Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Swansea Harbour Office

The first record of Swansea Harbour Trust’s office accommodation comes from W H Jones’ book, ‘The History of the Port of Swansea’, which states that in March 1855 (although this is erroneously stated as 1885) the Trustees rented premises in Mount Street formerly occupied by Thomas Attwood, Solicitor and that, in October 1858, the building was completely destroyed by fire. The Harbour Trust then commissioned its first purpose-built Harbour Office building, an imposing edifice erected on the corner of Mount Street and Victoria Road. Opened in 1860, this building was occupied by the Swansea Harbour Trust until 1903, when its prestigious new Harbour Office building in Adelaide Street (now Morgans Hotel) was completed. The old Harbour Office was demolished in 1964, as was the adjacent Sailors’ Home, to make way for a new dual carriageway.

(note:- prior to 1855 the meetings and clerical affairs of the Harbour Trust were carried out in the Padley's Yard offices owned by the Trust's Clerk & Solicitor, Mr Silvanus Padley)

This engraving from 1865 shows the Sailors Home & Shipping Office on the left, and the Swansea Harbour Trust Office on the right

An early photo of the original Harbour Office building in Victoria Road which opened in 1860

Photograph of the Harbour Office and Sailors’ Home taken in 1960 (Swansea Museum can be seen on the left)

Map showing the location of the Sailors Home & Shipping Office and the Swansea Harbour Trust Office.

Old Harbour Office being demolished in 1964 (Photo taken from the Harbour Office clock tower)

Harbour Office in 1912

View of the Harbour Office by moonlight

Panoramic view of the boardroom

Somerset Place with the Harbour Office at the end of the block

Same view but with the old buildings demolished ready for development. The rear of the Harbour Office can be seen on the left

The Somerset Hotel with the Centre Hotel next door

Somerset Hotel

Swansea Dockers Club, just around the corner from the Harbour Office

The new Harbour Office situated adjacent to the locks. In the background to the right is the Customs House and to the left, the Dry Docks Workshop