"NEATH, in the Cwmwd of Rhwng Nedd ac Afan, Cantref of Cron Nedd (now called the Hundred of Neath), County of GLAMORGAN, South Wales: a Rectory valued in the King's Books at £16..2..3 1/2: Patron, The Marquis of Bute: Church dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle. The Resident Population of this Town and Parish, in 1801, was 2502. The Money raised by the Parish Rates, in 1803, was £919..15..l, at 5s. 6d. in the pound, on the Rack Rental. It is 37 m. W.N. W from Caerdiff, and 201 m. W. from London. The Markets are on Wednesday, and Saturday. The Fairs are on Trinity Thursday, 31st of July, and 12th of September. This is one of the Contributary Boroughs with Caerdiff, which send one Member to Parliament. The Corporation consists of a Portrieve, 12 Aldermen, a Recorder, and an unlimited number of Burgesses. A legacy has been left for a Free School, but it is not yet established. This Parish contains about 300 acres of cultivated Land. The Petty Sessions for the Hundred of Neath are holden here: The Quarter Sessions are holden here once a year, viz., on Tuesday and Wednesday after the Translation of Thomas a Becket. A Court of Pleas is holden every Month before the Constable of the Castle and Portrieve: and a Court-Leet twice a year, viz., in May, and at Michaelmas. The Castle, which is in ruins, was built by Richard de Grana Villa or Granville, Lord of Neath, in the reign of Henry the First. This is the Nidum of Antoninus. It is situate on the Eastern bank of the navigable River of the same name, which empties itself into the Bristol Channel." From: A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, London, 1811.


Archives & Libraries



Here is a substantial reading list of books which relate to Glamorgan, either county or parish.

References to the town of Neath at

An on-line index to the book Old Neath & District in Pictures, volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4 have been provided by Brian Wagstaffe.

A book titled The History of the Vale of Neath by D. Rhys Phillips, 1925, has been indexed by Brian Wagstaffe.

An online index to the book Images of Neath & Port Talbot by David Roberts [South Wales Evening Post], has been provided by Brian Wagstaffe

An online index to the book Neath's Wicked World by T. G. Davies, has been provided by Brian Wagstaffe


Business & Commerce Records

  • Briton Ferry & Neath Co-operative Society
    1916-75: minutes
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Evan Evans Bevan Limited, brewers, wine and spirit merchants
    • 1844-1913: cash book, ledgers, pay books, purchase abstract books, beer and spirit sales books
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: Vale of Neath Brewery]
    • 1935-69: minutes, ledgers, sales, production, wages and property records
      [Enquiries to Business Archives Council, The Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, Butler's Wharf, London SE1 2NQ]
    • 1935-57: minutes
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Evans & Bevan Limited, anthracite collieries
    1867-1912: pay and weigh-house books, time books, truck books, bills of lading, stemming books, coal order books, cash books and sales ledgers
    [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: Evans and Bevan]
  • Glamorganshire Banking Company
    • 1836-1898: corporate, administrative, customer and staff records, accounts, correspondents
      [Lloyds TSB Group Archives, Secretary's Department, 71 Lombard Street, London EC3P 3BS - Reference: A53/41]
    • 1845-1858: reports and notices of general meetings
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: William Griffiths]
  • Rees Jeffreys, surgeon
    1791-1828: memorandum book
    [Gwent Record Office, County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH - Reference: p453]
  • Philip Jenkins Sons Limited, brass founders
    1893-1956: ledgers, directors attendance book, cash book, goods inwards book, accidents register, correspondents, and miscellaneous papers
    [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: D/D PJ]
  • EC Jones, architect
    1887-1940: letter books, note book and diaries
    [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: Neath MSS Collection 4-24]
  • William Jones, building contractor
    1884-91: account books and papers
    [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: Minor lists 1986]
  • Leach, Flower & Co, tinplate manufacturers
    1865-1905: directors and general meeting minutes
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D Xgu]
  • Melyn Tinplate Company Limited
    1903-1920: articles of association, directors and general meeting minutes
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D Xgu]
  • Neath & Brecon Railway Company
    • 1862-1922: directors' and shareholders' minutes, traffic staff register, land acquisition records, agreements, legal and parliamentary papers, historical files, papers relating to bridges, sidings, stations and accidents
      [Public Record Office, Kew, London - Reference: RAIL 50, 1057]
    • 1870-1922: stock registers
      [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: D/D PRO/BRB 4-32, 116-120]
  • Neath Canal Navigation Company
    • 1791-1930: account, cash, letter, tonnage, time, invoice and order books, ledgers, journals, rentals, correspondents, deeds, minute and dividend books, lock monthly account books, law suits and sale catalogues
      [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: D/D NCa]
    • 1813-88: accounts
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records]
    • 1846-94: records
      [Public Record Office, Kew, London - Reference: RAIL 899]
  • Neath Dinas Fire-Brick & Cement Company Limited
    19th cent: accounts, papers
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Neath Savings Bank
    1938-60: records
    [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea]
  • Neath Steel Sheet & Galvanising Company Limited
    • 1896-c1965: corporate and accounting records
      [British Steel Records Centre, Shotton, Shotton Works, Deeside CH5 2NH - Reference: HMC list]
    • 1959-1981: minutes and register of members
      [British Steel East Midlands Regional Records Centre, By-Pass Road, Irthlingborough NN9 5QH]
  • Neath Water Company
    1860-94: prospectuses, register of shareholders, accounts, reports, regulations, correspondents, plan and books of reference
    [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: 1772-1923]
  • Joshua Richardson, civil engineer
    1841-1850: journal
    [West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea - Reference: Neath MS Collection 3]

