Llanelly Parish, Breconshire : The Impact Of The Iron Industry On A Rural Welsh Parish, 1790-1890.

Eynon, Gavin Thomas (2000). Llanelly Parish, Breconshire : The Impact Of The Iron Industry On A Rural Welsh Parish, 1790-1890. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ff99

Abstract

Perhaps understandably, most of the research undertaken into the growth of the South Wales coal and iron industries has concentrated on the major production areas such as Merthyr Tydfil. Llanelly parish, Breconshire, is situated to the north-east, at the very extremity of this industrial area, and has been largely ignored by historians. Yet, starting in the late eighteenth century, Llanelly parish underwent a rapid development owing to the expansion of the local iron industry, only for it to decline from around the middle of the nineteenth century. This study examines the demographic, economic, and social changes which the iron industry brought to this previously agricultural area, and the extent to which communities on the margin of the ironbelt were caught up in the industrial conflicts of the time. The thesis also investigates how this relatively small industrial settlement differed, if at all, from the larger industrial centres, and attempts to assess the consequences of the failure of the local ironworks in mid-century, by comparing the experiences of communities in the parish with those communities which continued to grow. Internal to the parish, the thesis also proffers reasons as to why some settlements never developed into proper townships, whereas others, most notably the town of Brynmawr, made that transition successfully.

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