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The Society is pleased to announce the restart of the Programme of Lectures and the re-opening of the Neath Mechanics' Institute.  See further down this page and the tabs on the left hand menu for:



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Martyn Griffiths tells of the water powered industry that once operated in the 'cwm'


  News & Members Articles



It was quite a gathering!  All that is known is that the year was 1938, but where was the location and what was the event?

This colliery concern may not even be Neath & district! -who knows anything?

It is fairly cetain where this railway station is, but it is posted here for viewers to send in confirmation/verification.


Answers to the previous mystery images:

This is a photograph of Rose Cottage, Taillywd Road, Neath Abbey which originally had a thatched roof.  It was one of the oldest houses along the road.



This photo raised a number of possible answers, but none were conclusive. Thought to be Jarvis's house situated between the Melyn and Briton Ferry; a farmhouse at the top of Crynallt Road, or a derelict farmhouse at Leiros Parc (Rhyddings) before the newer houses were built in the 1980s. 

This image was correctly identified as the boilers that powered the Skewen incline cable operated railway that lowered full and returned empty trucks from the pits of the Main Colliery Co. The man stoking the boilers is George Hanford who is listed on the 1871 census as 'incline man' and living at Goshen Cottage. The incline ran from Penshannel down to cross the main road at White Gates before descending further to the company wharfs at Neath Abbey to be loaded into seagoing vessels.


The current days of opening and access to the NAS archive at the Neath Mechanics' Institute are as follows:

Entry requirements to the Neath Mechanics' Institute building follow NPT/SWANSEA.GOV risk assesments for COVID, making the wearing of face masks, the use of sanitisers and social distancing COMPULSORY. 


Mondays - For the public & NAS members - 09:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:45. providing access to the NAS archive and Family History research computers.  Supervised by staff of the West Glamorgan Archive Service.  Limited numbers and COVID restrictions in operation. Pre-booking strongly advised. For details please go to left hand tab marked PANDEMIC UPDATE.

Thursdays - Access to the NAS ARCHIVE ONLY  - 09:30 to 12:30 operated by NAS volunteers. Limited numbers and COVID restrictions in operation.  Attendance on a first come basis, pre-booking NOT required. For details please go to left hand tab marked PANDEMIC UPDATE.  


Neath Mechanics' Institute, Church Place, Neath, home of the Society

Formed in 1923 (from the earlier Neath Philosophical Society of 1834), the Neath Antiquarian Society has taken a leading role in recording, preserving and safeguarding Neath's historical heritage. Therefore, the Society began to collect archives relating to the local area and further afield.

Over the decades a considerable amount of material was amassed, dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, but this was not available to the general public and lacked a proper catalogue. The year 2001 saw the launch of the project 'Unlocking Neath's Archival Heritage', a joint venture between the Neath Antiquarian Society and the West Glamorgan Archive Service: with Heritage Lottery Funding, the entire archive collection was catalogued in detail by staff from the West Glamorgan Archive Service to make it fully available to the public for the first time in 2003.


Where can the documents be seen?

The Neath Antiquarian Society archive collections are held at the Neath Mechanics' Institute.   Click here for details of opening hours.


What archives are available?

Records of the Neath Antiquarian Society

Research papers of prominent local historians connected with the Society.

Borough of Neath & Neath Corporation records.

Records of manors and estates, including Gnoll, Eaglesbush, Briton Ferry, Bach-y-gwreiddyn, Little Hill, etc.

Coytrahen and Neath Abbey Estate records.

Collections of documents regarding local events, businesses, chapels and industry.

Maps and plans of the local area.

Advertising material & other related ephemera.

Copyright ©

The Neath Antiquarian Society claims overall copyright on material posted on this website under the Copyright Acts and the restrictions imposed by those Acts.  The copyright of certain articles on this website remains the exclusive property of the individual authors.  If in doubt, please ask.  Ignorance of copyright rules is no excuse for violation.  

All information is presented in good faith and no responsibility can be accepted for any omissions or errors that may occur from time to time.


1. Thanks to the County & City of Swansea and their officials for providing information pages relating to the Neath Antiquarian Society within their website and for their continued support of the Society's objectives.

2. Additionally, a thank you to all of our fellow Societies and individuals who have linked our website into their domains and social media outlets.


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