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Records of Thomas Thomas and William Harry Rees of Neath, printers and auctioneers    1781-1888           "Thomas Thomas (born in Neath c. 1819) traded from 1 Charlesville Place, Neath, as an auctioneer. After his death in 1868 the business was sold to William Harry Rees (born in Swansea c. 1844). In a trade directory of 1891 he was described as auctioneer, accountant, land, estate & house agent, printer, bookbinder, machine ruler & account book manufacturer, agent to the Alliance Fire & Life Insurance Co. & the Crown Accident Insurance Co."
Congregational / Independent
Zoar Welsh Independent Chapel, Neath


The Glamorgan Family History Society have produced microfiche/Cds containing enumerated transcriptions and a personal name indexex, these are available for various census years



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

Chapels Database - a list of all known non-conformist chapels or other non-Anglican religions in the parish

Images and History of the church of St. Thomas, Neath, by Brian Wagstaffe

Images and History of the the Churches at Neath and Llantwit at the Parish of Neath website

Rectorial Benefice of Neath

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for photographs of various churches/chapels in this parish

See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Thomas's Church

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • St Thomas' church was built in the 13th century, although the oldest part surviving is the base of the tower, shown here, which is 14th century. - on the People's Collection Wales site
  • St. David's Church Neath War Memorial Restoration

Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

The church is dedicated to St. Thomas, is in the Benefice of Neath with Llantwit, and diocese of Llandaff. Details of the present incumbent of this benefice can be found at the Church in Wales website. The church can be located at grid reference SS753977.

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
BaptismsMarriagesBurialsBannsBishops Transcripts
1638-1647, 1653-1679, 1692-1793, 1813-19001638-1647, 1653-1679, 1694-18961638-1647, 1653-1679, 1692-1898-1721, 1723-1837

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Neath Ecclesiastical Parish records           " ........... including registers of the churches of St Thomas and St Davids of baptisms, 1692-1902; marriages, 1694-1896; burials, 1692-1898; miscellaneous parish records, c1989"

Modern Parishes & Chapels of Ease :-

Non Conformist Registers Deposited
ChapelBaptisms/BirthsMarriagesBurialsOS Map RefDeposited/
Bethany/Bethania, Baptist1773-1836--SS 75309730PRO
Bethany/Bethania, Baptist1773-18371955-1970*
*not on WGAS
online list
-SS 75309730WGAS
Bethlehem Green, Calvinistic Methodist1799, 1811-1837--SS 75249776PRO
Bethlehem Green, Calvinistic Methodist






Bethlehem Green, Calvinistic Methodist1902-1962-1913-1923SS 75249776NLW
Quaker--1865-1869SS 75369782WGAS
Quaker--1866-1868SS 75369782NLW
London Road, English Wesleyan-1909-1971-SS 75369733WGAS

GRO - Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
NLW - National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
WGAS - West Glamorgan Archive Service
PRO - Public Record Office, London

