Having finished our sightseeing in Swansea, we now turned our bows to a distant point on the map called “Mumbles Pier“, which is situated at Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.568880°, -3.976965°. It just struck me that this is also the furtherest western point I have been to in the United Kingdom. The Mumbles lighthouse may be seen in the image below and the lattice like bridge is our destination.
You drive all along the bay to get there, and unfortunately stopping places are few and far between and the road is busy. I was hoping to spot the Cenotaph on the way, and eventually did see it which confirmed where it was, although it did not make a lot of sense having it on the beach front, but then things may have been very different way back when it was erected.
We managed to squeeze into a parking a bit further from the area above, and I grabbed a few pics looking towards Swansea before we carried on with our journey.
The area was really nice, with small boats and picturesque houses, and people enjoying the stiff wind that was blowing.
A short drive further and we had arrived at Mumbles Pier.
Unfortunately the pier extension is closed off, presumably for repair. It was built in 1898 and is 835 feet long and is a Grade II listed structure. The building on the left is a lifeboat station and there is a gift shop too. Alas we would not be visiting those on this day.
The end of the land had a flight of stairs down to the beach, but you could also get a good view of the lighthouse and the other outcropping of land. The angle of that rock is amazing to see.
Standing on some rocks looking back at the pier and small beach I could not wonder what it must be like to stand here when the sea is raging.
The area that Swansea Bay opens into is the Bristol Channel, and the Mumbles Lighthouse was built in 1794 to guide vessels along the coast and into Swansea Bay, past the hazards of the Mixon Shoal ½ mile to the South. The height of the tower is 17m, and the height of light above Mean High Water is 35 m. It was automated in 1934 and electrified in 1969. (https://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/lighthouses-and-lightvessels/mumbles-lighthouse).
A quick walk through the amusement arcade and we were once again outside. I was curious about what this building was supposed to be but there was no clue.
We drove up the very steep road, and good clutch control was needed because it was a killer of a hill. We were now heading for Oystermouth Castle which was not too far away, although we were really taking the long way to get to it. The Castle is situated at 51.577066°, -4.002761° although it was closed by the time we wound our way to it.
It is a Norman castle, the first iteration being built in 1106, and overlooks Swansea Bay on the east side of the Gower Peninsula near the village of the Mumbles. The castle fell in and out of use, but after the Middle Ages, it gradually fell into ruin, and was described in a survey of Gower made in 1650 as “[a]n old decayed castle of no use, but of a very pleasant situation.” It was restored in the 1840s while the castle was owned by the then Duke of Beaufort. He gave the castle to Swansea Corporation in 1927; and today the castle is maintained under the responsibility of the City and County of Swansea council. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oystermouth_Castle)
The weight of ages looms heavily over these ruins, and it is one of those buildings that has just managed to stay with us in spite of the ravages of war, politics, climate and time. The view from the castle over the village is good, although it looked very differently so many centuries ago. At least there was no air pollution from cooking fires.
It was time to head back home, a last pic of the pier, and we were on our way.
On the drive back to Swansea I was determined to find the Cenotaph, and I saw it almost at the last moment and hurriedly snapped the pic below, hoping to fire off at least one more as we got closer. Unfortunately a local bus decided to insert itself into the space and as a result I only have this one pic of the Cenotaph. It is however, better than a picture of a bus.
The sun was low as we headed past Port Talbot and back to Tewkesbury, but the hills were still very impressive.
The moon was extremely large and bright and I attempted to grab some pics of it but had very little success due to the vibration and light; which is a pity because it was spectacular to see.
It had been a great day out, I had seen many things and added to my knowledge, I have been to Wales, and seen the Mumbles. It was one of those things to write home about.
Special thanks to Evert for the trip, I really enjoyed it.
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