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LLANELLY, a market town, urban district, and seaport of Carmarthenshire, Wales, situated on the north shore of the broad estuary of the river Loughor (Llwchwr), known as Burry river, which forms an inlet of Carmarthen Bay. Pop. (Igor) 25,617. Llanelly is a station on the South Wales section of the Great Western railway. The town is wholly of modern appearance. The mother-church of St Elliw, or Elli (whence the town derives its name) has been practically rebuilt (1906), but it retains its 13th-century tower and other ancient features of the original fabric. Its situation on a broad estuary and its central position with regard to a neighbourhood rich in coal, iron and limestone, have combined to make Llanelly one of the many important industrial towns of South Wales. Anthracite and steam-coal from the collieries of the coast and along the Loughor Valley are exported from the extensive docks; and there are also large works for the smelting of copper and the manufacture of tin plates.
Llanelly, though an ancient parish and a borough by prescription under a portreeve and burgesses in the old lordship of Kidwelly, remained insignificant until the industrial development in South Wales during the 19th century. In 1810 the combined population of Llanelly, with its four subsidiary hamlets of Berwick, Glyn, Hencoed and Westowe, only amounted to 2972; in 1840 the inhabitants of the borough hamlet alone had risen to 4173. Llanelly is now the most populous town in Wales outside the confines of Glamorganshire. In 1832 Llanelly was added as a contributory borough to the Carmarthen parliamentary district.
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