The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • Neath, St. Thomas - Christenings (BT's), 1813-1861
  • Neath, Lat Welsh Calvinistic Methodist - Christenings, 1811-1837

Neath and Llantwit area. A collection of half a dozen Parish Magazines from the 1926 to 1959 period which have about 300 records of Births, Marriages, Deaths --- provided by Brian Wagstaffe


Description & Travel

    Images of Neath and District, by Brian Wagstaffe

    Journey to the past - Neath

    Old Neath Street Names by Brian Wagstaffe

    Neath - on Wikipedia

    NEATH CASTLE - on the People's Collection Wales site

    You can see pictures of Neath which are provided by:



    Transcript of name listing for Neath, and neighbouring parishes from Commercial and Trade Directories, for the years:-

    1822-1823(Pigot's Directory) 1858-1859(Slaters Directory)

    From Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks

    • MELINCRYTHAN is an eastern suburb, partly in the borough, but mostly in the parish of Llantwit. The Great Western Railway Co. have railway carriage repairing works and extensive engine sheds here.


    The transcription of the section for Neath from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

    Description of parish from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.


    Historical Geography

    Some of the hamlets, towns and villages within this parish

    • Cimla
    • Melincryddan
    • Pencaerau


    Neath & Swansea databases  contributed by Lyn Nunn;- Neath Inhabitants 1792 ; Neath Milita Roll 1789 ; Swansea Militia Roll 1789

    Description, with images, of Neath Castle at www.castlewales.com by Jeff Thomas

    Neath - List of Provosts and Portreeves (C 1100-1835) ; List of Mayors 1835-1972 ; Recipients of the Freedom of the Borough.  Compiled by Dai Bevan

    Neath Valley and the Neath and Tennant Canals, by Brian Wagstaffe

    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Neath Canal Company, records     1794-1881           "The Neath Canal Company was formed in the late 18th century, and obtained an Act of Parliament authorising the purchase of land for the canal. The canal was opened in stages over the next few years, and eventually ran from Glynneath to Melincryddan, along the south-eastern side of the Neath Valley. ...................................."
    • Taylor, Glen A. (antiquarian) papers    1741-1951         "Research notes, lecture notes and transcripts of original documents [1920s]-[1930s]; excavation journals [1920s]-[1930s]; research notes on genealogy, Neath Abbey, industry in Neath, and the history of Neath town [1920s]-[1930s]; correspondence 1885-1936; transcripts of documents relating to Neath and area [20th century]; catalogues of archives relating to Neath [1920s]-[1930s]; drawings and rubbings by Glen Taylor [1920s]-[1930s]; plans by Glen Taylor [1920s]-[1930s]; collected engravings and drawings (particularly of abbeys) 1741-1951; collected plans (including abbeys) 1886-1930; papers relating to Taylor & Sons Ltd. 1885-1932; personal papers of Glen Taylor and other family members [1830s]-[1930s]"
    • Thomas, Tom (local historian)       1900-1980                  "Research notes by Thomas Thomas 1953-1976; photographs of Neath 1950-[1995]; printed works 1900-1980; other records 1905-[1990s]; material for dissertation by Thomas Thomas 'A regional survey of the Neath River Basin' including drafts of the dissertation and plans 1955-[1970]; papers relating to the teaching career of Thomas Thomas 1940-1953."

    Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

    • The Town of Neath - Hornor, Thomas
    • Postcard of the Victoria Gardens Motor Coach Station with St David's Church behind.Neath.
    • Aerial view of Neath showing Victoria Gardens, 1929
    • Aerial photograph showing Neath, taken in April, 1972. The remains of the 13th century Neath Castle are visible. The market town of Neath developed on a site that had long been important owing to its position as the lowest crossing point on the River Neath.
    • The Last Gas Tram to run in Neath, renovated and now proudly on display at Cefn Coed Colliery Museum.
    • View of the Gnoll rugby and cricket grounds, Neath
    • Fabian Way, 1948
    • First Crew of Neath Tram, outside London Road Tram depot
    • Postcard showing delivery van of W.J. Griffiths Provision Merchants, Windsor Road, Neath

    Land & Property

    • A tour of Gnoll Estate Neath, by Brian Wagstaffe
    • A Transcript of a 1779 Neath Manor "Fines & Amerciaments". This gives a list of names (nearly all were men) who were fined at the Leet Courts of that year. It is subdivided by Manor : Neath Citra & Briton; Avon Wallia; Neath ultra & Kilybebill; Tyr y Yarll; Kaegurwen; Borough of Avon; Borough of Neath. There are about 700 names in total and in Neath Town it is split by 4 main streets and gives most occupations. (about 260 in Neath).
    • Neath, Gnoll Estate, a copy of a Rent Roll for 1811. This gives the occupiers of Estate property in Neath Town and also where they lived. The properties were numbered for cross reference to a Plan of the Town.
      Also Neath Parishes & History, including a short history of the Copper Works of the Neath area. Lots of local photographs.

