Cambrian Pottery

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Swansea porcelain plate, c. 1817
Earthenware cow creamer, 1820-40, "possibly Cambrian Pottery"

The Cambrian Pottery was founded in 1764 by William Coles in Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales. In 1790, John Coles, son of the founder, went into partnership with George Haynes, who introduced new business strategies based on the ideas of Josiah Wedgwood. Lewis Weston Dillwyn became a partner in 1802 and sole owner when George Haynes left the pottery in 1810.

In 1811 Dillwyn took T.& J. Bevington into partnership, the company becoming known as Dillwyn & Co. Between 1814 and 1817, Dillwyn produced the renowned Swansea china or Swansea porcelain. Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (Lewis Weston Dillwyn's son) ran the pottery from 1836. He bought out the neighbouring Glamorgan Pottery in 1838. Many of the redundant staff went on to help found the South Wales Pottery at Llanelli, the competition from which, played a part in the ultimate demise of the Cambrian Pottery in 1870.

Through its history, the Cambrian employed some notable artists, such as Thomas Baxter, Thomas Pardoe, William Pollard, Thomas Rothwell (1740-1807) and William Weston Young. The pottery closed in 1870, when the site was sold to Cory, Yeo & Co.


Hughes, Stephen (2000). Copperopolis: landscapes of the early industrial period in Swansea. Aberystwyth: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. pp. 11–16. ISBN 1-871184-17-7.

Hallesy, Helen L. (1995). The Glamorgan Pottery, Swansea, 1814-38. Llandysul: Gomer. pp. 1–7. ISBN 1-85902-288-X.

  • E. Morton-Nance, The Pottery and Porcelain of Swansea and Nantgarw (1943)