New Homes in Neath
Welcome to Neath
Whether you’re mountain biking through forests, taking a walk along the beach or visiting local museums, you’ll find all kinds of attractions in and around the South Wales town of Neath. With an industrial heritage, the town is a vibrant and friendly place to set up home, and within easy reach of Wales’ biggest cities Swansea and Cardiff.
A quick history
Neath started out as a Roman settlement in 70 AD, but didn’t grow into a thriving village until the 12th century when the Normans built an abbey, and later a castle. Neath has its own market which eventually traded with other markets in the surrounding villages, before coal mining became one of the main industries of the area in the 16th century. A copper smelting works was founded in 1695, and Neath became a prosperous town, with a canal being built in the 18th century for shipping and a railway line in 1851.
Between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries, the population of Neath boomed, rising from 4,000 in 1849 to 40,000 one hundred years later. By 1929 many of the collieries had closed, but an oil refinery was built nearby along with a metal container factory, Metal Box. Although the local tinworks closed in the early to mid-19th century, the steelworks at the nearby Margam Abbey Works was booming and employed thousands of local people.
Neath has hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales three times throughout the 20th century, and has also produced a number of well-known figures in entertainment including the actor Richard Burton, the opera singer Katherine Jenkins and the pop star Bonnie Tyler.
Businesses and industry
Neath’s main industries throughout the years have been coal mining, shipping and the steelworks. Today Port Talbot Steelworks is still a major employer in the area, but only needs a fraction of the staff required during the 1950s when around 18,000 people were employed there.
Today Neath still has a manufacturing industry, but is also home to other diverse businesses including The biggest businesses in the Neath Port Talbot region include car retailers Sinclair Motor, steelworkers Express Reinforcements, toilet manufacturers Intertissue and metal powder producers Sandvik Osprey. Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies, MTR Bailey Trading and Wernick Buildings are also based in the local area.
Things to do in the area
One of the most popular attractions in Neath is Gnoll Estate Country Park, with woodlands, picnic spots, children’s playgrounds and even some ruins to explore. It’s also given its name to The Gnoll, the home stadium of Neath Rugby Football Club, otherwise known as the ‘Welsh All-Blacks’. Neath Castle and Neath Abbey, both built in Norman times, can still be seen today, while other historic sites nearby include Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall and the South Wales Miners Museum.
If you like getting out in the great outdoors, there’s plenty of greenery to enjoy around Neath, whether you’re biking at Afan Forest Park, taking a stroll through Margam Country Park or enjoying a brisk winter stroll along Aberavon Beach. The city of Swansea is just a short drive away, where you’ll find the National Waterfront Museum, Singleton Park and plenty of high street shopping.
Travel and commuting
Neath has good transport links by road, being located on the A465 and close to junction 43 of the M4. Travelling by car, Swansea is just 20 minutes away from Neath, while the train journey is even shorter at a little over 10 minutes. With good transport to routes to the city, this is a popular commuter route from Neath.
Travelling further afield, Neath Station is on the South Wales Main Line with services east to Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and London. The train to Cardiff takes just under 45 minutes, while the journey to London Paddington takes around 2 hours 45 minutes. There are also train services west to Carmarthen and Haverfordwest. The town has its own bus terminal in Victoria Gardens, while Swansea Airport is just 30 minutes away by car to the southwest of the city.