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Neath River Navigation

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Map ReferenceSS79SW
Grid ReferenceSS7199992500
Unitary (Local) AuthorityNeath Port Talbot
Old CountyGlamorgan
CommunityBriton Ferry
PeriodPost Medieval
Historic charts show a straight dredged channel running for some 4km southwest with a traijing wall on its eastern side. The channel has a sequence of black buoy son its western side near a slight turn off the Balck rock. On its eastern side, has lights interspersed with two stakes. Admiraly Sailing Directions dating to 1884 note 'From the south pier of Briton Ferry docks, an embankment or slag breakwater, 2 feet above high water ordinaru spring tides, extends to about about half a mile in a W by S direction, and then rounds out another quarter of a mile, near the end of which is a tide light, From thence a straight training wall extends towards the low water on a straight course SW by W 1/2 W, gradually lowering in height and marked evey 30 yards by red beacon post; outside which, on the same side of the channel, is a red buoy? the channel 250 feet in width, runs along the north side of this and is confined by a sprinking of slag, along which are several black buoys. Half a mile outside the entrance a fairway buoy is moored in 2 fathoms, coloured black and red, and surmounted by a staff and cage? During early morning and late eveing tide, three lights will be exhibited on the training wall; the inner light being placed a little seaward of the inner light; and the outer, which has two lamps placed horizontally 5 feet apart, the same distance seaward of the middle light. The two inner single lights, will be exhibited during every night tide. The fairway buoy should be passed close on eiher hand, steering for the red buoy on the right entance of the channel, which will be found straight, and bounded, as beforehand mentioned, by red beacon posts and buoy, to be left on the starboard hand, and black buoys on the port. The passage above lies close along the embankment, and is clear to the entrance basin at Briton Ferry. At highwater there will not be a less depth than 25 feet at ordinary springs, and at neaps 17 feet.'

Sources include:
Admiralty; 1884, Sailing Directions for the Bristol Channel, 4th Ed, pg109-10
Historic Admiralty Chart 1161-C1, RCAHMW Digital Collections sourced from the UK Hydrographic Office and first published in 1885
Hadfield, C, Canals of South Wales & the Borders

RCAHMW, September 2014