One may not think of Neath Port Talbot if asked about places with interesting historic sites, but the southern Welsh county has a couple of lovely locations that are worth a visit. The Industrial Revolution may have had a significant impact on that part of the United Kingdom, but there are still medieval bits that can delight an eager explorer.
Here are 3 of the best historic sites in Neath Port Talbot.
1. Neath Abbey
The extensive abbey complex was founded in 1130 by the Norman Knight Sir Richard de Granville. It quickly became on of the most prosperous sites of its kind in southern Wales. The abbey was dissolved following King Henry VIII’s break with Rome in the mid 16th century. During the Industrial Revolution some of the buildings were utilised as a copper smelting plant, while the rest was let to wither away. Some parts of the Abbey were buried underneath decades of industrial waste.
These day Neath Abbey is open to all visitors who want to explore the fascinating history of the site.
2. Neath and Tennant Canal
The Neath and Tennant Canals were constructed in the late 18th century to serve the growing tin works in the area. Both were added to and extended multiple times after this. They replaced a series of earlier canals, some dating to 1695, testament to the long-standing industrial heritage of the region. A Preservation Society formed in 1974 has helped preserve and restore both canals after many years of decline in the 20th century.
3. Margam Country Park
The grounds of Margam Country Park are housing four noteworthy sites: the 12th century Margam Abbey, the Victorian neo-gothic Margam Castle, an English country house and a 18th century orangery. The multiple sites will ensure a day filled with interesting historical discoveries.
The estate, built for the eponymous Talbot family, hosts a whole series of events and activities, from boating on the lake to dinosaur trails, a perfect day out for the whole family.