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YSPYTTY TIN PLATE WORKS

Site Details

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

NPRN 40511

Map Reference SS59NE

Grid Reference SS5608698276

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Llanelli Rural

Type of Site TINPLATE WORKS

Broad Class INDUSTRIAL

Period 19th Century, Post Medieval

Site Description The Yspytty or Yspitty Tin Works (later St David’s Tin Works) was founded in 1869 on the northern bank of the Lougher River, north of Swansea and south of Llanelli. It originally had ten mills and was the first works in the Llanelli area not to have its own forge and iron puddling furnace. The works were the scene of a notable strike action in late 1890, when the works employed six female assorters. In October, a mass demonstration by the male workers, who were joined by several hundred men from nearby works to form a procession of over two thousand, marched around the homes of the female workers before deciding on strike action if the women refused to leave their posts. The strike began in late October or early November, with the union offering £24 to each of the women on the condition that they ceased their employment to be replaced by men, and lasted well into 1891. The works were for sale in 1893 and did not re-open until October 1894 under the new management of John Jones Jenkins, later Lord Glantawe. In 1909, a large new engine at the works, then known as the St. David’s Tin Plate Works, was named ‘Lord Glantawe’ after him. The engine was part of a wider expansion of the site, with new mills also erected. The works closed in 1957 along with around 100 other mills in the Llanelli area. It was later demolished and a factory now stands on the site.

The works were described at length in the papers when they were up for sale in 1893. The works consisted of ‘a mill-house and annealing room, 206ft. by 6-ft, with engine-house attached, roiling house 70ft. by 37ft. (21.33m x 11.28m), pickling house, forge, boiler house, fitting shop, fitting stores, tin-house, 117ft. by 39ft., (35.66m x 11.89m) assorting room, 40ft. by 33ft., scouring-room, bran house, electric lighting engine-house, weighbridge house, watchman’s box, office with cart weighing machine house under, smith's and carpenter’s shops, lime and scruff houses, box store and greAse house, retort house and gasometer, stores, three-stalled stable and coach-house, private fitting shop and two stocks about 170ft. and [90?]ft. (51.82m x [27.43?]m) respectively.’ There was also a twelve-room manager’s house with a walled garden in which there was a corrugated iron church which could seat 100, five cottages adjoining the works, twenty cottages near the Lewis Arms public house on Bynea farm and a reservoir in front of the works. The works connected to the Great Western and London and North Western Railways by a siding which ran over neighbouring property (see Western Mail, 27.12.1893, p. 6).

(Sources: Dyfed Archaeological Trust, HER, PRN 8769; Welsh Newspapers Online: ‘Employment of Female Labour, Demonstration at Yspytty Works’, South Wales Daily News, ‘The Strike at Yspitty Tin-Plate Works’, South Wales Daily News, 03.12.1890, p. 6; ‘The Yspitty Works, Loughor’, South Wales Echo, 22.06.1891, p. 4; ‘Yspytty Tin-Plate Works, Loughor’, South Wales Daily News, 21.10.1891, p. 7; Advertisements, Western Mail, 27.12.1893, p. 6; ‘Re-opening of the Yspitty Works’, South Wales Daily Post, 26.10.1894, p. 4; ‘Industrial Progress’, Evening Edition, 06.12.1909, p. 2; Alun John Richards, Tinplate in Wales (Pwllheli: Llygad Gwalch, 2008), pp. 76, 141)
A.N Coward, RCAHMW, 25.01.2019

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