Swansea Market – Welsh 100: No 42

Aunty and I were back on the Welsh 100 trail this weekend. Swansea Indoor Market has been at the top of the list for a while now, but we’ve never managed to pull it off. So with determination we drove west along the M4 towards Swansea.

Swansea Market
The market is known for it’s sea food, and it didn’t disappoint.

The Swansea Indoor Market is the largest in Wales, and there is a long history of a market in the city and a in 1652 a market house with a roof was built in Castle Square. However, the market quickly outgrew the space available and stall spilled out onto the streets.


Swansea Market
The variety on display was impressive.

In 1830 that the market was re-sited to Oxford Street, but again the was so successful that a new market was opened in 1897, again on Oxford Street. This new market was covered with a roof. Its roof was the largest structure of glass and wrought iron works in the UK. Later on that year electricity was introduced into the market.

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The fruit also put on their best show.

The Market continued to expand and by 1920’s it had over 670 stalls. But during a German bombing raid in the Second World War the market was completely destroyed. The market continued as an open air market once the site was cleared. Finally the current covered market was rebuilt, and opened in 1961.

Swansea Market
Carol Watts the stall holder was great to talk to, and she taught me a lot about the harvesting of the cockles.

The area around Swansea is famous for shell fish, and Penclawdd on the Gower Coast is especially well known for the quality of cockles. I love cockles, and couldn’t resist the large stall in the centre of the market which was full of shell fish of all types harvested locally. The shopping bag was filling up quickly.

Swansea Market
A display difficult to resist.

And the delights didn’t stop there.

Swansea Market
Welsh cakes also found their way into the bag. These were cocked at the stall. You can’t get any fresher than that.
The huge window lights up the stalls

If you ever get the chance go, but make sure you have a large shopping back and deep pockets. You’ll need both.

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