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Welsh: Aberafan
Afan Way, Aberavon.jpg
Afan Way, Aberavon
Grid reference: SS752904
Location: 51°35’58"N, 3°48’7"W
Population: 5,335  (2001)
Post town: Port Talbot
Postcode: SA12
Dialling code: 01639
Local Government
Council: Neath Port Talbot

Aberavon is a village in Glamorgan near the mouth of the River Afan, from which it takes its name, and this position also gave its name to a mediæval lordship. Today Aberavon is essentially a district of Port Talbot, covering the central and south western part of the town.

Aberavon Beach is a resort beach nearby.


On the Normans conquest of Glamorgan, Caradog, the eldest son of the defeated Welsh prince, Iestyn ab Gwrgant, continued to hold this lordship, and for the defence of the passage of the river built a castle whose foundations now lie underneath the streets around St Mary's church. His descendants (who from the 13th century onwards styled themselves De Avan or D'Avene) established, under line protection of the castle, a chartered town, which in 1372 received a further charter from Edward le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despencer, into whose family the lordship had come on an exchange of lands. In modern times these charters were not acted upon, the town being deemed a borough by prescription, but in 1861 it was incorporated under the Municipal Corporations Act.

The antiquarian John Leland made an extensive journey through Wales around 1536-39 of which he recorded an itinerary. He passed through Aberafan, which he describes as a "poor village" surrounded by barren ground, though he also describes the area as heavily wooded, not much of which remains today. He mentions the use of the river mouth as a port, a "haven for ships" as he puts it. His portrayal of Aberafan as a small, struggling village however suggests that the port was not in great use, especially as traffic to and from Margam Abbey would have ceased following its dissolution in 1536.[1]

Aberavon was the birthplace of Dic Penderyn, a key figure in the Merthyr Rising of 1831. St Mary's Church is the site of his grave.

From 1832 Aberavon belonged to the Swansea parliamentary district of boroughs, uniting with Kenfig, Loughor, Neath and Swansea to return one member; since 1918 it has had its own constituency. Its most famous MP was Ramsay MacDonald.

In the 1950s many of the sand dunes of Aberavon Beach disappeared as part of the development of the Sandfields estate, at this time a 1.25 mile sea wall was built primarily for sea defences. The estate was built to accommodate the growing population, especially the families of workers at the new Port Talbot Steelworks.

Aberavon hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1932 and 1966.

Baglan Industrial Park

The Baglan Bay Industrial Park lies on a stretch of Baglan Moors in the parish of Aberavon south east of the Baglan Energy Park and immediately northwest of Neath Port Talbot Hospital. It is sandwiched between the M4 motorway and Afan Way (A4241]]). Current occupants include several national chains and a Warburtons bread factory in premises which were previously occupied by Panasonic.


  • Football: Afan Lido FC
  • Rugby Union:
    • Aberavon RFC
    • Aberavon Quins RFC
    • Aberavon Green Stars RFC
  • Rugby League: Aberavon Fighting Irish

Outside links