SWANSEA BAY.

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GLAMORGANSHIRE

“In front, the Bay its crystal wave expands,
Whose rippling waters kiss the glittering sands
Far o’er its bosom, ships with spreading sails
Export the ores from Cambria’s sunny vales.
Above — yon feudal bulwarks crown the steep,
Whose rocky base repels the stormy deep;
Here health is found, — there Industry resides,—
And Freedom on her native shore abides.”

THE reputation which Swansea has long enjoyed as a delightful watering place
has suffered no diminution in consequence of the numerous rivals with which this
coast is so agreeably diversified. As bathing quarters, it enjoys peculiar advantages
in its shore, which is admirably adapted for that purpose ; while the adjacent scenery,
and the various objects of interest or curiosity with which it abounds, serve as
pleasing incentives to exercise and recreation, — the happy effects of which are soon
observable in the health and appearance of invalids who make choice of Swansea as
their summer residence. Every resource which visitors can desire, for promoting either
health of body or agreeable occupation for the mind, is here amply provided. Warm,
sea-water, and vapour, baths, — public rooms, billiard tables, reading-rooms, circulating
libraries, — with comfortable private lodgings and excellent hotels, are among the list of
daily luxuries at their command.

The Harbour of Swansea is capacious, — well constructed, defended by two
strong stone piers, about eighteen hundred feet in length,— and affords accommodation
to a great many trading-vessels. On the west pier, a light house and watch-tower offer
additional security to the shipping; and every facility is provided for lading and unlading.
The tide flows a considerable way up the river, which is navigable to the extent of
two miles for vessels of burden. The canal, running parallel with the river, extends to
Brecknockshire, a distance of sixteen miles; and in its course passes through thirty-
six locks, and over several aqueducts. Its head is nearly four hundred feet higher than
its mouth, which readily accounts for the great number of locks. There is also a canal
from the Swansea to the Neath canal, on which a packet-boat is established, and a
tram-road from the former to Oystermouth. With Bristol and Ilfracombe there is a regular

communication kept up by means of steam vessels, which leave and arrive according
to the state of the tide.

The public buildings of Swansea — ancient and modern — are numerous in
proportion to the population. The Town-hall, erected in 1829, is an elegant structure,
approached by two flights of steps, and adorned with columns of the Doric order. The
castle, situated nearly in the centre of the town, was originally a building of great
extent, and of a strength well suited to the purposes of its erection. A massive tower,
surmounted by a range of light arches which support a parapet, is the principal part
now remaining of this once redoubtable fortress. It appears to have been founded at
the remote epoch of 1113, by Henry Beaumont, Earl of Warwick, — a Norman leader
who conquered Gowerland ; but being soon after laid siege to by a Welsh chief, —
Griffith ap Rhys ap Theodore, — a considerable portion of the outworks was destroyed.
It is now in the possession of the Duke of Beaufort, “Earl” of Glamorgan, who is
hereditarily entitled to the “prisage and butlerage” of all wines brought into the harbours
of Swansea and Chepstow.

The public rooms of Swansea stand on the north side of the promenade, called
the Burrows, which consist of several acres tastefully laid out in parterres. Here also
are an excellent House of Industry and an Infirmary, established in 1817 and situated
on the beach. Besides the free Grammar-school, founded in the seventeenth century,
by Hugh, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, there are the Lancasterian and National-
schools, which are incalculable blessings to the increasing population of Swansea.

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