    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Gnoll Estate, papers      "The Gnoll Estate had at its centre the mansion at Gnoll, to the east of the town of Neath. It included properties in the parishes of Aberavon, Baglan, Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, Cilybebyll, Glyncorrwg, Llangiwg, Llangyfelach, Llangynwyd, Llantwit-juxta-Neath, Michaelston-Super-Avon, and Swansea, Glamorgan, and also included lordship of the manors of Avon, Avon Wallia, Caergurwen, Cosmeston, Neath, Cadoxton, Neath Citra and Briton, Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, and Tir Iarll. There was also a Cardiff estate, and while the estate was owned by the Mackworth family there were also considerable estates in Shropshire..........................................."        
      "Account books, bills and vouchers, 1653-1902; rentals, 1721-1900; lease registers, 1721-1929; sales particulars, 1722-1918; employment records, 1809-1886; schedules of documents, [18th-19th centuries]; correspondence and letter books, 1698-1906; legal papers, 1674-1913; deeds, wills, settlements, bonds, abstracts of title and leases, 1528-1875; inventories, 1800-1902; maps and plans, 1751-1923; papers relating to the Company of Mineral Manufacturers at Neath, 1692-1776; papers relating to the Company of Mine Adventurers of England, 1697-1796; Acts of Parliament and legal papers relating to industrial concerns, 1697-1919; mineral leases, 1637-1914; correspondence relating to industrial concerns, 1702-1903; financial papers and accounts relating to industrial concerns, 1715-1827; other industrial papers, 1700-1874; manorial records of the manors of Avon Burgus, Avon Wallia, Caegurwen, Neath Burgus, Neath Citra and Briton, Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, and Tir Iarll, 1701-1935; genealogical papers, c. 1894; personal papers, 1791-[20th century]; official papers, 1641-1786; political and parliamentary papers, 1700-1763; publications relating to industry, 1698-1722; papers relating to the Scudamore, Digby and Cotes families, 1715-1800."


    This diagram shows the position of this parish within the county of Glamorgan - click on this to see a full size diagram of the county



    Tithe map of Neath; Acres: 1121; Tithe payments: £143 Parish. £143 Rector  - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS756970 (Lat/Lon: 51.65794, -3.799682), Neath which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Neath parish as shown on the online parish map from the CD of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Gareth Hicks)

    • Neath (51); Glan-nant Fm.; Gnoll Ho.; Neath Canal [NB - the town itself has little detail]




    Nineteenth century Inns and Public Houses of the Neath area by Brian Wagstaffe

    Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

    • Neath Borough Police 1925
    • Neath Borough Police mounted officer

    Politics & Government

    • Neath Constituency Labour Party
      1935-61: minutes
      [University of Swansea Library - Reference: SWCC]
    • Neath Independent Labour Party
      1922-35: records
      [University of Swansea Library - Reference: SWCC]

    One of a series of political cartoons relating to prominent Neath figures, dating from the early years of the 20th century. - on the People's Collection Wales site


    Poor Houses, Poor Law

    The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

    Neath Union Workhouse

    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Neath Poor Law Union, records             " Neath Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 .............. A workhouse (known as Lletty Nedd) was built at Penydre on the east side of the town ....."  
       "Lists of paupers, 1875-1909; abstracts of accounts, 1876-1912."
    • Neath Union Board of Guardians records        "Records of Neath Poor Law Union, 1853-1955, including minutes, 1853-1930; financial records, 1917-1930; inmate registers and records, 1867-1940; workhouse administration records, 1912-1946; Bryncoch Cottage Homes registers, 1877-1955; Bryncoch Cottage homes accounts, 1901-1955; outdoor relief records, 1913-1934; vaccination registers, 1853-1948; Neath Rural Sanitary Authority minutes, 1876-1893."

