Swansea Pottery – A Celebration.

aboard - Swansea Pottery


2014 sees both the 250th anniversary of the beginning of industrialised potting in Swansea, and the 200th anniversary of the production of porcelain in Swansea.

While there had been potting in and around Swansea prior to 1764, at the Burrows and on the Gower, July 31st of that year saw the ground of the old copper works on the Strand leased by burgess to William Coles. Coles was a Quaker Ironmaster from Neath, who undertook to “erect a manufactory for the production of earthenware and stoneware”.

There had been experiments to produce porcelain in Swansea prior to 1814. However, it was the arrival of William Billingsley and Samuel Walker from Nantgarw, in October 1914, and the construction of a new porcelain kiln, which saw the beginning of “Swansea Porcelain” production.

This exhibition showcases the variety of wares produced in Swansea between 1764 and 1814.

The subject of ceramic production in Swansea is an enormous subject; much has been written before this exhibition, and I am sure, will be in the future.

The exhibition opens to the public on Friday 19th September in The Long Gallery.

Swansea and the Great War 1914 – 1918.

Swansea and the Great War exhibition opening  this Friday, on 25 July, until 18 January 2015 in Gallery One. 

The 28th July 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of one of the most catastrophic wars in European history.

Over 60 million people were mobilised for the armed forces alone. Young men signed up to serve in their thousands from all over Britain including, of course, Swansea and South Wales.

Many of those who signed up never came home and those who did were often greatly affected by the events they witnessed.

Great War Loughor

The exhibition will focus on the stories of several Swansea individuals who were involved in the Great War. As well as the stories of the men who went to fight the exhibition will also reveal the struggles faced by women who were left behind. It will look at their contribution to the war effort and we will also explore the stories of those who conscientiously objected.

Museumweek #MuseumMastermind – Revealed

Yesterday we had day 2 of #MuseumWeek on twitter which looked at #MuseumMastermind.
We’ve created a short quiz to test your knowledge of Swansea Museum. If you haven’t seen the answers from yesterday, why not see how many you can answer.
1. Who was Ann of Swansea from our pictures collection?
2. Which year did the museum acquire the Olga
3. Which famous scientist is said to have conducted early electrical experiments at the museum?
4. Which famous bard was occasionally found asleep at the museum?
5. What year did the Mumbles Railway finally close?
6. What is the name of the museum’s mummy?
7. When was The Royal Institution of South Wales/Swansea Museum built?
8. Ahead of our Lizzie the elephant workshops, when was Lizzie sold to the museum?
9. In which part of the collection do we have a piece of glass over 3000 years old?
10. Which rugby player recently showed their public support to our museum?
1. A Novelist
2. 1984
3. Michael Faraday
4. Dylan Thomas
5. 1960
6. Hor
7. 1841
8. 1889
9. Egyptian Collection
10. Scott Quinell

Swansea Museum Spring / Summer Brochure 2014

For any questions, please contact us on 01792 653 763.

Dylan’s Swansea – New exhibition

21th February – 6th July

Dylan’s Swansea


Gallery One

This exhibition celebrates the Swansea that Dylan knew, where he was born, grew up, worked and played and how this influenced his work.  The exhibition features Wyn Thomas’ wonderful illustrations of some of Dylan’s haunts around the town itself Uplands, Mumbles and Gower.  SwanseaMuseum has worked with author and Dylan enthusiast JeffTowns in presenting an exhibition that tries to understand how the pubs places and people of Swansea were so influential to his work.

The release of Swansea Museum’s final WW2 DVD series

Stories told of Swansea during the Second World War

Swansea Museum will be releasing its WW2 Stories on DVD after a culmination of 3 years of hard work and commitment.

The DVD is the 3rd and final part in the Swansea and WW2 DVD series. It takes the story from the arrival of American GIs to the street parties of VE day in ’45.


The story is told directly by local people who lived through those years. The DVD series has over 70 Interviews with individuals who lived during the war, or were affected by the War.

