In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Pen Bre like this:
PEMBREY, a sea-port town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Llanelly district, Carmarthen. The town stands on the river Burry, the Kidwelly canal, and the South Wales railway, at the foot of Pembrey hill or Mynydd-Pembre, 5½ miles W by N of Llanelly; is called also Burry-Port; has a r. station with telegraph of the name of Pembrey, and a post-office‡ under Llanelly, of the name of Burry-Port; and carries on considerable shipments of coal, brought from the Gwendraeth valley, by way of Kidwelly and the Kidwelly canal. ...
Its harbouris inside the Cefn-Sidan sand; was constructed in 1819; has a pier 1, 200 feet long, with at least 12 feet of water; and has also a lighthouse, showing a fixed light 35 feet high. Another harbour, called the New or Burry harbour, was constructed in 1 825. Extensive copper worksare adjacent. Pembrey hill commands remarkably fineviews over the circumjacent bays and waters to theheights of Somerset. The parish comprises 14, 705 acres of land, and 12,030 of water. Rated property, £9, 564. Pop. in 1851, 3, 310; in 1861, 4, 145. Houses, 822. The property is not much divided. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Llandwry, in the diocese of St. David's. Value, £69.* Patron, the Earl of Ashburnham. The church is good; and contains a monument to the Empress Josephine's niece, who was wreckedhere in a French ship in 1828. A Wesleyan chapel, in the pointed style, was built in 1867.The sub-district contains also the parish of Kidwelly, and comprises 31, 905 acres. Pop., 5, 797. Houses, 1, 208.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Pen Bre has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Carmarthenshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Pen Bre and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Pen Bre in Carmarthenshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd May 2013
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