History of the Swansea Canal

The Swansea Canal was constructed in 1794-1798 by the Swansea Canal Navigation Company.

The canal rises 375 feet through 36 locks from sea level at Swansea up to the valley at Abercraf.

It was originally built to carry coal down to the various industries in the lower Swansea Valley and for export. This new link to the sea enabled development all along the valley, of industries and the towns as we know them today.

Canal boats were built at yards along the route the last boat built was named the “Grace Darling” in 1918 at Godre’r Graig, which is nowadays more commonly referred locally as Godregraig.

Inevitably, with the construction of the Swansea Valley Railway, revenues on the canal declined and in 1931 it saw its last commercial cargo trip.

However, the canal was still in use with horse drawn boats used for maintenance and social events until 1958.