Clydach, Glamorgan

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Clydach Refinery seen from above - - 177129.jpg
Clydach Refinery
Grid reference: SN689013
Location: 51°41’24"N, 3°54’36"W
Population: 12,593  (2012)
Post town: Swansea
Postcode: SA6
Dialling code: 01792
Local Government
Council: Swansea

Clydach is a village in the ancient parish of Llangyfelach in Glamorgan. It is located some six miles north-east of Swansea city centre. Its population in 2001 was 7,320. The village lies close to the M4 motorway which can be accessed via the bypass or old road via Ynystawe.


In the early 19th century, Clydach was a small village. As the coal in the South Wales Valleys was a valuable commodity during the Industrial Revolution, Clydach experienced growth as a through road for transporting goods between Swansea and the many mines and heavy metal industries. The 16-mile-long Swansea Canal was built through the centre of Clydach between 1794 and 1798. It was constructed to transport up to 400,000 tons of coal a year from Ystalyfera to Swansea port. The canal remained profitable until 1902, when losses were first reported. This decline in revenue and profits was largely due to the competition from its rival the Swansea Vale Railway. The last commercial cargo carried on the Swansea Canal was in 1931 when coal was conveyed from Clydach to Swansea. Boats continued to operate on the canal after that date but only for maintenance work, with horse-drawn boats last recorded in Clydach in 1958. Only five miles of the canal's original length of over 16 miles remain.

The end of the 19th century and the early 20th century saw a significant growth in the village’s population. With the opening of the Mond in 1902 the village experienced significant growth as the factory became the main employer within the village.

The population has recovered from the reduction seen in the early 1980s following the demise of mining and the heavy metal industries. The village's population was approximately 7,500 on 23 February 2010 and a population of 10,830 on 28 July 2011. The population on 6 May 2012 is approximately 12,593.


Clydach Refinery

Clydach Refinery, affectionately known as 'the Mond', was built by Ludwig Mond the inventor of the nickel carbonyl process at the turn of the 20th century. It started production in 1902. It is Europe’s largest nickel refinery. It produces nickel powder, nickel pellets and other various nickel-coated materials. It also has a nickel foam production plan that until recently was the sole provider of the nickel foam required in the power cells of the Toyota Prius, production has since moved to a plant in China.

The plant was the heart of the village and one of the largest employers in the Swansea Valley for many years. By 1910 over 40% of the village’s population worked in the refinery. Today, with improvements in processing and a rationalisation of products, the refinery now only employs just over 240 people, equating to 3% of the village's population.

There is a bronze statue of Ludwig Mond, commissioned after his death in 1909, amongst the daffodils opposite the Mond’s redbrick Edwardian entrance.


Mond Valley Golf Club

Originally a nine-hole course (dating back to the 1960s) that was intended to be a resource exclusively for INCO (Clydach Refinery) employees, the course now welcomes golfers of all ages and abilities throughout the year.

The course is bordered on one side by the meandering River Tawe and by the Swansea Canal. It was renamed Mond Valley Golf Club in May 2012 after Vale Europe outsourced the management to help the golf club progress. The new name draws inspiration from one of the most influential people in bringing nickel to the region, and therefore the Clydach Refinery (Ludwig Mond) and the scenic nature of the location in the Swansea Valley (Valley).

Cwm Clydach

The Cwm Clydach RSPB Reserve is situated on the outskirts of the village, en route to Craig Cefn Park near the New Inn pub.


Clydach is served by National Cycle Route 43.


  • There are a number of football teams that play in Clydach including, F.C. Clydach, Inco, Clydach Sports and Sunnybank W.M.C. All of which play in the Neath & District League.
  • Vardre Rugby Football Club

Outside links