Ammanford lies at the South Western foot of the Black Mountain. Originally a village known as Cross Inn, the name of Ammanford was decided by committee in 1880 – the Welsh version, Rhydaman, not appearing until the 20th century.
Ammanford from Betws Mountain
The town is bounded by the rivers Amman and Loughor which meet to the south of the town. Modern Ammanford grew up on the junction of the Llanelli to Llandeilo road and the Llandeilo to Neath former turnpike. The original Cross Inn with its stables was situated on the opposite corner to the Old Cross Inn. With the expansion of mining and tin plate industries in the valley and the coming of the railway, Cross Inn grew rapidly in the latter half of the 19th century. It was felt that the town's name did not reflect its importance and did not sit well with the large non-conformist part of the community.
Today the town is served by the Heart of Wales Line which runs from Swansea to Shrewsbury.
The Gorsedd Stones
River Aman and Betws Bridge
The town takes as its emblem the wild boar or 'Y Twrch Trwyth', from the legend that King Arthur had hunted wild boar in the Amman valley.
'Y Twrch Trwyth'
The partial remains of a Norman period motte and bailey castle are visible alongside the railway showing the town’s long history.
Ammanford’s growth can be attributed to the coal and tinplate industries that flourished in the period 1850 to 1930. The 1920s saw significant building in the town which was a busy shopping centre. The last mine, Bettws Colliery closed in 2003, but the bulk of heavy industry had disappeared long before. Today Ammanford is an attractive, busy, small town with a range of non-chain shops and scattered industrial estates on the edge of town and in the surrounding villages.
Quay Street and the Mining Memorial
The Ammanford Mining Memorial was designed and built by Howard Bowcott of Porthmadog and erected in 2006. The dark slate layers depict seams of coal and have the names of local mines, mining occupations, equipment and passages of poetry.
The footbridge at Pantyffynnon
The valley of the River Loughor below Ammanford
Farmland between Ammanford and Pontardulais
Castell Penlle'r is situated atop Betws Mountain adjacent to the long distance St Illtyd's Walk. Believed to be the remains of a small thirteenth century dry stone castle. The site offers superb views across to the Black Mountain and south to Swansea Bay and Port Talbot.
Lower Lliw Reservoir Opened in 1863 to supply water to Swansea. The reservoir offers an attractive walk.
Ammanford from Garnswllt
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Site and Photographs © Geoffrey Davies 2008-10 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org