    Public Records

    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Neath Borough Police Force, records      1896-1946      "In February 1836, the Neath Borough Police force was established in Neath, Glamorgan, and David Protheroe was appointed as its first and only policeman. The force gradually increased in size, and by 1926, there were a total of forty men. .........................."
    • Neath Borough, records    "The Borough of Neath was situated at the western edge of the Marcher Lordship of Glamorgan. The first charter was granted by William earl of Gloucester in 1150. For most of its history the borough boundaries were approximately the same as those of the ecclesiastical parish of Neath.................................         
      "Lists of ordinances, 1542-1694; minutes, 1637-1729; deeds and leases, 1684-1815; legal papers, 1708-1805; papers relating to Neath Borough Police, 1919-[1980s]; papers relating to elections, burgesses and borough officials, 1861-1955; financial papers, 1725-1893; correspondence, 1923-1940; programmes, invitations and posters, 1901-1995; corporation diaries, 1924-1956; plans, 1866-1987; miscellaneous papers, 1835-1995"
      and  "Records of Neath Borough Council, c.1865-1996, including council and committee minutes, 1922-1974; Treasurer's records, 1952-1973; planning department records, c.1865-1974; photographs of charters relating to Neath [late 20th century]; copies of deeds relating to the manor of Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, [late 20th century]; microfilms of deeds and papers relating to the Borough of Neath, [late 20th century]; microfilms of the papers of Sir Humphrey Mackworth of Knoll, [late 20th century"
    • Neath Harbour Commissioners, records        1882-1896         "The Neath Harbour Commissioners were established by an Act of Parliament in 1800, as a body responsible for licensing pilots. The Neath Harbour Act, 1843 increased the number of Commissioners and extended their powers giving them responsibility for the administration of Neath Harbour. Further Acts followed empowering them to extend their activities. .................................................."


    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Gnoll School [Primary], Neath, records            "Log books of Gnoll School, 1879-1961; log books of the domestic subjects and cookery centres, 1939-1946"
    • Melin/Melincryddan, later Herbert Road School, Neath, Records            "Records of Melin School, Herbert Road School and Pencaerau School, 1875-1964, comprising log books, 1875-1964; admission registers, 1917-1964; infants attendance registers, 1954-1955; summary attendance registers, 1924-1944; stocks and stores account books, 1934-1963"
    • Neath School Society School, records           "........... admission register, 1858-1899."
    • Neath Upper School, records            " ............ infants log book, 1902-1941."  
    • St Joseph's R. C. School, Neath, Records                   " ............ log books, 1890-1940."

    Social Life & Customs

    Neath CC - 2nd XI 1914 - on the People's Collection Wales site



    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

    • Neath Antiquarian Society members: collected papers      1727-2000       "The Neath Antiquarian Society was established in 1923, for the study of the history of Neath and district. Members of the society have been active in research into various aspects of the history, geography and archaeology of the local area, and many have donated their research papers and publications to the Neath Antiquarian Society."  
    • Neath antiquarian Society, papers             1886-1999           "Minutes 1923-1999; rules of the Society 1932; registers of members; membership cards 1923-1996; account books 1923-1997; bills and receipts 1938-1959; valuations 1925-1985 and n.d. [closed access]; correspondence and reports 1886-1998; papers relating to Society's exhibitions [20th century]; papers relating to Society's publications 1996-1999; lecture transcripts and reports 1923-1933; papers relating to Society's events: menus and invitations 1929-1961; papers relating to Society's events: Posters and flyers 1923-1930; newspaper cuttings 1935, 1972; excavation journals 1935-1971; monumental survey of Llantwit churchyard 1959-1988; inventories of documents [20th century]; indexes to Transactions [1980s]"
    • Donald H. Jones (Neath Antiquarian Society) Archives      1587-1939 (accumulated [c. 1945])        "Neath; and miscellaneous documents, extracts taken from documents made by Donald H. Jones, mainly of Neath interest; papers relating to meetings, 1923-1933, of the Neath Antiquarian Society; notes made by Donald Jones of tours of north and south Wales; historical and archaeological notes by Donald Jones; a file of letters, 1931-1939, received by Jones; files of press cuttings relating to Neath antiquities, 1925-1935; and many other miscellaneous papers and documents of Neath interest."

    Town Records

    • Neath Turnpike Trust
      1827-1845: records
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]