Cambrian Pottery

Thanks go to our friends on the social media sites and in particular to Mark Lemon for his billheads which have confirmed the previous held opinions relating to the image.

It is not uncommon to find evidence of pottery related businesses anywhere in the country where a supply of clay can be found close by either from river environs or from mining activities and Neath was no exception.

John Brooks Taylor was of the second generation of a family that had moved from Devon seeking employment due to the early 19th century industrial expansion of Neath.

Following education at Alderman Davies' school he was indentured as an apprentice to Thomas Andrews (Mayor of Neath 1868), who as well as having general and furnishing businesses in New Street and Green Street, operated kilns manufacturing pottery and bricks at Millands.

Such was Taylor's ambition that on completion of his apprenticeship he established his own manufactory at Marshfield Road in 1882, where pottery goods of all types were made for a number of years.

It was popular in those days to reinforce a Welsh or local connection and thus (derived from Cambria and Cambrensis) he used the name of Cambrian Brick, Tile & Pottery Works (this is not to be confused with the Cambrian Pottery at Swansea which made fine china and porcelain, even though it has a Cadoxton connection).

The clay used was obtained from shallow pits in the Cwrt Sart area.  Digging for the clay resulted in the discovery of several items of archaeological interest such as a Roman Milestone (now at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff), a paved Roman road, animal remains and fossilised trees and ferns. 

The pottery closed sometime after the end of World War One when the supply of local clay ran out. However, John Brooks Taylor had other brick and pottery interests operating in Eaglesbush Valley, Melincourt Valley and at Cwmdu, Skewen.  

Don't forget there are other images of interest in the Great Mystery Box section.  


The Good Doctor of Aberdulais

Martyn Griffiths relates the story of Dr. Prell who lived at Danygraig House in - Members Articles.





Terrific Resonse!

Thanks to all our purchasers







Please be aware that our days of opening are 

Monday and Thursday

For researchers requiring access to the NAS archive only and  who are unable to attend on these two days (e.g. distance/foreign visitors) it may be possible to arrange an appointment.  Please consult the 'News' and 'Contact Us' buttons on the left hand menu for further information.

Neath Mechanics' Institute, Church Place, Neath, home of the Society

Formed in 1923 (from the earlier Neath Philosophical Society of 1834), the Neath Antiquarian Society has taken a leading role in recording, preserving and safeguarding Neath's historical heritage. Therefore, the Society began to collect archives relating to the local area and further afield.

Over the decades a considerable amount of material was amassed, dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, but this was not available to the general public and lacked a proper catalogue. The year 2001 saw the launch of the project 'Unlocking Neath's Archival Heritage', a joint venture between the Neath Antiquarian Society and the West Glamorgan Archive Service: with Heritage Lottery Funding, the entire archive collection was catalogued in detail by staff from the West Glamorgan Archive Service to make it fully available to the public for the first time in 2003.


Where can the documents be seen?

The Neath Antiquarian Society archive collections are held at the Neath Mechanics' Institute.   Click here for details of opening hours.


What archives are available?

Records of the Neath Antiquarian Society

Research papers of prominent local historians connected with the Society.

Borough of Neath & Neath Corporation records.

Records of manors and estates, including Gnoll, Eaglesbush, Briton Ferry, Bach-y-gwreiddyn, Little Hill, etc.

Coytrahen and Neath Abbey Estate records.

Collections of documents regarding local events, businesses, chapels and industry.

Maps and plans of the local area.

Advertising material & other related ephemera.

Copyright ©

The Neath Antiquarian Society claims overall copyright on material posted on this website under the Copyright Acts and the restrictions imposed by those Acts.  The copyright of certain articles on this website remains the exclusive property of the individual authors.  If in doubt, please ask.  Ignorance of copyright rules is no excuse for violation.  

All information is presented in good faith and no responsibility can be accepted for any omissions or errors that may occur from time to time.


1. Thanks to the County & City of Swansea and their officials for providing information pages relating to the Neath Antiquarian Society within their website and for their continued support of the Society's objectives.

2. Thanks to Neath Heritage Scene - for inaugurating this website and also for its work in the common aim of preserving our local history and heritage for present and future generations.

All rights reserved - 2013 - 2018

Click for Map
site map | cookie policy | privacy policy