Margam

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For the 2003 Indian Malayalam film, see Margam (film).
Margam
Margam is located in Neath Port Talbot
Margam
Margam
 Margam shown within Neath Port Talbot
Population 3,017 (2011 census)
OS grid reference SS803854
Principal area Neath Port Talbot
Ceremonial county West Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PORT TALBOT
Postcode district SA13
Dialling code 01639
Police South Wales
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Aberavon
Welsh Assembly Aberavon
List of places
UK
Wales
Neath Port Talbot

Coordinates: 51°34′28″N 3°45′10″W / 51.574444°N 3.752778°W / 51.574444; -3.752778

Margam is a suburb of Port Talbot in the Welsh county borough of Neath Port Talbot, Wales, close to junction 39 of the M4 motorway.

History[edit]

Margam was an ancient Welsh community, formerly part of the cwmwd of Tir Iarll, initially dominated by Margam Abbey, a wealthy house of the Cistercians founded in 1147. (Margam is believed to have played a significant role in the early transmission of the work of St. Bernard of Clairvaux). At the dissolution of the monasteries, it came into the possession of the Mansel family who were eventually succeeded by their descendants in the female line, the Talbot family, a cadet branch of the family of the Earls of Shrewsbury.

The parish church continued to operate from the nave of Margam Abbey, as it still does. Margam Castle grounds contain the ruins of the Chapter House and major 17th century and 18th century monuments. The Stones Museum contains important evidence for the advent of early Christianity in the area.

With the coming of the industrial revolution, the parish of Margam became important for two reasons. First, it had a good harbour which was ultimately developed into Port Talbot, named in honour of the squires of Margam. Second, it had coal deposits, and coal mining in the parish took off in the late 18th century. The combination of local fuel and good transport links from the harbour made Margam an important part of the industrial landscape of the South Wales Coalfield.

At first, the coal workers lived away from the village of Margam itself, notably in a settlement at Taibach. However, eventually, the whole of the parish was submerged by the community of industrial workers. Margam then assumed its modern form as a suburb of Port Talbot.

Not included in the urbanisation and industrialisation of Margam, however, were the grounds of Margam Abbey, which were incorporated by the Talbot family into the grounds of their nearby 19th century mansion, Margam Castle (badly damaged by fire in the late 20th century but now in process of restoration). The Talbot family had previously, in the 18th century constructed at Margam the longest orangery in Europe, which still stands. All the land was sold out of the Talbot family in the mid 20th century but it has been preserved as Margam Country Park, an estate of some 850 acres (3.4 km2) owned and administered by the local council which is a major local attraction. The collection of early Christian Celtic crosses and inscribed stones which the Talbot family had collected from the locality, were moved in 1932 into the nearby Church Schoolroom, to become the Margam Stones Museum, now managed by Cadw.[1]

In the early 20th century, Margam became the site of an important British Steel works.

Famous Ex-residents[edit]

The actor Anthony Hopkins was born at 77 Wern Road, Margam.[2]

Peg Entwistle, the Broadway actress who jumped to her death from the Hollywood sign in 1932, was born in Margam in 1908.[3]

The Welsh Footballer Alan Durban of Bracken Road

Government and politics[edit]

Margam
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
Councillor
Bob Thomas (Labour)

The electoral ward and community of Margam is related to the district of Margam. The Margam ward includes areas such as Port Talbot Steelworks, Eglwys Nunydd, Margam Country Park, the Margam Suburb, Port Talbot Docks and Margam Sands beach. Margam falls within the parliamentary constituency of Aberavon.

In the 2012 local council elections, the electorate turnout for Margam was 38.10%. The results were:

Candidate Party Votes Status
Bob Thomas Labour 402 Labour hold
Scott Sullivan Independent 166
George Ridgeway Social Democratic Party 129
Caroline Jones Conservative 110
Mathew McCarthy Liberal Democrats 61

Nearest places[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sign boards at the Margam Stones Museum, undated, viewed in the Museum in June 2012
  2. ^ Tiscali Film & TV: Anthony Hopkins Biography
  3. ^ Page Title

External links[edit]