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SWANSEA DOCKS

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 580

Cyfeirnod Map SS69SE

Cyfeirnod Grid SS6707892575

Awdurdod Lleol Abertawe 

Hen Sir Morgannwg

Cymuned St Thomas

Math o Safle DOC

Dosbarth Cyffredinol ARFOROL

Cyfnod Amlgyfnod

Disgrifiad o´r Safle By Elizabethan times loading stages or quays were being built along the banks of the River Tawe. The line of the original waterfront is now represented by The Strand. The first dock appears to have been the 'towne dock' of 1624 and by the beginning of the eighteenth century warehouses were in existence along The Strand. Also by this date the main coal producers had all acquired their own 'coale places' on the banks of the river. The first serious attempt at improving the facilities was made in 1768, and in 1791 the first Harbour Act was passed which resulted in the creation of the Swansea Harbour Trust, the body which administered the port until 1922. They built the East Pier c.1800 of which part remains (SS 6640 9257). An important development was the creation of Port Tennant, a tidal harbour on the eastern side of the river, in 1824 as the terminus of the Tennant Canal (nprn 91664). The first floating dock, the North Dock (nprn 309218), was opened in 1852. This was formed by diverting the river into its present course, the New Cut (1842-45) and making its original course into the dock. The South Dock (nprn 300028) followed in 1859, built with an eye to the export trade in coal from Aberdare. Both these docks were on the western side of the river. In 1881 the Prince of Wales Dock (nprn 419501) opened, the first of the modern complex of docks on the eastern side. It was built largely on the site of Port Tennant. In the nineteenth century the port was exporting around 60% of the world's copper from factories in the Swansea valley. The King's Dock (nprn 419502) opened in 1909 for the export of anthracite, and the last of the docks, the Queen's Dock (nprn 419503), opened in 1920. This was for the import of crude oil for the refinery of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later British Petroleum or BP) at Llandarcy (nprn 91695). The North Dock closed in 1928 although the basin remained in use until the 1960s. Commercial shipping in the South Dock ceased in 1971 and it has now been developed as a marina. Commercial traffic is confined to the eastern docks.
(Sources include "A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of the Swansea Region", Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2nd Edition, 1989)
B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 22 October 2013.

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