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definition - Gorseinon

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Coordinates: 51°40′N 4°02′W / 51.66°N 4.03°W / 51.66; -4.03

Welsh: Gorseinon
A4240 Alexandra Road, Gorseinon - geograph.org.uk - 1480632.jpg
Gorseinon is located in Swansea

 Gorseinon shown within Swansea
Population Town: 7,874[1]
Urban Area: 19,273
OS grid reference SS585985
Principal area Swansea
Ceremonial county West Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SWANSEA
Postcode district SA4
Dialling code 01792
Police South Wales
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Gower
Welsh Assembly Gower
List of places: UK • Wales • Swansea

Gorseinon is a town in southwest Wales, near the Loughor estuary. It was a small village until the late 19th century when it grew around the coal mining and tinplate industries. It is situated in the north west of Swansea, around 6 miles (9.7 km) north west of the city centre. Gorseinon is also a local government community with its own elected town council.

The population of the Gorseinon town council area in the 2001 Census is 7,874. However, the ONS defines an area called the Gorseinon Urban Area which comprises all of the continuous built up area in and around Gorseinon. This area includes Gorseinon, Loughor, Garden Village Nomis: Map of Gorseinon Urban Area</ref> and has a population of 19,273.



In the year 991, there were two princes – the Prince of South Wales, Prince Ithol and the Prince of Glamorgan, Prince Meredith. They fought a bloody battle on Garngoch Common and the Prince of South Wales, who was a brutal man, was defeated. Amongst those who took up arms against the Prince of South Wales was a man called Einon Hywell, Einon meaning “leader”. After the battle Einon Hywell camped his men on the Gorse, near Penllergaer. The name of Gorseynon was then created, later changed to Gorseinon.


  Public houses in the area

  • Mardy (Now Closed)
  • The West End
  • The Loughor Workingmans Club (the bug)
  • The Riverside Inn(previously 'The bottom hotel')
  • The Station Hotel (the gyp)
  • The Cockle Shell

  Surrounding areas


  • The Kingsbridge
  • Tafarn-Y-Trap

Loughor The Cross Keys The Globe Inn The Porterhouse The Reverend James

  Places to Eat

  • The Cockle Shell
  • Roma Fish bar
  • Albert's Cafe
  • Subway
  • Dominos Pizza
  Surrounding areas


  • Harvester


  • (formerly The Red Lion)
  • Hurren's Inn
  • The Porterhouse

  Religious development

In 1840 the population of Gorseinon was barely 250 people. There were only two churches in the area. One was the “Church on the Marsh”, also known as Loughor and Llandeilo (Talybont) – this has now been restored and rebuilt at St. Fagan’s Folk Museum. The other church was Brynteg Chapel, the only non-conformist chapel for miles. This was built in 1815 and can still be seen today. The first church to be built in Gorseinon was Holy Trinity Church. This was built in 1882 – just opposite where Somerfield stands today. Seion Baptist Church was opened in 1886. It was built on the banks of a river at the bottom of Gorseinon, but by 1902 a new Seion was built in High Street. The old Seion was taken over by the English Methodists, but this eventually became the Moose Hall. Bethel English Congregational Church (Evangelical) celebrated its centenary on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 July 1894–1994. Holy Trinity Church was extended in 1884. The English Congregationalist built a church in Masons Road, now known as West Street-Bethel Chapel. Then progress seemed to stop for a few years.

Ebenezer, the Welsh Congregational Chapel opened in 1887, but by 1909 a new chapel was built near Seion Capel.

St. Catherine’s Church was built in 1913 and the Salvation Army in 1910. The Roman Catholic Church was built at Pontardulais Road in 1932 but a new Church was built on Alexandra Road in the 1960s. The architect of the Catholic Church was Robert Robinson, a local Gower man.

  Agricultural and industrial development

Gors Eynon first appeared on an Ordnance Survey map in 1813, but by 1830 the name appeared in its modern spelling.

The monks of Neath Abbey paid many visits to this locality, and evidence of this were several mills built on the banks of local rivers; Cadle Mill, on the Lliw, Pontlliw, Melyn Mynach, and Loughor Mill. There was one weaving mill and two flour mills on the river. These were worked by the monks to provide food and clothing for the Abbey, wool being brought here from Gower sheeplands. By the end of the thirteenth century the monks at Melyn Mynach owned vast acreage devoted to sheep farming. They produced high quality wool at Cwrt Y Carnau, which was traded in Flanders and Italy. With the arrival of the black death and bubonic plague in the fourteenth century, labour became scarce and the monks were forced to sell or rent to the local farmers. Eventually, during Henry VIII’s reign, the few monks that were left were pensioned off, as their land passed into crown hands.

Mr. John Pryce, a legal gentleman, who was originally from the area but had moved to London, returned to raise a family at Cwrt Y Carne. In 1575 he purchased the manor and land, and also the mill at Melyn Mynach. The whole estate totalled over 130 acres (0.53 km2). Pryce tried to squeeze every penny out of his tenant farmers and many disputes followed. The Pryce family prospered and by the early eighteenth Century, the name had changed to Price.