This has been a project that has received much support from CREATE, Swansea’s Mental Health Service, whom have been involved with the creation, delivery and development of the project. Swansea Museum are extremely grateful for the hard work shown by the individuals involved, for this we would like to say thank you. Not only is the Museum grateful, but all who have been affected by the war, and will value the stories told by the individuals featured in the DVD,

CREATE  stands for Community Rehabilitation Employment Assessment Training Enterprise. Swansea Mental Health services offer a range of service which include

  1. I.T. Training
  2. Practical Daily Living Skills Training
  3. Personal Development
  4. Educational Courses
  5. Sports and Leisure Activities
  6. Horticulture and Gardening
  7. Arts, Craft and Woodwork Work Related Projects
  8. Employment Services, Vocational Advice and Guidance

If you’d like to find out more about CREATE, please click here.

If you’re interested in the DVD, then it will be open to the public for sale on the 14th of December in the Museum shop.

The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 4.30 pm. Please click here to find out more.


This great DVD will tell the tales of people who lived through the years of the war in Swansea. An educational, enlightening and wonderful way to remember the people who lived during these years.

History and Treasures of Swansea Museum

The ewer belonged to Gilbert de Clare the 8th Earl of Gloucester

The ewer belonged to Gilbert de Clare the 8th Earl of Gloucester

Tonight Phil Treseder the Community Access Officer will be delivering one of the regular talks delivered out into the community at Treboth Community Centre.  Tonight’s talk is titled the History and Treasures of Swansea Museum.  Swansea Museum has a rich history which originates from 1835 making Swansea Museum the oldest museum in Wales.  Picking out the treasures is no easy task.  There are 40,000 objects and photographs in the museum.  Some of the 40,000 are currently listed as 1 object though in reality it refers to a collection which may have several thousand objects again.

An example highlighted in the talk is this ewer found on the Gower.  The ewer belonged to Gilbert de Clare the 8th Earl of Gloucester.  The inscription you can see is Norman French and reads “I am the Ewer of Gilbert, he who carries me off may he suffer evil”.

Obviously somebody did carry it off but we have no idea if he or she suffered evil.  However Gilbert de Clare we do know suffered evil, killed at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Interested in these group talks? Swansea Museum often hold talks with groups that are interested in finding out more about the museum’s collection.

Contact Swansea Museum if you’d like to book a group event. Call 01792 653763.

From the Swansea Museum Collection – Tailwaggers!

tailwaggers dog tag

Recently donated to Swansea Museum, this Tailwaggers Club tag was found in Singleton Park.

Established in 1928, the Tailwaggers club provided funds for the Royal Veterinary College to support their work. Two years later popularity of the charity allowed the club to offer financial support to the newly-formed Guide Dogs for the Blind. At it’s height in the 1930s there were almost 1 million dogs as part of the club, including those of celebrities and the royal family.

A Tailwaggers Club member would wear this tag on their collar, to show their support to their doggie friends.

This pet tag belonged to a dog named ‘Weaver’ who lived on Mayals Road in Swansea. Perhaps he lost his member’s tag when he was enjoying a run in Singleton Park.

Now a trust, Tailwaggers Club is still running today, providing advice and support for owners who find it difficult to pay for the vet’s bills. For more information please go to: www.tailwaggersclubtrust.com

From the Swansea Museum Collection – Mysteries of the Deep

whale earbone

These unusual oceanic objects have been decorated with faces, likely by a deep sea fisherman. They became part of the museum’s collection this year.

But what are they?

Although they look remarkably like sea shells, they are actually part of the ear of a whale. This bone, called bulla, acts as a protective shield for the whale’s inner ear.

There are many striking qualities about these ear bones – the way the curved edges do resemble a person’s profile, the texture of its surface, and the sheer size of them (a human’s is about the size of a marble). However, one of the most unexpected qualities is the weight. The bone is very dense and feels as heavy as a rock. This helps to protect the delicate parts of the whale’s ear and the curved shaped amplifies the sound.

Some types of whales can hear sounds from 1000 miles away. How does the sound reach a whale’s ear? Through their jaw, of course!