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KIDWELLY AND LLANELLI CANAL

Site Details



NPRN 34390

Map Reference SN40NW

Grid Reference SN4275605299

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Trimsaran

Type of Site CANAL

Broad Class TRANSPORT

Period 19th Century, Post Medieval

Site Description The Kidwelly and Llanelli Canal was incorporated in 1812 and built in fits and starts between 1814 and 1837. There were two distinct sections: the first followed the Gwendraeth Fawr from Kidwelly up to Cwmmawr and incorporated
Kymer's Canal (NPRN 34395). The second ran south-eastwards to Burry Port
(NPRN 34224).

The canal crossed the Gwendraeth Fawr by a fine if undistinguished aqueduct (NPRN 34394) next to what appears to have been a small depot, including at least one limekiln built into the canal embankment (NPRN 40665). One of the most interesting features of the Gwendraeth
Fawr section is the use of the three inclined planes rather than
locks to raise the level of the canal: these were built in 1833 to 1837 on the recommendation of the engineer James Green. Initially traffic was shipped through Kidwelly, but later
Pembrey and eventually Burry Port became the most important
outlets.

Silting of the Gwendraeth estuary effectively closed the Kidwelly quay to shipping and it was decided to drive a new canal across Pembrey marsh and build a new harbour at Burry Port (1833). Part of the 1833 work ran close to and parallel with the earlier Pembrey Canal. Much of the canal survives alongside the later mineral railway line.

In 1865
the company converted itself into a railway company and the following year amalgamated with the Burry Port Company to form
the Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Railway. The line built
by this company was laid to a great extent either on or beside
the towpath of the canal. The line became known as the Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal and Tramroad Co. and it closed in 1965.

Source: "A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of the Swansea Region", Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2nd Edition, 1989

RCAHMW 11 October 2011

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