be traced back to the Middle Ages.  By the seventeenth century Swansea was one of the largest coal exporting ports in the Kingdom, and in the eighteenth century its coalfield was probably the most productive in Wales.  It was the existence of this well established and successful coal industry that led to Swansea becoming ‘Copperopolis’.

The present work comprises a gazetteer of all recorded collieries both in Swansea itself and on the northern side of the Gower peninsula, in its time an equally important coalfield.  An account of the history of each colliery is provided, presented as a continuous and connected narrative so far as the sources make this possible.  These entries are grouped by sub-region, each of which is prefaced by an introductory section which briefly describes the overall historical trends and the economic development of that region in order to supply context for the gazetteer entries.

The present work makes full use of the well known official records, newspapers and maps of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but it also draws extensively on the records of the various landed estates which owned the mineral rights which were exploited so enthusiastically.  In many cases these manuscript sources clarify the record of the printed sources; they also shed considerable light on the industry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

A full bibliography and list of sources and an index are included.

Book Details

400 pages, hardback, A4 format.
Price £22.00 + £5.00 p&p (if required).
Copies available at SWWIAS meetings or from the author.

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