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July 31, 2018

50 Rare Photos That Capture Everyday Life of Swansea, Wales in the Mid-19th Century

In the middle of the 19th century, a group of people in Swansea, Wales became captivated by a new invention - photography.

Between 1841 and 1856, John Dillwyn Llewellyn (1810-1882), of Penlle’r-gaer, his family, and many of their acquaintences experimented with, and even developed, exciting new photographic processes. They compiled the world's first family albums with photographs of their friends and relations that reveal the warmth and delight of life within the walls of the great landed estates of Victorian Wales.

A collection of rare photos from The National Library of Wales that shows what daily life of Swansea looked like in the 1850s.

The Llewelyn children

The Snowman

Thereza and Elinor

Thereza and Emma

Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn wearing a Bernese (Swiss) Peasant dress

Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn

Three Cliffs Bay

Three girls in a garden

Two singers, Davey Bottin and Daniel Williams

Two Welsh country people

Two women and a girl in a garden

Unidentified elderly couple

Waterfall at Penlle'r-gaer

Willy and Mustard

Willy Dillwyn Llewelyn fishing at River Llewitha, Penlle'r-gaer

Boy and girl with two dogs

Calvert Richard Jones (on the right), with six women, a man, boy, girl and dog, standing and sitting in a colonaded porchway

Calvert Richard Jones (seated) and a woman (possibly Portia Smith), and a white dog

Calvert Richard Jones and woman (possibly Portia Smith, Jones' second wife) in front of a colonnaded building

Calvert Richard Jones, Lady Brewster, Mrs Jones, Sir David Brewster and Miss Parnell (seated)

Caroline & Dulcie Eden

Carriage outside unidentified house

Caswell Bay

Church porch

Dillwyn Llewelyn children

Elderly lady knitting

Elinor Amy Dillwyn Llewelyn

Emma, wife of John Dillwyn Llewelyn

Harry and Amy Dillwyn (children of Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn)

Haymaking at Penlle'r-gaer

J. D. Ll's children with Mr Knight, their tutor

John Dillwyn Llewelyn

Lion cubs

Man standing with woman on horse back

Man, woman and horse-drawn carriage before a colonnaded porch

Mary Dillwyn

Milson street, Bath

Miss Southern with Eleanor and Lucy

Mr and Mrs Iltide Thomas

Mrs Vivian and little Ernest


Our schoolchildren


People in gardens of unidentified house

Picnic at Oystermouth Castle - Dulcie Vivian, Caroline Eden and Etta (Henrietta) Vivian

Sally and Mrs Reed


Street scene, Dover

Thatched cottages, Black Pill

The Bryn, Dulcie Eden and the gardener



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