SWAN'SEA (Welch, Abertalry), a market t., municipal and parliamentary borough, and sea-port of the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, stands on the right bank and at the mouth of the Tawe, 60 m. w.n.w. of Bristol. The harbor is formed by means of piers of masonry projecting from either side of the mouth of the Tawe into Swansea bay, a wide inlet of the Bristol channel. The vast resources of the coal-field in the raidst of which the town is situated began to be explored and turned to commercial account about the year 1830; and since that time the progress of Swansea has been so rapid that it is now the most important town in South Wales. The houses and public edifices and institutions are of recent erection. A good public hall was erected in 1864, and a spacious and well arranged infirmary in 1867. Smelting and refining copper is the staple trade of the town, and the chief source of its prosperity. The coal obtained in the vicinity is peculiarly adapted for smelting purposes, and great quantities of ore are brought hither to be smelted, not only from the copper-mines of Britain, but from Cuba and the west coast of South America. In the immediate vicinity of the town, there are smelting-works, in which about 185,800 tons of copper, copper ores, silver ores, and zinc ores (equal in value to about £4.000,000) are smelted annually. Of the whole amount of
copper manufactured in Great Britain, seven-eighths are smelted at Swansea and in its immediate vicinity. In 1859, a large floating clock, 13 acres in extent, was opened by the side of the harbor. Its north side is lined with warehouses for the shipment of coals which are brought to the wharfs by railway. An excellent system of water-works was completed in 1868 at a cost of upward of £70,000. Patent fuel, composed of a mix ture of culm and tar, and compressed into the shape of bricks, is an important article of manufacture and trade. There are extensive potteries, and tin, silver, and china works, breweries, rope-walks, and tanneries. In 1877, 5,075 vessels, of 704,914 tons, entered the port, and 6,857, of 975,079 tons, cleared. There are abundant means of communi cation landward by canals and railways. Pop. 1851, of municipal and parliamentary limits, 31,461; 1861, 41,606; 1871, of mun. bor., 51,702; of parl. bor., 56,995. Of the old castle of Swansea, the ruined remains are used as a military store. Swansea unites with Aheravon, Eenfigg, Loughor, and Neath in sending a member to the house of commons.