Online Encyclopedia

PORTHCAWL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 117 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PORTHCAWL, a seaport and urban district in the mid-parliamentary division of Glamorganshire, South Wales, 30 M. by rail W. of Cardiff and 22 M. S.E. of Swansea. Pop. (1901) 1872. The urban district (formed in 1893) is conterminous with the civil parish of Newton Nottage, which, in addition to Porthcawl proper, built on the sea-front, comprises the ancient village of Nottage, r m. N., and the more modern village of New-ton, 1 m. N.E. of Porthcawl. The natural harbour of Newton (as it used to be called) was improved by a breakwater, and was connected by a tramway with Maesteg, whence coal and iron were brought for shipment. The tramway was converted into a railway, and in 1865 opened for passenger traffic. In 1866 a dock (71 acres) and tidal basin (21 acres) were constructed, butsince about 1902 they have fallen into disuse and the coal is diverged to other ports, chiefly Port Talbot. Porthcawl, however, has grown in popularity as a watering-place. Situated on a slightly elevated headland facing Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel, it has fine sands, rocks and breezy commons, on one of which, near golf links resorted to from all parts of Glamorgan, is " The Rest," a convalescent home for the working classes, completed in 1891, with accommodation for eighty persons. The climate of Porthcawl is bracing, and the rainfall (averaging 25 in.) is about the lowest on the South Wales coast. The district is described by R. D. Blackmore in his tale The Maid of Sker (1872), based on a legend associated with Sker House, a fine Elizabethan building in the adjoining parish of Sker, which was formerly extra-parochial. The parish church (dedicated to St John the Baptist) has a pre-Reformation stone altar and an ancient carved stone pulpit, said to be the only relic of an earlier church now covered by the sea.
End of Article: PORTHCAWL
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