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West Glamorgan

County History

The County of West Glamorgan


West Glamorgan is a preserved county and former administrative county of Wales.  It contains Wales second largest city, Swansea, the principal towns of Neath and Port Talbot, and Britain’s first declared area of outstanding beauty, the Gower Peninsular.

West Glamorgan has a land area of 320 square miles and a population of approximately 400,000; about 13% of the Welsh population.

West Glamorgan was created on the 1st April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 from the county borough of Swansea, the municipal boroughs of Neath and Port Talbot, the urban districts of Glyncorrwg and Llwchwr, Gower rural district, Pontardawe rural district and all of Neath rural district except the parish of Rhigos.

There were four districts within West Glamorgan until 1996, namely:-

•    Swansea – Swansea County Borough and Gower rural district
•    Lliw Valley – Llwchwr and Pontardawe rural districts
•    Neath – Neath and Neath rural district
•    Port Talbot – Port Talbot and Glyncorrwg

Following the Local Government (Wales) Act, 1994, West Glamorgan County Council was abolished on the 1st April 1996 and its area sub-divided into the two unitary authorities of The City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot County Borough.

West Glamorgan remains in existence as a preserved county for some limited functions such as the Lieutenancy and the Shrievalty.  The historical links of the ancient county of Glamorgan, once an early Welsh Kingdom, are such that the High Sheriffs of the three preserved counties of West Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and Mid Glamorgan have close informal ties and support each other wherever possible and appropriate.


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