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Harbour walls, breakwater and locks at Burry Port

A Grade II Listed Building in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6783 / 51°40'41"N

Longitude: -4.25 / 4°15'0"W

OS Eastings: 244529

OS Northings: 200123

OS Grid: SN445001

Mapcode National: GBR GQ.X90N

Mapcode Global: VH3MH.921R

Entry Name: Harbour walls, breakwater and locks at Burry Port

Listing Date: 6 October 1998

Last Amended: 25 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 20527

Building Class: Maritime

Location: Enclosing the harbour at Burry Port.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Pembrey and Burry Port Town (Pembre a Phorth Tywyn)

Community: Pembrey and Burry Port Town

Locality: Burry Port

Built-Up Area: Burry Port

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Burry Port

History

Burry Port, originally known as Pembrey New Harbour, was opened in 1832, served by tramroads and the Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal. It superseded Pembrey Old Harbour, which had opened in 1819. This expansion was demanded by the development of the local anthracite mines in the Gwendraeth Valley to which the harbour was linked by the canal. A tramroad also connected the harbour with the Carmarthenshire Dock at Llanelli. The initial harbour consisted of a tidal channel scoured from the sand dunes by the River Derwydd and lined by a stone wharf. Of the present structures, the E dock was built as a floating dock by 1840, while the W dock was created by 1888 from an earlier scouring reservoir. The copper slag that forms much of its bank was taken from the Pembrey Copperworks, built on the E side of the docks in 1849. On the E side of the E breakwater is a line of iron tub boats, said to have been seized from Carway Colliery in 1870 to recover a debt owing to the railway company.

It was here that Amelia Earhart landed in 1928 after her heroic trans-Atlantic flight. The harbour is now used for private boats.

Exterior

Comprising E and W docks, leading to an outer harbour, the entrance to which is protected by breakwaters. Construction is mainly of battered rubble stone with render, behind and above which is earlier vertical masonry. The E breakwater curves sharply inwards toward the harbour mouth and on the outer E side is a line of iron tub boats (Scheduled Ancient Monument Cm 268). On the long W breakwater is a line of thin stone slabs placed on edge to form a windbreak, and a harbour light.

New walls have been built between the breakwaters forming a harbour entrance. The outer harbour has a landing stage on the W side. The W dock has a lock at its entrance, of coursed freestone, with rebate for the lock gate and slots for stop gates. It is spanned by a modern footbridge. The dock itself is partly defined by rubble-stone walls on the N and E sides, but the remainder is mainly a bank composed of crushed copper slag. The E dock has a similar lock at its entrance. The N and part of the E dock wall are of rock-faced stone, the remainder is battered rubble stone, with a concrete stormwater outfall apron to the NE.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special interest as a rare surviving example of an earlier C19 coal harbour combined with an important early transport system serving the local industry.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Burry Port Harbour Light
    On the W breakwater of Burry Port harbour.
  • II Monument to Amelia Earhart
    Facing Memorial Square and set back from the road in a small fenced enclosure.
  • II Church of St Mary
    Within a large churchyard and prominently sited in a high position on the NE side of Burry Port.
  • II Milepost on Gwscwm Road
    Approximately 120m NW of the junction with Furnace Road.
  • II Milepost on Colby Road
    On the E side of Bramble Lodge, almost opposite the junction with the B4311 (Church Road).
  • II Stanley's Bridge
    Part of a former tramroad embankment on the N side of Ashburnham Road, and approximately 150m NW of
  • II Plas Kenrhos
    In its own grounds on the N side of a by-road on the N side of the A484 at Jerusalem Chapel.

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