The last owner of the Melyn Mynach was the husband of a Price family member. He was called Nathaniel Cameron – Mayor of Swansea. He also owned the Mountain Colliery but sold the Mill after getting into financial difficulties to Mr. William Lewis, the founder of Gorseinon.

There were few industries but coal was plentiful. A drift was opened in 1846 and became known as “The Mountain Coal”. This coal was transported on a narrow gauge railway line to Loughor, where it was loaded onto barges and sent to Llanelli for transportation all around the world. The drift mine continued to be worked until 1900, when a shaft was sunk.

In 1860 the L.N.W.R. wanted to extend the line from Pontarddulais to Swansea. William Lewis, a young industrialist sold them the land and a station was erected in 1870 – this became known as Gorseinon Station. The Mountain Colliery laid a siding from the Colliery to the Station and coal was redirected to Swansea Docks.

The first day-school was opened in 1880 at Penyrheol[disambiguation needed]. The Headmaster, Mr. Jones, afterwards transferred to Gorseinon. As Gorseinon’s industries grew so did its housing and streets, with the development of Mill Street, Gorseinon Terrace, Eynon Street and High Street.

In 1886 the Grovesend Tin Works was built and the Lewis Family built many houses around the area to house the workers. The Grovesend Steelworks opened in 1890, but in 1891 all tinplate workers in South Wales were involved in a seven month strike and times were very hard for the workers.

Gorseinon had two public houses, the Gorseinon Hotel (Bottom Hotel) and the Station Hotel (the Gyp). It was said that the Bottom Hotel was for miners and the Gyp was for tinplate workers and it was a mortal sin to encroach on another man’s territory. Then in 1892 the West End Hotel was built and the Mardy in 1901 bring the number of public houses to four.

Gorseinon Institute was opened in 1904 and in 1908 the Bryngwyn Sheetworks was opened

  Government and politics

Prior to local government re-organisation in 1996, the town of Gorseinon was administered as part of the Lliw Valley district and previously Llwchwr Urban District Council. Since 1996, Gorseinon has been governed by the City and County of Swansea council and falls within the Gorseinon and Penyrheol wards of Swansea.

  Town Council

The community of Gorseinon comprises the Gorseinon ward and the southern part of the Penyrheol[disambiguation needed] ward. The Gorseinon Town Council developed from the former Gorseinon Community Council in 1998, since when it was able to appoint a town mayor annually. The council now comprises sixteen unpaid volunteers who are elected every four years.


Gorseinon has a busy high street area in the centre of the town. The other major areas of employment are the nearby Garngoch Industrial estate, in Penllergaer, Gorseinon Business Park and Kingsbridge Business Park. Previously, the nearby Bryngwyn steel works and Valeo plant were major employers in the town. However they closed in the 1990s. In response to the closures, the National Assembly set up the Gorseinon Regeneration Strategy to invest in a number of regeneration schemes in the town.

The Canolfan Gorseinon Centre was built on the old Bryngwyn Steel Works and is a charity run, community based centre. This state-of-the-art building is home to the Gorseinon Development Trust.

Recently Asda was granted permission to build a store in the town, which opened in September 2010.

  Twin Town

The town of Gorseinon along with the community of Llwchwr is twinned with:

  Public services

The town has a well-established local hospital, donated to the community prior to the establishment of the National Health Service by local industrialist and benefactor, (William) Rufus Lewis.

  Sport and leisure

Gorseinon's local rugby team is Gorseinon RFC while Garden Village FC of the Welsh Football League play on the outskirts of the town in Kingsbridge, Gorseinon Cricket Club[3] who play in the South Wales Cricket association, also Gorseinon Inline Hockey Club who play in BIPHA South Wales. Gorseinon hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1980.

For more than 50 years, Gorseinon was home to 'La Charrette', the UK's smallest cinema, established by local electrician, the late Gwyn Phillips. Built from a disused railway carriage, the cinema opened in 1953; when the decay of its structure forced closure in February 2008, 'La Charrette' was dismantled and taken to the Gower Heritage Centre. The last film shown at La Charette was a black-tie premiere of Danny Boyle's Alien Love Triangle attended by Kenneth Branagh and organised by Observer film critic Mark Kermode.[4]

A new community facility has been completed - Canolfan Gorseinon Centre, which features a multi-use hall, training rooms, office room for small businesses, a creche and a new bar and cafe.[5]


Penyrheol Comprehensive School is where 90% of 11-16 year olds go. The school's main buiAccept: image/gif, image/x-xbitm 2006.The school will have a brand new building in September 2008. The fire destroyed most of the school where pupils lost work and GCSE coursework. Additionally the town is home to one campus of Gower College Swansea, a tertiary college that provides further education and adult learning.

  Notable residents


Gorseinon bus station is located just off West Street in the town centre. Bus services are provided by First Cymru with services to the surrounding villages and to Llanelli and Swansea city centre.The bus station was rebiut making a great imrovement to the area

The primary route through Gorseinon is the A4240 road which crosses the town centre as High Street and Alexandra Road. The A4240 connects Gorseinon with Llanelli to the west; and Penllergaer and the M4 Motorway (Junction 47) to the east.


Supermarket chain Asda have received planning permission for a £25m store development at Heol y Mynydd in northeast Gorseinon.[6]



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