Porthcawl Marina

Porthcawl Marina

The marina occupies what was once the outer harbour of Porthcawl docks. The main part (now filled in) was further north and had a constant water level, accessed by a lock. Ships remained afloat while being loaded and unloaded but needed high tide to arrive or depart through the outer harbour.

The docks originated in a scheme by the Duffryn Llynvi and Porthcawl Railway, which opened a tramroad in 1829 from north of Maesteg to carry coal and iron to the sea at Porthcawl. Its Parliamentary powers included provision to build a pier and dock facilities, making it one of the first companies in the world to be set up to create a combined railway and port.

The docks were expanded in the 1860s and boasted facilities for tipping coal direct from railway wagons into ships. Some cargo was unloaded from ships here, including timber for pit props (which supported the roof of underground colliery passages).

The railway, along with other local lines, was managed from 1873 by the Great Western Railway. Trade through the harbour dropped as other docks developed, particularly at Port Talbot. The GWR dismantled most of the equipment at Porthcawl’s main dock in 1903.

In the 20th century the outer harbour became increasingly popular with leisure boaters. Porthcawl Marina was opened in 2014, following a £3.2m investment. The modernisation increased the number of berths to 70 and included works to prevent the berths drying out at low tide.

You can see surviving features of the old harbour as you explore the marina area. They include the Jennings warehouse, the large hip-roofed building, built c.1830. The a cast-iron lighthouse at the end of the breakwater dates from 1866.

Postcode: CF36 3BY    View Location Map

Website of Porthcawl marina

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