Morriston Cross

Moriston Cross

Brief History

Morriston is a bustling town of approx 17,000 people, steeped in industrial history, and is situated some four miles north of the city of Swansea, Wales's second city. The town itself lies on the west bank of the River Tawe which flows from its source near the lake Llyn y Fan Fawr high in the Brecon Beacons National Park and then makes its way down through the Swansea Valley, some twenty five miles to the sea at Swansea near the busy docks.

The Welsh name for Swansea is Abertawe, which means 'the mouth of the river Tawe', while the Welsh name for Morriston is Treforys, 'the town of Morris or Morris Town'.

John Morris, the son of a Shropshire entrepreneur, Robert Morris, who came to the Swansea area in 1726 to start a copper works, was instrumental in building the town of Morriston from about 1779. It was one of the first towns in Wales to be laid out in a gridiron pattern and by 1819 it boasted some 300 stone cottages with tiled roofs for the workers in the nearby copper industry. From the mid 19th century the thriving copper industry in the area had begun to wane and in its place grew a tinplate industry and present day Morriston is largely the creation of this later period - the late 19th and early 20th century - when it became predominantly a town of tinplate workers.


Present Day Morriston

Morriston's busy main street - Woodfield Street

Today, however, there is very little of the heavy industry that Morriston was built on. There is some light industry such as the Morganite Electrical Carbon works on the east side of the river Tawe which makes carbon brushes for all sorts of electrical motors, but most of the employment in the area now comes from service industries and one of the largest employers in Morriston is the DVLA or Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency, which handles all driving licences and vehicle licences for the the whole of the UK.

 

Another major employer is Morriston Hospital which is the second largest hospital in Wales and built originally to treat casualties from the second world war. It now houses the most modern and up to date facilities for burns and plastic surgery, a state of the art cardiac unit and a very busy major accident unit which specialises in treating serious head injuries as well as the other facilities that a major general hospital supports.

 

Tabernacle Chapel, Morriston

Tabernacle Chapel with the
Morganite works in the background.

Another claim to fame for Morriston is Tabernacle Chapel, the largest Welsh Congregational or Independent Chapel in Wales. It was opened in 1872 and its architecture incorporates a mixture of styles - Classical, Romanesque and Gothic and its clock tower dominates the Morriston landscape. It has been the venue for many great concerts and the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles visited Tabernacl during his Investiture year. The world famous Morriston Orpheus Choir regularly give concerts in this magnificent building which is renowned for its first class acoustics.

There will soon be a page of Morriston related links which I hope will be useful to those of you who wish to find out more about this great town called MORRISTON. By the way, Morristonians are referred to as Morriston Monkeys!!

A FEW MORE PICTURES OF MORRISTON

Morriston Cross

The DVLA building at Morriston.

One of the steep roads leading down to the main shopping area.

One of the steep roads leading down to the main shopping area.

Looking down Woodfield Street towards Morriston Cross

Looking down Woodfield Street towards Morriston Cross

Hilltop view over Morriston

Hilltop view over Morriston


If you would like to add your link of anything to do with Morriston, please get in touch with me -
Jeff Lang - I will be glad to add your link to our site. Or if you would like to contribute to the new MORRISTON FORUM, click on the link below.


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