The village of Dunvant (Dyfnant)
Dunvant (Dyfnant in Welsh, meaning 'deep stream') began as a small coal mining village. At one time there were four collieries in the area between Dunvant and nearby Gowerton. The two collieries South of Gowerton; Bishwell and Bryn Mawr, closed in the 1870s after a relatively short history, but the Dunvant collieries; Dunvant and Killan lasted longer closing in 1914 and 1925 respectively. Killan closed as a result of the disaster in 1924, in which five men were killed and from which it never recovered. The Penlan Brickworks and Quarry also provided many local jobs but Mother Nature reclaimed the former site of the quarry and it is now an ecological conservation area.
A sudden surge of water flooded Killan Colliery on 27th November 1924. The strength of the water was so great that the roof of the mine collapsed killing two men and a further eleven men were left trapped inside. Eight of them survived from breathing from an air pocket and were rescued within two days, but the three further bodies were not recovered until January 1925. A memorial to the miners who lost their life at Killan Colliery stands at the site of the former Dunvant railway station.
In 1867 the Central Wales Railway line opened taking passengers and cargo from Swansea Victoria Station to as far away as Shrewsbury. The former railway line through Blackpill and Clyne Valley is now a footpath and cycle route, but the Heart of Wales line (albeit slightly detoured from the original route) still runs between Swansea and Shrewsbury today. It was the opening of the railway line that directly contributed to the increased mining in this part of South Wales.
As with any industrialised area, houses were built to accommodate the workers and today, although the mining and the railway has long since gone, Dunvant remains a sub-urban area of Swansea within easy access to both the town itself and the peninsula.
Dunvant is famous for two of its village organisations, its Rugby Club and its Male Choir.
Dunvant Rugby Club was founded in 1887 and has previously worked their way up to the Premiership of the Welsh Rugby Union, a great achievement for such a small village club.
Dunvant Male Choir, founded in 1895 from the male congregation of the local Ebenezer Chapel. The choir have won every choral competition open to them, travelled extensively across the UK and abroad, have made many recordings and can be seen regularly on television screens. Visitors are welcomed to visit their rehearsals which take place at Olchfa School, Sketty (SA2 7AB) from 7 to 9 pm on a Monday and Thursday. (See www.dunvantchoir.org for details.)
Please view the area map below to get your bearings and familiarise yourself with the roads. The table shows the approximate travelling times by car, from Dunvant, to the various villages.
Map of the Gower Peninsula
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